The summer is a quieter season for work and jobs and it gives us an opportunity to enjoy the Country Park and the Coronation Wildflower Meadow, whether that be cycling, walking, or running. The Friends of Woodlands and Coachwood Green are a voluntary group caring for the area to protect the habitat and promote it for the benefit of the whole community. As our local community evolves, we welcome all new users of the Country Park to share this aim.
In June we held our Annual General Meeting, where I was appointed as the Chair of the Friends of Woodlands and Coachwood Green. We wish to express our thanks to previous Chair who has been with the Friends of Woodlands and Coachwood Green since it started. Having grown up in the village of Shireoaks, I have recently moved back to the area after 30 years away and watched this area evolve from the pit site of the past to the country park of the future. I look forward to working with the local community to create and maintain a Country Park that protects biodiversity, respects our heritage, and provides a space for communities to come together. I believe the environment is where we all meet, where we have a mutual interest and is one thing all of us share.
In June, we were delighted to support the Beacon Lighting at the Viewpoint on the Pit Top. The UK has a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark Royal Events, the last time being the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016. We were blessed with a spectacular summer evening as Shireoaks joined around 3,500 communities around the UK in celebration of our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As a large group of Shireoaks residents waited for the lighting ceremony to begin we were royally entertained by a band of musicians from the Social Club. As the designated time for lighting the beacon approached the crowd drifted into silence and the proceedings were led by Councillor Sybil Fielding and Bassetlaw District Council Councillor Madelaine Richardson
With a hiss of gas, the beacon was then ignited joining our community in with this historic four-day Platinum Jubilee Celebration.
This spring and summer we have had a magnificent show of wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. With all this flora comes the insects, flies, spiders, bumble bees, dragonflies, moths, and butterflies. Whilst they are all beautiful in their own way, butterflies seem to be the most beautiful in our eyes. Maybe this is because of the way they flutter between the flora showing their brightly pattern and coloured wings.
Some of the butterflies seen on the Woodlands and Coachwood Green are the Common Blue, its main food plant is Birds-foot Trefoil; a small yellow flower; of which there is an abundance on the Woodlands. Other butterflies seen are the Marbled White (pictured left), a distinctive black and white butterfly that feeds on clovers, knapweed and thistles, and the Meadow Brown, a common butterfly with a distinctive spot on its wing tip which feeds on meadow grasses. Also seen are the Painted Lady and the Red Admiral which particularly likes nettles. The Small Heath butterfly can also be seen low down fluttering in the grasses and resting with closed wings.
So next time you are visiting the Woodlands and Coachwood Green have a look at what you can see, we would love for you to tell us and share your pictures on our Facebook group Shireoaks Woodlands and Coachwood Green.
Volunteers play a huge role in helping us look after the Country Park and helping us tell the community about the work we do. Work over the Summer months has focussed on litter picking and path clearance as regular tasks.
We hold two workdays a month on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, meeting at the tarmac car park on Marina Drive at 10am. If you can spare an hour or so to help you will be made to feel very welcome, jobs range from everything from litter picking, cutting back hedges to maintain footpaths and helping to create the Wildlife Discovery Area. All equipment is provided. Keep an eye on our Facebook group to keep up to date @friendsofwoodlandsandcoachwoodgreen.
Volunteering comes in many shapes and forms and there are opportunities more than just physical conservation work. We are also looking for volunteers to support with promotion and fundraising. In particular, we are looking for someone to help update our website, if you can spare a couple of hours and help us create a great informative website to promote what we do please get in touch.
I hope you have enjoyed the Summer in the Country Park as we move into Autumn it is a time to look out for Robins, Wagtails and if you are lucky, you may see flocks of Redwings.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the Country Park so feel free to get in touch with any feedback or suggestions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org