Nature of Britain (5)

NoB5

The main theme of last Wednesday’s Nature of Britain was ‘Coastal Britain’. This latest programme in the 8-part series continued to maintain the very highest standards of photography, producing a good match between underwater and above the surface shots, so we saw Arctic Skuas diving for fish, as well as whales and killer whales hunting off our shores. Most remarkable for me was the feature on the otters-the camera crew and production team responsible for producing that work must be in line for an award-the patience and time invested in obtaining that footage merits one alone!

From large coastal creatures to small ones-we saw a species of bee that cleverly utilises discarded snail shells as ‘hatcheries’ for its young. Again, the very informative nature of the programme managed to convey the interaction of a number of factors which influence life along the British coastline – the sun, the wind, rain and tides all play a part in shaping the lives of our coastal creatures. This is particularly so in inter-tidal zones, and this was very well demonstrated through the use of time-lapse photography, as the tidal cycle which dominates life in our rock pools was quickly speeded up, revealing isolated pools of water as the tide went out, which in turn were replenished with fresh micro-organisms that in turn fed the occupants of the pools, as the next high tide returned.

This led cleverly to the local West Midlands feature of the programme-how do you represent the coastal aspect of the Nature of Britain, to reflect that aspect of nature in a land-locked region of the UK? Slimbridge of course!

Web-link to Slimbridge

Web-link to the BBC Staffordshire web site-where you can see the local features of Nature of Britain again.

Police Message-Bogus officials

Bogus officials
Although the primary function of this blog is to chart the conservation work associated with the Wom Brook in Wombourne, a message received from Staffordshire Police this afternoon merits inclusion on this site.

At 12:10 today, 2 white males in their 50s, described as having dark hair, and speaking with local accents, visited a Featherstone property claiming to be from a boiler repair company. During the 10 minutes they spent in the property, cash was stolen from a locked cupboard.

Staffordshire Police are keen to remind us not to allow strangers into our homes-unless by prior arrangement, and before granting admittance to service engineers, builders or officials, we are reminded to ask for proof of their identity.

Ray Jones, Police Neighbourhood Watch liaison officer, stated
‘don’t be tempted to open the door to just anyone. If you see or suspect anything remotely suspicious, phone 999, and ask for Staffordshire Police’.

Conservation Work

black rubbish bag

Often the work of the volunteer Thursday and Saturday morning groups goes unreported. Sometimes a group may comprise of just a couple of committee members-on other occasions, such as on the first Saturday morning of a new month, members are joined by like-minded folk who take an equal pride in the appearance of the Brook and its adjoining banks.

The above picture shows a rather full rubbish sack-one of 10 that were filled at the end of the last litter clearance of the Brook three weeks ago-when the stretch of the Wom Brook walk (the path that runs alongside the Brook) between the Gravel Hill picnic benches and Giggetty Ford was cleared.

The emphasis this time was on cutting back nettles and brambles that have obscured the Brook from the footpath-thus providing the space for fresh vegetation to grow next spring, and in turn provide new habitats for a host of wildlife-from minibeasts to the more familiar bird life-represented by the numerous pigeons we see along the Brook.

So a big thanks to last week’s volunteers-judging by the numerous green sacks stacked by the wall by the Bow bridge (next to Gravel Hill)-a job well done!