Tag Archives: Awards for All

Photos from Halloween event

Our Lottery-funded Halloween event on Saturday was a great success! Surrounded by autumn colour, staff from the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country and volunteers from Friends of Rowley Hills helped kids to make some very spooky Halloween-themed crafts, including creepy clay models and scary skeletons! Below are a few photos from the event. Thanks to everyone who came!

 

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Upcoming events

Rowley Hills winter scene (image © Mike Poulton)

We’ve just added plenty more Lottery-funded new events to our website, including volunteering days for the winter season – we will be continuing to work with the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country on improving Portway Hill’s access, habitats and key features.

The next event in the diary though is this Saturday when there will a free Halloween-themed family fun day at Bury Hill Park, with lots of activities including clay art, creepy crawlies and scary drawings! Come along any time between 11:00am and 3:00pm, and in the meantime check out our Events page to see what else we have planned for the coming months.

Upcoming events

The Rowley Hills (image © Mike Poulton)We have been busy arranging lots more exciting Lottery-funded events for the coming months. See below, and keep checking our Events page as we’ll be adding further details!

  • Litter pick, Thursday 25th August, midday – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country at Portway Hill for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. Meet on St Brades Close, opposite to the entrance to Bury Hill Park. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Hedgerow management day, Wednesday 31st August, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country at Portway Hill for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. Meet on St Brades Close, opposite to the entrance to Bury Hill Park; be sure to wear sturdy footwear and suitable work clothes. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Fun Day, Blackheath Library, Wednesday 31st August, 11:00am – 3:00pm. Free family fun for all including storytelling, crafts, games, raffles, stalls and a bread and butter pudding competition. The Friends of Rowley Hills hope to have a stall at this event. Click here for further information.
  • Bramble management day, Friday 2nd September, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country at Portway Hill for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. Meet on St Brades Close, opposite to the entrance to Bury Hill Park; be sure to wear sturdy footwear and suitable work clothes. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Bird walk, Monday 5th September, 10:00am – 1:00pm. At a peak time for bird migration, we will be looking for some of the various species that pass through the Rowley Hills on their journey south. A great way to enjoy a healthy walk and appreciate nature at the same time! Meet at St Brades Close; no need to book.
  • Portway to Warrens Hall walk, Saturday 1st October, leaving at 10:00 from St Brades Close. Further information to follow.
  • Family fun day, Saturday 29th October, 11:00am – 3:00pm. Further information to follow.

Wild Rowley Hills – free family fun day tomorrow!

Tomorrow (30th July) the Friends of Rowley Hills and the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country are holding a free family fun day in Bury Hill Park; we hope to see some of you there! Have a go at our amazing treasure hunt – see if you can unravel the secret animal’s name to earn your treasure! You could also have a go at some of the fun crafts for all ages, from clay art to making wildlife headbands. Botanist Mike Poulton will be leading a free guided walk over the Rowley Hills starting at 11:30 am, highlighting some of the fantastic things on the way from butterflies through to mouse-ear wildflowers. You will also be able to meet staff from The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and members of the Friends of the Rowley Hills to learn how we are working together to improve the hills for wildlife and the community. The Friends of Rowley Hills will have a stall selling cakes and plants too. Please note – the guided walk will not be suitable for buggies or wheelchairs as the walk will be over uneven ground and over the Portway Hill site. Please wear appropriate footwear for the guided walk as the ground is uneven and paths might be slippery if there has been recent rain.

Oxeye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) on bank (image © Mike Poulton)

Oxeye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) on bank (image © Mike Poulton)

Forthcoming events

Portway Hill (image © Jane Tavener)We’ve got loads of great events in the calendar over the next few months and we hope to see you at a few of them. The next one is a litter pick on Portway Hill tomorrow, and hopefully the weather forecast will hold for that! If you’re planning to come to any of our conservation volunteer days, please fill in your name and tick the dates you are coming to in this Doodle poll. There’s no limit to the number of people who can attend, it just gives us an idea of how many to expect!

  • Conservation volunteer day, Portway Hill, Saturday 7th May 2016, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. We will be conducting a litter pick along Portway Hill. Meet at Kennford Close.
  • Conservation volunteer day, Portway Hill, Saturday 14th May 2016, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. We will be improving access onsite by installing a crushed dolerite path through the Wildlife Trust-owned section of the site. Meet at St. Brades Close.
  • Conservation volunteer day, Thursday 19th May 2016 – venue TBC.
  • Geoconservation day, Portway Hill, Saturday 21st May 2016, 10:30. The Black Country Geological Society will be carrying out conservation work on Portway Hill to ensure the Rowley Rag rock exposures are not overgrown by brambles. Check their website for more information. No need to book.
  • Butterflies and Flora on the Rowley Hills – guided walk, Saturday 4th June 2016, 10:30am. This is a joint meeting with Sandwell Valley Naturalists Club (Sandnats); Mike Bloxham and Mike Poulton will be leading a guided walk at a peak time in the season for wildflower displays and insect life on the Rowley Hills. Walking boots are recommended and binoculars would also be useful. Meet on the roadside near the Total garage on Wolverhampton Road, just below the Brewers Fayre/KFC at the entrance to the Portway Hill site (see map below).
  • Butterfly walk, Portway Hill, Thursday 23rd June 2016, 11:00am – 1:00pm. In partnership with Butterfly Conservation, our Vice Chair Mike Poulton will be leading a guided walk around Portway Hill, following a route Mike wrote for the the soon-to-be published ‘Butterflies of the West Midlands‘ book. This is a peak time for butterfly activity and as long as the weather is good we should see significant numbers of different species. Walking boots are recommended and binoculars would also be useful. Meet on the roadside near the Total garage on Wolverhampton Road, just below the Brewers Fayre/KFC at the entrance to the Portway Hill site (see map below).
Rowley Hills map showing paths and access points

Rowley Hills map showing paths and access points

More Awards for All successes!

Our recent Lottery-funded AFA (Awards for All) events have been a great success! Here’s a summary of what we’ve been up to:

On Thursday 7th April our AFA event involved planting 470 native Bluebells and 50 wild Daffodils in the woodland we have previously been working on at View Point. We also spread 250g of Red Campion seed throughout this block. In the westerly block with the path running through the middle we sowed 50g of Red Campion seed and planted about 30 native Bluebells ad hoc. We also spread 50g of Red Campion seed in the most easterly central woodland plantation block.

On the afternoon/evening of Thursday 14th April Tom and Doug from the Wildlife Trust organised a Spoon Carving event for local youth group “U-Choose Youth Project” on the Wildlife Trust site on Portway Hill. After a short guided tour of the site each of the group were given a block of wood to carve and instruction on the safe use of the carving knives. The group then set about carving their own wooden spoons. We received great feedback from their youth group leader David King who said “a really good day today on the hill….the kids loved it….we are definitely going to visit again….keep us posted with future things”.

On Saturday 16th April we had another event on View Point Open Space where 25 Hazel and 25 Field Maple were planted into the woodland block thinned previously, and Foxglove seed was sown mainly around the edge. We also spread Foxglove seeds around the path in the westerly block.  1kg of Yellow Rattle was scattered on the meadow block directly downhill from the thinned woodland. In addition a litter-pick was carried out and 2 bags of rubbish removed from site.

Welcome to new members, and upcoming events

Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) (image ©Mike Poulton)We’ve just about finished updating our membership system and would like to say a big WELCOME to all our new members! If you applied for membership in the past few months, we apologise that there has been a delay in processing your membership, but you should now start to receive email updates from us.

We have quite a few events happening this month and we hope you’ll be able to make it to a few:

  • Conservation volunteer day, View Point Open Space, Saturday 16th April 2016, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. We will be working to enhance the woodland plantations on site by clearing brambles, crown lifting the trees and under planting with native tree whips and woodland ground flora. Meet at the entrance to the site at the northern end of View Point; as there are very few parking spaces nearby we recommended that anyone coming by car should park out of View Point and walk to the meeting place. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Clean for the Queen, Massey’s Bank, East Avenue, Tividale, Saturday 23rd April, 10:00am – 1:00pm. Clean for The Queen is a campaign to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, which will be officially celebrated in June 2016. Join us for a litter pick to get Massey’s Bank looking spick and span! Click here for more information about the Clean for the Queen campaign; you can also contact Shane Allen for more information about this particular event on 07718 193629 or bigspringclean.sandwell@serco.com.
  • Conservation volunteer day, View Point Open Space, Sunday 24th April 2016, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. We will be working to enhance the woodland plantations on site by clearing brambles, crown lifting the trees and under planting with native tree whips and woodland ground flora. Meet at the entrance to the site at the northern end of View Point; as there are very few parking spaces nearby we recommended that anyone coming by car should park out of View Point and walk to the meeting place. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Dawn Chorus Event, Portway Hill, Saturday 30th April 2016, 6:30am. Join local bird expert Nick Horton who will be leading a dawn chorus walk, looking out in particular for the Rowley Hills’ resident raptors – Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine, as well as many other species of interest. Be sure to dress sensibly (early mornings can be cold!) and bring binoculars if you have them. Meet at the cairn on the Wildlife Trust site on Portway Hill. No need to book.