Latest News – updated July 2020.
Stretton Wetlands Update
Fundraising to purchase 3 acres of the Stretton wetlands as a community asset, with the aim of managing it sensitively as a wetland meadow, is going well.
In the meantime, the current landowner has kept sheep out and given permission for SACWG to make some detailed baseline surveys of the flora, the insect and bird life.
Thus far over 140 plant species have been identified, largely because the field splits into a number of differing zones, relating to the likelihood of flooding. Some areas are wet 8-12 months of the year with floating sweet grass, water forget-me-not, water mint, hemlock water dropwort and fool’s watercress identified. Other areas are seasonally underwater for 4-8 months; that’s where many of the plant names for obvious reasons begin with ‘marsh’; marsh marigold, marsh cudweed, marsh foxtail, marsh yellow-cress and marsh bedstraw. Several indicator species (known as axiophytes) have been found including both Changing and Creeping Forget-me-not and Marsh speedwell. The species list is here
Around 45 different species of insects have been recorded in the meadow this year. Six different kinds of Shield bug were found including the rare Tortoise Shield Bug. This has been recorded in the Wyre Forest but is a new arrival to South Shropshire. Another treat was a dark-green Fritillary butterfly. And the Four-banded Longhorn Beetle is a very splendid and unusual beetle with a body over 2 cm long. It was seen 4 years ago and this year several adults were found, with evidence they were breeding nearby in a fallen willow log. Although the variety of insects is encouraging, numbers are still low, so boosting the quantities of flowering meadow plants in the future should be of great benefit. Invertebrate sightings can be downloaded here
34 species of bird were noted in or around the meadow this year – including some occasional sightings of Little Egret, Cuckoo and Grey Wagtail. More habitat to encourage nesting birds is planned plus a couple of owl boxes to encourage barn owls which have been seen over the main area of wetlands.
Stretton Wetlands / Cudwell Meadow fundraising appeal
Please see here for information on how you can help to pass on a restored, well-connected wetlands to the next generation of people living in the Strettons.
N.B. – All SACWG surveys have been suspended until the national close-down ends.
The planned Grouse Count and the second Bird Survey, due 18 April to 3 May have also been cancelled.
Curlew counts – while it is crucial that everyone continues to comply with the lockdown restrictions, if you see or hear any curlew, either while at home or during your daily exercise, please report details to Leo Smith – details here (PDF).
The new Dipper project was approved at the APM. Please report any sightings of dippers to Leo Smith. You can download the project information leaflet here (PDF) [updated 10 April 2020].
The 2020 Annual Public meeting was held on Tuesday 25th February. If you were unable to attend and would like to volunteer to participate in any of the activities of the group, please contact survey group leaders or the secretary. You can download minutes of the meeting here (PDF). You can download the group accounts to year ending 31 January 2020 here (PDF)
The 2019 Annual Report is now available for download – here (PDF)
The 2019 Lapwing & Curlew Survey Report is now available for download. Please see the project page for the link. The recruitment form for 2020 is also available for download there.
Download the 2020 Red Grouse Survey forms here
The 2019 Botanical Surveys report is now available for download. Please see the project page for the link.
The 2018 and 2019 Red Grouse Survey reports are now available for download. Please see the project page for the link.
Please check back here for updates soon!
About the Group
Click here to find out more about the Group.
Current Survey Activities
Survey projects are adopted by the Management Committee in consultation with members at the Annual Public Meeting, and will reflect the interests of the members.
To date, there have been fifteen projects adopted by the SACWG, eight of which are still active, with two being organised currently. You may select the links below to find out more about these surveys. The projects are divided into three groups, depending on the level of activity in each.
- Active Projects. These are currently running (or shortly to start) formal surveys involving both members and local wildlife experts, working in collaboration.
- Long Mynd Red Grouse Survey
- Butterfly Survey
- Swifts in the Strettons
- Strettons Community Tree Planting Project
- Wildlife Site Botanical Survey
- Stretton Wetlands
- Lapwing and Curlew Survey
- Surveying Hedgehogs in the Strettons
- Dormice in the Strettons. This project is currently in the planning phase. If interested, contact Caroline Uff
- Surveying for Native Crayfish in the Strettons. This project is currently in the planning phase. If interested, contact Steve Butler
- Informal Projects. These have ceased organised survey activities but are still accepting casual observations from the public relating to the subject matter of the project. See the project websites for information on what sort of information is still useful and who should receive it.
- Currently “Retired” Projects. These are currently neither active nor are they accepting casual observations. It is likely that some may be re-activated in the future as long-term (but not necessarily annual) observations are critical to monitoring changes in wildlife.
The SACWG Annual Report summarises the activities of the Group, with particular emphasis on the achievements of each of our surveys. To download the Annual Reports (in PDF format), select the appropriate link below:
- Annual Report for 2012
- Annual Report for 2013
- Annual Report for 2014
- Annual Report for 2015
- Annual Report for 2016
- Annual Report for 2017
- Annual Report for 2018
- Annual Report for 2019
Future Survey Activities
Repeating surveys annually is far more valuable than continually changing activities, as this helps to monitor species and indicate if populations are increasing or decreasing. However, new surveys can be adopted if there is sufficient interest from the membership and someone to lead the activity. All members are invited to propose new surveys prior to the Annual Public Meeting. There will be an opportunity at the annual meeting to present potential new surveys to the group. Popular new survey activities can be adopted at this stage.
Annual Public Meeting
The 2019 Annual Public Meeting was held on 28 March 2018 at the All Stretton Village Hall. The agenda is available here and the minutes will be posted in this section once they are available.
For a list of the SACWG Committee and the leaders of each of the SACWG projects, select this link.
For more information on the Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group, contact:
- Steve Butler (Chair): (01694) 723 514 or SACWG_Chair@shropscwgs.org.uk
- Heather Hathaway (Secretary): (01694) 722 537 or SACWG@shropscwgs.org.uk
For issues relating to this website, contact:
- John Baines (Web Maintenance): SACWG_WebAdmin@shropscwgs.org.uk
Page updated: 28/07/2020 by JGNB