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Brown Hairstreak Butterfly

John Stather visited our information point at the Ashtead Village Day on Saturday. He mentioned that he walks through the Rye Meadows from time to time and, on one occasion, he saw to his great surprise and delight, a Brown Hairstreak Butterfly - one that is fairly unusual and not often seen. Amongst all the British Butterflies - it is the last to emerge in the summer and often not until early August.  It breeds on Blackthorn and the female will lay eggs say during August through September ...

June 14, 2022

Village Day 2022

A great Village Day - superb weather, a superb attendance and a great position thanks to our friends at Ashtead Common with whom we shared a gazebo. Our complimentary endeavours made for an eye-catching stand and we had numerous visitors to both sides - the Common and Rye Meadows. Our new book "Restoring the Great Marsh" was on sale for the first time, having only been received from the publishers the previous day. Literally "hot off the press"! People looking through the book were impressed by ...

June 12, 2022

New Permissive Jubilee

Residents will be aware that we closed the path through Fraudings field between Footpath 24 and Footpath 596 following the seeding of the field with yellow rattle wildflowers. It has been agreed though that for the summer (June until the end of August) we will open a temporary permissive path north of the Rye Brook between the two footpaths. The route is marked in red on the map above. The new path is subject to conditions and if these are abused the path will be closed.Keep to the mown pat...

June 5, 2022

Restoring the Great Marsh

Come and see us at Village Day on Saturday 11th June. We are sharing a stand with Ashtead Common (No.405) There you will be able to buy Rye Meadows mugs and Tea Towels all priced at only £5.00. In addition, all being well with no last minute hitches, we will be selling the new book "Restoring the Great Marsh - The Story of Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands". This is the remarkable story of the Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands conservation project. Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands are 14 acres of floodplain,...

June 4, 2022

Volunteering today

A spectacular show of blackthorn blossom in Jack Adams field today (off Preston Grove). It's a lovely hedging plant - if you ignore the spikes that can penetrate through the rubber sole of your walking boots and even through leather gloves. Today was a day of clearing up from the storms of February and March. Because the fields are used for haymaking we needed to ensure all the debris from trees was removed from the ground before the grass started to grow and hide it all. Debris had also fallen ...

April 19, 2022

Victoria Plumb it wasn't !

Today (1st February) in stunning sunshine, the hardy group of volunteers tackled a mixture of tasks on Rye Meadows. Four of them extricated a huge log from the stream that had been blocking the flow. Four tough guys managed to lift the tree trunk out onto the bank and roll it into the field where it was loaded onto the trailer and taken to a verge well away from the stream, and anyone intent on rolling it back in again. These four, plus another, then extricated an old bath tub, once used for hor...

February 1, 2022

New Owl Box for Barn Owls

Rye Meadows have erected an Owl Box to try to attract Barn Owls to the area. During the peace and quiet of lockdown many heard the hooting of owls so we know they are round and about, and we hope a pair will nest here and raise their young. Last year we had Kestrels nesting in Rye Meadows and their young chicks were seen roosting on the barn and practising their flying and hunting in the woods and fields in the area. As always, please respect these nesting birds and keep away from the box and an...

January 31, 2022

Dead Hedge to prevent access to Centenary from Kestrel Field

Yet again walkers are crossing from Kestrel Field into Centenary Field despite the dead hedge. As a consequence we've had to extend the dead hedge across to the brook itself. There is no path across from Centenary Field to Kestrel Field and vice versa. Do not break down the dead hedge. That is there for a reason. Kestrel Field is privately owned and there is no Right of Way. Anyone using that field is trespassing....

January 11, 2022

More bridge repairs

Another Volunteers' Day where we accomplished a lot of work. The main job was moving a new delivery of railway sleepers to where two bridges are going to be repaired. A team then took apart the bridge from Jack Adams to Gullett South and rebuilt it using the new 'old' sleepers. The old bridge was very rotten and dangerous and had to be replaced. The remaining new and usable sleepers will be used to replace the bridge between Gullett South and Gullett North which presently has rotten sleepers. Th...

December 7, 2021

Clearing the brook of debris

Volunteering on Tuesday 16th November included the removal of a very heavy and waterlogged tree trunk that had somehow found it's way into the brook. It had probably been washed in on the same night that the torrential rain flooded the brook and culverts and damaged the sleeper bridges so severely. Four of the volunteers, having previously partaken of a slice of Doreen's invigorating cake, managed to lever and pull the tree trunk out of the brook and onto the lower part of the bank. In two weeks...

November 19, 2021

Rye Meadows bridges reinstated after marathon effort by volunteers

The storm we all experienced on Wednesday 20th October deposited one and half inches of rain in three hours and wreaked damage on bridges in Rye Meadows. In Centenary Field the pedestrian bridge had been moved off its base and the handrails broken, and the wider bridge used by tractors to enter the field has been lifted apart and large oak sleepers tossed about like matchsticks. See "Before" picture. In Fraudings field opposite, the bridge had been completely lifted and moved making entry into t...

October 28, 2021

Wildflower meadow now prepared and seeded

Richard from Chris Edge Tree Care has now finished preparing the ground and then sowing the Yellow Rattle wildflower seeds. We had the ground mowed originally, then when Richard came with his team he raked up the loose cuttings and again cut where the grass had formed clumps and laid flat. He again went over the ground cutting the grass even lower then scarified the ground. Finally he sowed the seeds also generously donated by Chris Edge Treecare, and the ground was compacted. The field wil...

October 13, 2021

Closing off the unofficial route from Kestrel Field

Volunteering today centred on closing the way through the hedge and culvert from Kestrel Field into Centenary Field. We don't wish to be "party poopers" but there is no Right of Way between the fields, and we believe no public way through the field owned by Merton College Oxford. The "bridge" installed which was partially blocking the culvert, and the rope installed to help people climb out of the deep culvert have been removed and a high dead hedge erected. The next job will be to erect somethi...

October 5, 2021

Heritage Open Day Success

The Rye Meadows Wetlands stand in Centenary Field was very well attended and everyone was interested to see the plans we have for Centenary Field - the proposed meanders, the willow weir and the collapsing brick culvert. As well as showing people the plans, we also displayed a 'taster' for the book being launched shortly - an ideal Christmas present!! Details will be published here when launched and available to buy. The three above are the main authors/editors/ghost writers - left to right, Dap...

September 12, 2021

Footpath 24 now resurfaced and already littered

In 2020 during Lockdown many more people discovered Rye Meadows and the footpaths that eventually lead onto Ashtead Common. Whilst we are pleased so many people have found where Rye Meadows are, the increased footfall has inevitably damaged the footpath surfaces and in the winter of 2020 they became quite muddy in places. Thanks to a Grant from Mole Valley Council's Infrastructure Levy pot, we have been able to buy a substantial amount of hardcore to resurface the paths. Footpath 596 was finishe...

September 8, 2021

Haymaking in Ashtead Rye Meadows

With the hay cut, collected and baled comes the job of collecting them all in and transferring them to the barns. With so much hay this year - it's been a bumper harvest - the Rye Meadows Volunteers helped with collecting in the bales and building hay stacks in the field. Anyone want any hay?...

September 7, 2021

Brush clearance on Footpath 596

We had a visit from Byte Software a Leatherhead based office of this plc. They asked to do a Corporate Community Day with us and we chose clearance of the brush in the copse at the end of Footpath 596 by Fairholme Crescent. There were four volunteers from Rye Meadows Wetlands and although we were promised a group from the company in fact only one person arrived. Others we were told had been Covid test and trace 'pinged' and were in isolation. Nick from Byte Software didn't quite do the work of f...

September 1, 2021

Footpath 24 cleared for resurfacing

Footpath 24 that crosses Rye Meadows has been widened and cleared by Chris Edge Tree Care. The blackthorn was beginning to encroach on the footpath, and the land owner, Mrs Burnett, has paid to have this cut back. Rye Meadows Volunteers will soon be resurfacing the path with hardcore paid for by a grant obtained from MVDC, similar to FP596. The latter should be completed next week. It is hoped residents will appreciate the effort put in by the volunteers, not to mention the generosity of the lan...

August 22, 2021

6th Form Geography Students from St Andrew's School visit Rye Meadows

Today (1st July 2021) we had a visit from 25 6th Form Geography students from St. Andrew's School together with their teachers, Faye and Emma. We explained the history of the area and how the 14 acres of Rye Meadows were separated off to form a wildlfe corridor and then put under the auspices of Fields in Trust. We showed them the pond in Centenary Field plus the scrapes in Fraudings and the berms and new meanders in Fraudings, Jack Adams and Gullett fields. The fields were a sea of wild flowers...

July 13, 2021

Ragwort and the Cinnabar Caterpillar

The pretty yellow daisy like flower that you often see if fields and hedgerows is the Ragwort. This plant is injurious to horses and can cause liver damage and death. People with horses regulalrly pull up the ragwort in their fields and even those without horses should pull it out because once it seeds, the wind blows them away, just like dandelion seeds, and the infestation starts all over again. You should always wear gloves when handling ragwort as it can cause problem for humans too. Imagine...

May 13, 2021 Posts 1-20 of 20 | Page
 

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