Naturehood is gathering momentum in the Florence Park area of Cowley. We have been to the Oxford City Farm, who are going to track the changes in the wildlife garden and pond area using our Naturehood surveys with volunteers.
We had a busy time at the super-sunny Flo Fest, where we spoke to lots of locals who were enthusiastic about bringing more wildlife into their gardens. We also made lots of apple bird feeders and seed bombs, and we hope that these flowers are growing well and providing more habitat for pollinators.
The fantastic Emma Eatough came along to lead our Naturehood Bee Walk in Florence Park, and we had about 18 people attend. We learnt how to catch bees, identify them, and tell the differences between bees, hoverflies and wasps. Not only that, but Emma dispelled a lot of myths about bees and wasps, and everyone went away feeling more confident about increasing pollinator numbers in gardens!
Naturehood went along to run a session with the 43rd Oxford beaver scouts in July. We visited the Marston Community Orchard, exploring the area and recording all the wildlife we found. All the beavers went home with a packet of wildflower seed which can be planted in autumn to go towards achieving their gardening activity badge.
Emma Eatough joined us at the beautiful Milham Ford Nature Park for our Naturehood Bee Walk. The sunny weather meant we found lots of bees, and the younger children even had a go at catching them in pots and releasing them safely. It was a fantastic event and we hope to encourage more people in Marston to explore their local green spaces in the future, you never know what creatures you might find!
In April Earthwatch and our partners, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust hosted launch events in our two Swindon Naturehoods - Penhill and Tadpole Garden Village. On 6th of April Penhill residents were invited to take part in a family friendly community event hosted in John Moulton Community Hall and the adjacent green space - Penhill Haven. The day was filled with wildlife-themed activities such as wildlife walks, DIY workshops such as bird box and flower planters building and storytelling. Children could get their faces painted as one of five Naturehood species; early bumblebees, small tortoiseshell butterflies, hedgehogs, house sparrows and common frogs, and there was a free BBQ.
Tadpole Garden Village residents enjoyed similar activities in their Naturehood on 27th April. Both days were very busy, with over a hundred residents attending each event, and received excellent feedback. We are now in the process of planning more Naturehood events in Swindon.