March Snipe flush count

On Monday 6th, we carried out the last Snipe flush count of the season. Luckily the rain stopped as we started and we found 1 Snipe in Hay Meadow and 7  were flushed from School Pond with 2 Jack Snipe. In Big Meadow we counted 65 Snipe and 15 Jack Snipe. So a total count of 90, the highest count this winter.

We also saw 3 Woodcock that flew up from Upper Sowerholme, and a total of 16 Teal using the ponds in the reserve.

Clio Graham

FA Website/Blog update

The FA website will be undergoing a ‘refresh’ soon, likely to be next weekend. While this won’t involve any changes in how you use the blog, it will involve a change in:

  • The page that is first shown when you visit the blog;
  • The navigation/menubar.

Part of the rationale for making this change is the intention to use the blog as the primary means of announcing events and volunteering information, as well as for reporting wildlife sightings.

We will be creating a quick, downloadable step-by-step guide to using the blog, so if anyone would like to register who isn’t already registered, please email fairfieldassociation2014 AT gmail DOT com to request access.

Many thanks!

FA Web Admin

Fairfield Playground Fundraiser!

Fairfield Playground has been well-used for years – now it’s time to give it back some love! It’s the hub of the community, but having been enjoyed by generations, it’s reaching the point where it will soon be condemned.

We’ve already raised £35,500, but we’re still £14,000 short of being able to complete the project.

Let’s not only save this well-loved community space but also make it an area we can all be proud of. Watch our YouTube video to hear people explaining why it means so much to them and what we’re hoping to do.

Have a look at the flyer to find out how you can contribute to our fundraising effort or go straight to the Fairfield Online Shop to pick an item from the playground shopping list.

If you’d prefer to just make a donation and don’t need a Gift Certificate, please use our Charity donation page.

February Snipe flush count

This month’s Snipe flush count was carried out on Monday 6th, on a cold but sunny morning. We counted 56 Snipe and 12 Jack Snipe in Big Meadow, and 4 Snipe and 1 Jack Snipe around School Pond, so a total count of 73.

We also spotted a Woodcock and a Heron in Upper Sowerholme, and a female Sparrowhawk, that came through the reserve, flying low over Big Meadow.

Clio Graham


Flora Field and Sightings Board

Ian and I flushed 4 snipe in  Flora Field – near the northern boundary.


Feeding tables: chaffinch 30, reed bunting 5, blue tit  2, great tit 1, dunnock 2, blackbird 4,

Drumlins: c.100 redwing and fieldfare

Overflying : c 150 pink foot

Admiralty Wood: greater spotted woodpecker

Hedgerow: song thrush

Remains of the fallen horse chestnut

The Wednesday volunteers joined, by Andy Lee worked on the fallen tree in Pony Wood on Wednesday. The trunk and larger branches were sawn up and left in situ, the smaller branches were taken into the wood to make a hedge of brash: although dead wood is good spread around a woodland to rot down naturally, too much can cover ground flora, encouraging perhaps brambles to grow over it to shade out lower plants.  It can also cause a problem for access for management in the future.  Stacking brash either in heaps or rows is beneficial to small mammals, birds, insects etc, but a row or hedge can create corridors through the wood to connect to outside boundaries etc.  Eventually they compost down with mosses, lichens and fungi to increase nutrients to the woodland floor.


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January Snipe Flush Count

The Flush team carried out the January Snipe flush count on Monday 9th in reasonable weather, after the recent downpours. We were joined by Colin McShane, as seen on Winterwatch. He is doing a long-term study of Jack Snipe and was impressed by the numbers found in Big Meadow, and has deemed it to be an important site for these birds.                                                              This winter there have been slightly lower numbers of Common Snipe, probably due to the mild conditions across Scandinavia and Northern Europe. We counted 20 Jack Snipe and 37 Common Snipe, all in Big Meadow except for 1 Jack Snipe in School Pond, so a total of 57.