Earlier this year, extensive repairs were made to the Wyndham’s Pool dam structure to reinforce it. It is hoped that these works will prolong the life of the dam ensuring the pool remains an important feature for both people and wildlife to enjoy.

 

These works are so far proving successful, but further works are required to recondition the bridleway which runs along the length of the dam. The works are scheduled for next week, week commencing 14th November, where Rangers from the local Sites team will be joined by our local Access Rangers to improve the surface making it safer and more pleasant for users.

Therefore, passage across the dam will not be possible whilst we carry out the works. We will also be using a variety of machinery to carry out these works and as such we are temporarily closing the car park to allow the safe use of machinery and delivery of materials. The works are expected to last approximately 5 days and as soon as the works are complete, the route and the car park will be opened and available as usual.

We appreciate that this may inconvenience some people, but alternative parking is available at Heathlands Cemetery and the Gravel Pit and Stroud’s Pond car parks off the A30.

If you have any questions or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01252 870425 or email northern.sites@hants.gov.uk .

Many thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Dementia Friends

The team recently attended training with the Dementia Friends initiative. This was to give us a better understanding of dementia and how we can help people, as individuals and an organisation.

There are many different types of dementia, which are caused by diseases of the brain. Due to the diseases being different the affect on the brain also differs. This coupled with an individuals circumstances means people are affected by dementia in a variety of ways.

Dementia Friends have 5 key messages:

  1. Dementia is not a natural part of the ageing process.
  2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.
  3. It is not just about losing your memory.
  4. It’s possible to live well with it.
  5. There is more to the person than the dementia.

The Dementia Friends initiative is helping to turn communities across England in to dementia friendly communities. If you would like to find out more about dementia or see how you can help, there is a wealth of information at https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/.

The map below shows the location of the felling works around Wyndham’s Pond due to commence in mid October. The trees in this area are going to be removed in order to restore the area to heathland, recreating and reconnecting the open character and landscape of the Common. Works are part of an on-going heathland management programme and are approved and funded through Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme.

yateley-common-brandy-bottom-open-habitats-2016

Historically, Yateley Common was an open landscape with few trees and traditional uses of the Common, such as gorse coppicing, grazing and birch cutting prevented trees and scrub from dominating the landscape. The views below show how the heath around Wyndham’s Pool would once have looked being managed in this way.

In the absence of these activities, tree removal and scrub control work is necessary, carried out by staff, contractor and volunteers alike, all working to preserve the open character of this important heathland site.

We appreciate that these works can sometimes seem quite destructive and can initially be visually unpleasant, images such as those below can often give a negative impression of the works we are completing and the end result we are trying to achieve.

However, after a relatively short period of time and with some targeted follow-up management the open heathland habitats begin to flourish and species typically associated with them start to utilise the additional habitat available to them. It is hoped that within 3-5 years heathland habitats within this area will have restablished and in fact have begun to flourish.

These works are important for several reasons:

  1. Lowland heathland – the type of habitat found on Yateley Common – is highly threatened, with at least 80% of lowland heathland being lost over the last 200 years.
  2. To restore and preserve the open character of the landscape, which is of value to many users of the Common.
  3. Many special plants, birds, insects and reptiles rely on the heathland habitats found on the Common, the species and habitat for which the site is protected and designated under UK and EU law.

If you have any queries about these works or Yateley Common Country Park in general, then please call the Rangers on 01252 870425 or e-mail us at northern.sites@hants.gov.uk.

This annual celebration of bats encourages organisations to run bat events for the public all over the country. It is organised by EUROBATS www.eurobats.org/international_bat_night. The aim of the night is to get people across the country and world to see and hear bats in their natural environment. You can search for events near you on the Bat Conservation Trusts website www.bats.org.uk/pages/batnight.html.

The event is also a way to get the public to better understand the important role of bats in the ecosystem, and encourage their conservation. Bats are an important species for natural control of agricultural pests, pollination of plants and seed distribution. Bats have almost no natural enemies, but face numerous threats, all related to human activity. Habitat loss due to deforestation, changes in building style, and overhunting for bush meat are among them. In the UK, loss of suitable habitat is one of the biggest threats to bats.

If you like to learn more about bats or have the chance to see or hear one, find a walk near you on the bat conservation trust website. Their website also includes information on how to make your garden suitable for bats. Making your garden bat friendly could boost the size of their habitat.

 

Pokémon Go is a popular mobile game which was released in the UK last week.  The app lets players roam a map using their phone’s GPS location data and catch virtual characters to train and battle at real world locations.

A number of the County Council’s public sites are Pokémon sites including country parks. Like any visitor to our sites, we welcome Pokémon players to visit these public areas, to get active and enjoy our open spaces.

If you are playing Pokémon Go on our sites, make sure you keep aware of your surroundings to stay safe. Remember there may be other people just around the corner, also keep an eye out for wildlife crossing paths ahead. Paths themselves may be uneven or have dog poo on, so watch where you’re putting your feet. Please make sure to play in a safe and considerate manner and don’t put yourself or others at risk.

It’s also important to stay safe online, and the NSPCC have issued guidance for parents for keeping children safe on Pokémon Go.

pokemon go

This month, 15th July – 7th August why not join in the national Big Butterfly Count.  Butterflies are an animal we can all spot easily when out in the countryside or just in our own gardens and with only a limited number that you could possibly be looking at they are easy to identify too!

Over 52,000 people took part in 2015, counting over 580,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK

For more information about the Big Butterfly Count visit: http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/ and do your bit to map Britain’s Butterflies!

butterfly count

Yateley Common, Summer fun Events poster, 2016

To Book go to: http://qrs.ly/tp575fv