Well I’ve now completed my more formal bird surveys for the year to enable Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to build a data base but will continue to watch during my times in the Cutting.
Today had a few surprises including a couple of Muntjac deer, a stoat having a rabbit for breakfast, a shrew, a vole, a fox, and most surprising of all what I can only assume was an escapee hamster dashing across the path! Just shows what a rich wildlife environment there is – add lots of different butterflies and moths, frogs and toads and loads more insects and it really is a fascinating place to be. And of course the flora is very diverse this time of year especially on the grasslands the volunteers work so hard to maintain.
The survey list since April has:
Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Crow, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Feral Pigeon, Garden Warbler, Goldfinch Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Finch, Green Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Linnet Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen,Robin, Rook, Song Thrush, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Treecreeper, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Willow Tit, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer – 40 different species with others seen during the year taking the total to 71 so far and as ever I’m sure some have not been recorded.
If you have any more sightings please let us know.

Steve 13th July 2011

Save our Butterflies

Take Part in the Big Butterfly Count – this Saturday 16th July to 31st July

Butterflies are beautiful and vital to the health of our environment. Their existence is crucial yet they are in serious decline. Please help save them.

It’s easy and fun and anyone can take part. Download your free butterfly chart, spend just 15 minutes in the sunshine, then log your sightings at


Ashlawn July 2011

July Work Party
Malcolm – preparing for hedgelaying, cutting into the sapling with his small saw
July work party
July Work Party
July Work Party
July Work Party

March 2011 Update

We now have re-opened substantial amounts of grassland – probably as much as we will be able to continue to manage in the foreseeable future.
Although the larger species rich grasslands are south of Ashlawn Bridge there are other important areas in other parts of the reserve especially between Hillmorton Road and Pytchley Bridge.
We need to keep the corridor between these grasslands reasonably open to promote movement of species and so recent widening and glade enlargement has been undertaken between Pytchley and Ashlawn.
A concern is the quantity of the grasslands that we have got.
A gradual change over the years has meant that we have lost quite large numbers of species, both plants and invertebrates due to enrichment
Grassland has to be worked quite hard to prevent this and the consequent changes taking place.
We are beginning to address the problems of re-invasion by scrub and brambles by using spot applications of herbicide. But more of this needs to be done. The task of raking off is not always completed.

Ashlawn Birds starting to nest

A stroll down the length of the cutting from Hillmorton Road to the other side of Onley Lane revealed 23 different species of bird as follows:

Blackbird, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Crow, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Greenfinch,Black headed Gull, Magpie, Moorhen, Redwing, Robin, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Green Woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Wren

 Sure I missed some even then.

 Also spotted several butterflies – Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Brimstone male and female


Green-winged Orchid, 16th May 2011

by Liz Dinsdale

Starting the fence line, April 7th 2011

Pete Thorne of WWT on left, in charge!

Showing the Strainer post

Joining 2 pieces of Stock wire

Heavy work

Phew! I'm trying to smile

After the Contractors, 15th March 2011

Looking along the brook at the top of the field

Showing clearance

of silt from the brook

Different view

taken 15th March 2011
Looking up hill from the gate

Before Contractors!!

After working party on Wednesday 2nd March

Clearance right up to the fence line


Hedge line clearance

Lesser Celandine