WILDLIFE WALKS

We hold regular wildlife walks with local experts throughout the year, meeting at the Visitor Centre. Follow us on Twitter or check this page for walk announcements and updates. All welcome, under 18's need to be accompanied by an adult.

Nearest Tram stop: Arena, or Harington Road.


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BATS

Meet the Community Partnership Officer and the Friends of the Country Park for an evening stroll through the dark in search of bats hunting over the meadows and lake. Meet at 8.30pm by the visitor centre in the park. Wrap up warm and bring a torch if you have one to find your way.

Next walk: Friday 5th May 2017

Walk report: "We met just before dusk and before we set off to find the bats, we were given a very informative, illustrated talk about bats and the ones that we might see in the park. Our experts had provided bat detectors so we knew when bats were around, we first saw Noctule Bats that were flying around the tops of the trees.Then we walked to the lake where we could see a great many Pipistrelle Bats flying over the water. We were told that each bat could eat over 3,000 tiny insects every night!"

To learn more visit the Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk


BIRDS

Next Walk: Saturday 18th February 2017

Walk report: "On a crisp, cold but sunny January morning we set off from the Visitor Centre with Rob (Park Warden) as our leader and main bird spotter. Twenty-eight people braved the cold including ten children & one baby in a pushchair. Any standing water in the numerous pools and the lake were frozen over and there was frost glittering on the scrub.

The children all had record sheets to log their sightings and many of them had been provided with binoculars. Their first sighting was a Robin shortly followed by a Wood Pigeon, they were able to count lots of those!

Rob was quickly spotting lots of birds – see the bird list below. We made our way to the lake where coots and mallards were waddling along on the ice. The children were excited to see two Mute Swans and I was excited to see a Gadwall which was a first for me. Canada Geese were coming into land, skidding on the ice and two mallard drakes were having a furious fight."

The birds we saw included: Robin, Wood Pigeon, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Starling, Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk, Ring-necked Parakeet, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Coot, Mallard, Moorhen, Gadwall, Shoveler, Khaki Campbell.


DAWN CHORUS

Join the Friends of the Country Park and be part of one of nature’s amazing spectacles — listen to the birds welcoming another spring day. Early start – meet the Friends and the Countryside Warden at 5am by the Visitor Centre, off Albert Road.

Next walk:  Sunday 7th May 2017

Walk report: "We met at 5.30 am just after day break and straight away we began to listen for the different bird songs and our expert identified each call for us. We were each given a checklist listing the different birds that have been sighted in the park and by the end of the walk we had ticked off over 25 different species. Our expert had brought along a scope so that we could look at some of the birds in close-up (if you have binoculars it's a good idea to bring these along)."


BUTTERFLIES

Next Walk: TBC 2017

Walk report: "18 Friends of SNCP gathered for the walk. What a great morning we had for it bright and sunny with a gentle breeze. As we strolled through the Park, Malcolm Bridges pointed out the various species and also talked about the plants and vegetation the butterflies feed on.

We saw 10 species during 2 hours and Malcolm showed us where the colonies of Purple and White Letter Hairstreak congregate, high in the oaks and elms on the Elmers End border. The elms are the food plant of the White Letter and the best time to see them active in the tree canopy is during light summer evenings.  Very special, as the White Letter Hairstreak is a Priority Species for conservation."