Buckingham Railway Walk
Conservation Group



Sunday 6th April 2014

A recent change of our account on Facebook to an Organisation page, means that we have lost the last 3 years  timeline and our Photo albums / Video's. But, the change will allow anyone interested in our group, access, without having to login to Facebook, plus we will rebuild new albums to link to the hyperlinks on this website.

Room is running out on this page for news, therefore further updates will be posted on our Facebook page.
You can  see the latest  news of  our group anytime, by  typing www.Facebook.com/Railwaywalk into your preferred browser.


Monday 7th April 2014

It's the time of year for another popular Pond dip and Bat walk with detectors.



Friday 14th June 2013


The Festival of Ecology events in Buckingham start tomorrow with a hands on activity building bug homes. Other activities include a talk on Bees and another about Owls, and a guided walk along the River Ouse accompanied by the Buckingham Camera Club who will be giving advice on taking wildlife photographs. The Railway Walk will be the venue for a tree identification event and a pond safari. Check out the programme as listed for 26th May!
Rare glimpses of warmer weather have encouraged wildlife to believe that summer is beginning and along the Railway Walk we have been treated by the displays of the emerging damselflies. Large Red, Azure Blue and Banded Demoiselle damselflies have been seen darting around the edge of the pond. Speckled Wood and Holly Blue butterflies have joined the Orange Tip, Large White and Green Veined White as they flutter around the glades, settling briefly on the tall grasses or wild flowers which are adorning the open sunny areas.
A young Elm tree planted in 2011 as part of the project to re-introduce disease resistant Elms back into our countryside has been measured, the details being added to the Conservation Foundation website. In the orchard the fruit trees are looking healthy and indications are that the crop will be better than last year, weather permitting of course! The Medlar and Quince planted in 2009 are in full flower and are becoming well established, so we have great hopes for these trees to produce fruit in the future
Whilst birds and small mammals are nesting in the canopy and undergrowth and wild flowers bloom in the glades our cut and clear activities cease. Summer is the time for light work along the walkway as we enjoy the diversity of wildlife which can be found here.


Monday 27th May 2013

The Buckingham Table Annual Beer Festival will take place in June during the weekend starting 5pm Friday 21st June until 8pm Sunday 23rd June. Hosted by the Woolpack pub - What’s happening? A beer festival with over 40 beers, ciders and perry; music (Friday night – The Autumn Buskers; Saturday and Sunday – Buckingham Accoustic Club), good food (Saturday – Gourmet Food Festival; Sunday – Carvery and Garden Games) and good company!
Recipients of the funds raised are Prostate Cancer UK, The Buckingham Canal Society and Buckingham Railway Walk Conservation Group! We thank the Buckingham Table wholeheartedly for their support.

For further information please visit the Buckingham Table website
www.buckinghamtable.org/2013-beer-festival-page/

Sunday 26th May 2013

The British Ecological Society is celebrating its Centenary this year with a Festival of Ecology, which runs from 15th June to 4th August 2013. During these eight weeks The Conservation Volunteers will be running a fun-filled programme of nature and wildlife activities in Buckingham. These activities will be held in some of the wonderful variety of green spaces within Buckingham town including The Railway Walk and the Sand Pit Nature Reserve.

These events are supported by Buckingham Town Council and The British Ecological Society, Celebrating 100 years with an international Festival of Ecology www.festivalofecology.org

No need to book. For more information contact The Conservation Volunteers on 01296 330 033 or email buckingham@tcv.org.uk
Events are suitable for all ages. For outdoor activities, please dress appropriately for the conditions.

Programme of events ecology 2013.pdf


Saturday 25th May 2013

Michael has been checking the nest boxes each week and took this photo of very young blue tit chicks in one of the boxes. Fingers crossed they are a successful brood and fledge safely to add to the blue tit population.



Saturday 4th May 2013

The pond and bat evening last night was attended by about 40 people of all ages and was a very relaxed informative evening. Everyone went away happy having seen creatures from the pond and a few Pipistrelle, Daubenton’s and a Noctule bat. Paul Holton, Biodiversity Officer from AVDC and Rhona McLaughlin from the North Bucks Bat Group were fabulous as usual, and the Railway Walk Pond and area supplied the wildlife! A very successful event.
A break in the showers today allowed volunteers to prune the fruit trees and remove an Elder that had grown too close to one of the Mirabelle plum trees. The sunlight glittered on rain drops suspended on the leaves and fruit blossom and orange tip butterflies fluttered around. The air was warm and fresh, it was so good to be outside!

Sunday 25th April 2013
Michael reports that during his visit yesterday to check the bird boxes there are now 10 full nests with eggs. Another 26 boxes have nests at various stages of building, what a difference a week makes. Thanks Michael for your time spent checking and recording and also for the photo shown below of a blue tit nest, we hope the pair of adult birds successfully rear a healthy brood. 
Even though it feels like 'Blackthorn Winter' with a big drop in the temperature this weekend from last, the wildlife is responding to the onset of Spring and more changes and species are appearing each day.
Meanwhile we are looking forward to meeting up with Paul Holton and the North Bucks Bat Group for the pond and bat night on Friday!

 

Sunday 21st April 2013

Another warm sunny weekend and an ideal opportunity to explore green spaces. The Railway Walk didn't disappoint. More comma, brimstone, peacock and tortoiseshell bufferflies were on the wing and bee-flies joined true bees visiting the primroses and violets now in flower. Birdsong surrounded us as the nesting season begins in ernest. The first check on the numerous bird boxes was made and many have varying degrees of structured nests within. Congratulations though to one pair of great tits who have already built a full nest and laid eggs in one of the boxes. This weekend was the turn of toads to congregate in the pond and gentle croaking could be heard. Strings of spawn distinctive of the common toad (Bufo bufo) can be seen wrapped around the reed and weed beds. Both male and female smooth newts (Triturus vulgaris) negotiated their way through the throng of toads and weeds. The pond is teaming with wildlife in all forms from the smallest microscopic organisms to a pair of ducks paddling over the surface.
We have lots to look forward to seeing in all areas of the walkway.... its amazing what a difference a day makes!


Wednesday 17th April 2013

Confirmation that the Pond and Bat evening has been rescheduled for Friday 3rd May starting at 8pm. We will meet in the University Car Park in Station Road, however car parking will be tight as the Film Place is showing 'The Life of Pi' that evening. The University has kindly offered us the use of the Island car park off Hunter Street to help out if Station Road and Chandos Road are busy.  The pond is teaming with life and hopefully the bats will be out and about looking for food, so fingers crossed for warm dry weather so that we can have what promises to be a fun and informative evening.

Saturday 6th April 2013

The springlike weather conditions added to the enjoyment of working outside as volunteers cleared fallen trees and branches alongside the pathway. Given that more harsh frosts were forecast  for the next few days we chose to postpone the planned pruning of the fruit trees in the orchard until warmer weather prevails.

Sheltered from the wind, the walkway was a warm and sunny spot and the wildlife responded, helping to make an interesting morning. King Alfred's Cakes and Scarlet Elfcup fungi were discovered on fallen branches and nestled in the woodland debris, primroses and sweet violets are beginning to flower, birds were singing overhead, Brimstone and Comma butterflies fluttered in the pools of sunlight and frogs were seen congregating in the muddy shallows once again.

Following on from the pond dip on Thursday evening we couldn't resist another look!  Wherever possible the fascinating creatures were photographed for reference and help in identification and all returned safely back into the pond. A very rewarding day.
Due to the limited capacity for data storage on this website we have created albums for our photographs of species found along the walkway on our Facebook page. These can be accessed by clicking on the highlighted words: pondlife  fungi wildflowers  and butterflies. (You will not be required to register or log-in to Facebook to view these albums). The link words appear within the pages of this website.

Friday 5th April 2013

Just a handful of people braved the wintery conditions for the Pond and Bat evening yesterday. With temperatures only just above freezing, a wind chill factor and a flurry of snow, unsurprisingly the bats had also stayed under shelter. Having made the effort to leave the warmth of our homes we went ahead with a brief pond dip to see which species were in the cool water. We found male smooth newts and smaller life including water boatmen, water beetles, diving beetles, shrimps, water louse, water snails and a mayfly nymph. Other minute creatures were seen in the collection tray but the weather was too cold to try to detirmine their identities on the spot. It was great to see that even though the weather in 'our world' is unseasonably cold, life in the pond continues to thrive.

Paul and Rhona would like to reschedule the event for some time in May when the weather is likely to be be warmer. When a date has been decided upon it will appear on this page.
 

Due to the limited capacity for data storage on this website we have created albums for our photographs of species found along the walkway on our Facebook page. These can be accessed by clicking on the highlighted words:     and . (You will not be required to register or log-in to Facebook to view these albums). The link words appear within the pages of this website.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Friday 29th March 2013

All systems go for a pond and bat evening next week! On Thursday 4th April 2013 Paul Holton will be returning to lead an evening to discover which creatures are living in the pond and if warmer weather arrives we might just be fortunate enough to see and detect bats flying around the pond. Starting at 7.30pm the evening promises to be fun, informative and suitable for all ages. As the temperatures are unseasonably cool it is advisable to wear warm clothes and boots and also if possible bring a torch for when it gets dark. With the kind permission of Buckingham University we will able to park and meet in the University Car Park at the bottom of Chandos Road.

Saturday 9th March 2013 - Mistletoe sighted in the Orchard.

Seeded in February 2010. After initial signs of growth were seen in May 2010, no further growth was apparent and we thought  they had probably dried up, until two small shoots were discovered on one of the apple trees in the orchard today. Success!



Wednesday 19th September 2012 - RHS It's Your Neighborhood Award Certificate



Following an assessment by two members of the RHS Thames & Chiltern in Bloom Association in July, we are please to receive a Level 4 - Thriving award.

Copies of the Certificate and assessment:





Saturday 26th May 2012 - Newts in the Pond

See Video

Sunday 6th May 2012 - Facebook update

New Album created to hold and share a growing catalogue of fungi found along the walk.

Saturday 5th May 2012 - Workday in the Orchard.





Pond and Bat Evening Update...

About 70 people attended on a cool evening to listen to Aylesbury Vale Biodiversity Officer Paul Holton share his knowledge of pond creatures. Paul waded in to collect samples of pondlife that were placed in trays for all to investigate and try to name. The trays contained a great variety of microscopic to very small lifeforms, but also some that we could identify. Frog and Toad Spawn, Male and Female Smooth Newts, Mayfly, Damselfly, and Caddisfly Larvae, Water Beetle, Gt. Pond Snail, Water Stick Insect and some that we failed to put a name to.  A few Frogs and Toads were also netted and put in a tank for veiwing and safe handling.

Gathering in the University Carpark at the top of Chandros Road.

                                        Paul Holton taking samples for viewing

 

 and explaining!   In the background is a member of the North Bucks Bat Group scanning the frequencies for Bat activity.

Pipestrelle bats made a brief appearance, picked up on the bat detectors kindly provided by th North Bucks Bat Group. 

Monday 2nd April 2012 - Pond and Bat Evening

Popular family event with Aylesbury Vale Biodiversity officer Paul Holton and volunteers from the North Buck Bat Group.

Saturday 3rd March 2012 - Frogs are back!

Infact they have been back for around a week now, but more abundant from the Latin steps to the pond. '>See Video.
Saturday 31st December 2011 - Survey Results



Results are in for three of the surveys that we participated in this year. Click on the links highlighted below...

2011 preliminary Nest Record Scheme (BTO) reults.

Results from the 2011 Big Pond Dip

Big Butterfly Count 2011

Saturday 10th December 2011 -
The Buckingham Christmas Fair.


A promotional opportunity which we shared with the Maids Moreton Aveneue Conservation Group.

                                                             

The free handouts of apples harvested last weekend, Christmas decorations made from ash branches, flapping bats and information on our group were all well received as we talked to local residents about the work we do along the walkway.


Saturday 3rd December 2011



Morning spent in the orchard, tidying fallen wood, removing an ash tree and harvesting apples from the older fruit trees.

                            

Saturday 3rd September 2011



In response to the advanced seasons this year, resulting in many grasses and wild flowers going to seed quite early, we have brought forward our task to cut and clear vegetation in the glades and alongside the footpath.
Work near St Rumbold's Well will now take place in October.

Wednesday 10th August 2011 - Facebook update.

 

New photo album added Pondlife. Started with pictures of the creatures found during the Big Pond Dip 2011 in the Railway walk pond, most of which still need to be identified.

Saturday 6th August 2011 - Big Pond Dip 2011.

In a change to our programme for this Saturday we will be taking this opportunity to record the flora and flora of the site. We will concentrate on butterflies, flowers, insects and the aquatic life of the pond. Our observations will be passed on to other interested parties including the Pond Conservation Group who are asking people to take part in their 'Big Pond Dip 2011'.

Friday 5th August 2011 - Now on Facebook!!!

Photo albums for flowers and also for butterflies found alond the walk have been added. These will be continuously updated and new ablums will be added to cover other areas of interest.  

Monday 1st August 2011



Our thanks go to the Buckingham Community Pantomime Group who have generously awarded us with funding to enable us to purchase additional pruning equipment. The tools will help us with work in the orchard and any other trees which need attention.


Saturday 16th July 2011 -  Big Butterfy Count

For the second year running we are participating in the Big Butterfly Count, initiated by the Butterfy Conservation Society. Our counts can be viewed by following this link Big Butterfy Count result  . Enter Buckingham in the 'Location Search' then click 'show results', and you will see all the entries for Buckingham, including ours.

Saturday 2nd July 2011 - Follow us on Twitter

Follow us by clicking on this link Buckinghamrwcg

Monday 18th April 2011 - Free Wildlife Event

 Saturday 25th March 2011 - Buckingham Green Fair

Organised by Green Buckingham Group, which brings together Advertizer staff, member of Buckingham Town Council, University of Buckingham and Local residents in the drive to make the town a greener place.

The GBG committee is considering March 24th as the date of the 2012 Buckingham Green fair

Saturday 10th December 2010 - Buckingham Christmas Fair

Together with the Maids Moreton Avenue Conservation Group, we manned a stall at the fair to promote ourselves and our activities.  We gave out our respective events programs and contact details, and for the children, bird identification dials and flapping  replica butterflies on a stick, as found along the railway walk.

Group receives award for its Community Conservation Program.

 The certificate was presented to the group during an award evening at the Occulus in Aylesbury on Monday 22nd November 2010 by SAVE (Support Aylesbury Vale's Environment).

Four other group's working in the Buckingham area were also awarded: Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser, North Buck's Bat Group, Buckingham Otter Spotters and the Vale Volunteers. Our sincere congratulations go out to those organisations, and to all the other groups and Individuals who attended the event.










        ........................................Affiliated to The Conservation Volunteers.....................................     

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