Tag Archives: Conservation

Thank you Corporate Volunteers

Corporate volunteering is playing a vital role in clearing our invasive weed – Canadian goldenrod. The groups are usually in for the whole day so great progress can be made. We have 22 hectares of the problem weed, about a 1/3 of the meadow is pretty clear now, but we have a large area still which we need to get under control. So these larger groups who can stay for long sessions really are invaluable.

Nonsuch Voles create a new path

Many thanks to the Nonsuch Voles who completed the drainage and path improvements at the Oak Bridge last week,  near the Balancing Pond despite being under attack from horse-flies!

Nonsuch Voles Volunteering Nonsuch Park

The path up to the bridge should be much drier now and a drainage channel to the main ditch should reduce the amount of water accumulating in the clay soil in this area.

In theory this means the whole area should be less boggy in the winter time.

Nonsuch Voles at work in park

Thank You Pearson

Thank you Pearson and their intrepid team, who came from Central London for the morning to help pull Golden Rod out of the Meadow in Warren Farm.

The Weather decided it was going to throw everything at us.  One minute we had low cloud, then the sun shone brightly and with a Whoosh, in came a rain storm and it bucketed it down.

In spite of all this, the Pearson Team carried on regardless.  I was most impressed by how even a sudden rain storm didn’t stop their enthusiasm for the job.

Pearson in Warren Farm

And now for the clarity bit.  Pearson are the World’s Largest Education Company and not to be confused with Pearsons, our local bike shop and who are also the Worlds Oldest Bike Shop!!

The Woodland Trust’s vision is a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife.  You can become a member of the Woodland Trust here.

Sutton Runners donate to Nonsuch Voles

The Nonsuch Voles were very pleased to receive a generous donation from the Sutton Runners. The funds were raised from a recent race event in Nonsuch Park. The money will be used to purchase hundreds of plants and bulbs which will form the centrepiece display in the Mansion House garden.

Here, the chairman Paul Airey receives a cheque from Sutton Runners race director Lorraine Martin. To say thank you, we presented Lorraine with a wooden ornament made by  the Voles.

Sutton Runners Thank you Nonsuch Voles


Nonsuch Park Runners Volunteer in Warren Farm

A huge thank you to Nonsuch Park Run and Sutton Runners for giving up their Saturday Morning to help pull out Canadian Goldenrod from Warren Farm and create beautiful Meadowland.   Almost 100  runners came to help.

Nonsuch Park Run Volunteer Warren Farm

The runners said how much they enjoy running in Nonsuch and were really keen to help give back to the park in this way.

parkrun day 020

A massive pile of Goldenrod was created, which has now gone off to the compost heap.

parkrun day 030


Springwatch Do Something Great in Warren Farm

GOLDENROD ALERT at WARREN FARM. It is our next weekend volunteer day NEXT Sat 11th June, 10 -12 – if you would like to join us, you are very welcome. If you are not able to join us but would like to help then do just start pulling up areas and leave the piles on the path. Roger and I will collect them and carry them to a composting site.

Meadow Restoration Warren Farm

Springwatch and the BBC are encouraging EVERYONE to volunteer in some way during June using the hash tag #DoSomethingGreat so come along and Do Something Great in your local meadow. Also keep an eye out for little flutters of blue in Warren Farm our lovely little rare butterfly the Small Blue is on the wing….enjoy and thank you in advance for all your help 🙂

Meadow Restoration on a Sunday morning

Warren Farm Meadow Restoration

First weekend task day of the year.. eleven of us made great progress removing Canadian goldenrod in the top area of the field. Chafer beetles, frog hoppers and flat backed millipedes kept the eagle eyed kids very entertained, and its always handy having Roger our entomologist on hand for instant species identification.

Flat Back Millipede

Welcome to our newcomers and it was lovely to see last years crew back again.

Sally Williams Warren Farm 1

The next weekend date is SAT 11TH JUNE 10 -12, and we will continue to work every WEDNESDAY 9.30 – 11. Do come along and join us, you will be made very welcome.

Sally Williams Frog Hopper


Are there Oak Processionally Moths in Nonsuch Park?

oak processionary moth 1

If you go down to the woods today, watch out for oak processionary moths, advises Sutton. Sutton residents are being advised by Sutton Council to be on the lookout for oak processionary moth caterpillars when visiting the borough’s parks this spring as the moths can cause an allergic reaction.

The oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoein processionea) is a pest that was recently identified in the Worcester Park area in the west of the borough. The moth was introduced to England from mainland Europe and first identified in London in 2005.

The oak processionary moth caterpillars emerge around May, coinciding with bud burst when leaves emerge from trees at the start of the growing season. In their early stages of growth, the newly-hatched caterpillars feed exclusively on oak leaves and it is possible for large populations to strip whole trees of their leaves. On a healthy oak tree, this generally will not cause any permanent damage, but it can leave trees vulnerable to other pests and diseases, and less able to withstand events such as drought and flood.

As the caterpillars develop they produce thousands of tiny barbed hairs containing a substance called thaumetopoein that can cause itching skin rashes, eye irritations and sore throats in people and animals that come into contact with them. In rare cases the barbed hairs can cause breathing difficulties and allergic reactions. However, symptoms are not usually serious and can be treated by a pharmacy.

The hairs can be shed by the caterpillars as a defence mechanism, be blown off by the wind, and left in the silken webbing nests the caterpillars build on the trunks and branches of oak trees, sometimes at or close to ground level. These nests can fall to the ground, and hairs can stick to the trunks and branches of oak trees.

The oak processionary moth caterpillars have a distinctive habit of moving about in or under oak trees in nose-to-tail processions, which gives them their name. The silken webbing nests are white when new, and often have silken trails leading to them. They quickly become discoloured and harder to see against the dark colour of oak-tree bark.

Sutton Council’s Parks Service is monitoring the situation closely and has a term contractor to deal with both spraying and nest removal.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“If you see any oak processionary moth nests or caterpillars, do not approach or touch them. Report them immediately to the council or the Forestry Commission, which is leading efforts to control its population, spread and impact.”

The main risk period is between now and July, when the caterpillars are active. However, borough residents are advised to avoid nests, even “spent” nests, at any time, because the hairs in them can remain irritating for many months.

Meadow Restoration

Warren Farm Volunteers

Come and join us on one of  the Woodland Trust Meadow Project, meadow restoration days., as we clear away Canadian Goldenrod from the Meadowland.

We are a relaxed group of all ages and welcome all new volunteers.

No experience is needed, wear clothing appropriate for gardening. If you are lucky you may even spot our rare and very special Small Blue Butterfly which should be emerging any day.

Golden Rod Pulling Warren Farm

The calendar of supported task days – meet in the meadow.

Wednesday 25th May – 9.30 – 11
Wednesday 8th June – 9.30 – 11
Saturday 11th June – 10 -12 runners day
Wednesday 15th June – 9.30 – 11
Sunday 19th June – 10 – 2
Wednesday 22nd June – 9.30 – 11
Wednesday 29th June – 9.30 – 12 family picnic day
Wednesday 6th July – 9.30 – 11
Sunday 10th July – 10 – 12
Wednesday 13th July – 9.30 – 11
Wednesday 20th July – 9.30 – 11
Sunday 31st July – 10 -12
Sunday 21st Aug – 10 – 12

To find out more and register as a volunteer email Sally at volunteering@woodlandtrust.org.uk

More information on the Woodland Trust and Warren Farm can be found here