I spent a wonderful Sunday recently with the ‘Friends of Diglis Fields’ and Worcester City Council’s Wildlife Ranger Team as part of the Diglis community Take Pride event. As Postcode Anywhere is relatively new to the area we are naturally very keen to support any initiative that will help to improve and enhance our working environment.
The ‘Friends of Diglis Fields’ are a local group of residents dedicated to maintaining and improving the area and, working collaboratively with Worcester City Park Rangers and other community partners, they devised the Take Pride event.
Worcester City Council’s Wildlife Ranger Team is made up of one full time ranger and two full time assistant rangers. The team looks after over 120 hectares (over 300 acres) of local nature reserves and other green spaces, protecting and improving them for wildlife and people.
The Take Pride event involved making improvements to Cherry Orchard Local Nature Reserve which is a former landfill site which has remained undisturbed since 1987. Through the process of natural colonisation a variety of habitats has emerged in the area. Flower rich grassland and scrub dominate the reserve, contributing to the green corridor that extends into the city from the south. It was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2003.
Notable wildlife includes slow worms, green woodpeckers, kingfishers and grass snakes; it is also a perfect habitat for butterflies. From April onwards the first butterflies emerge to take advantage of the flush of new spring growth and nectar bearing flowers. Orange tips and brimstones can be seen on sunny days, while colourful peacock butterflies bask on open ground.
At the beginning of April the reserve becomes a riot of colour and activity. For example, migrant birds return to breed including chiffchaffs, willow warblers, whitethroats, sand martins and swallows.
As the spring turns into summer the site is alive with insects, providing food for the growing families of breeding birds. Green woodpeckers, linnets and goldfinches, to name but a few, can all be spotted gathering food to feed their hungry chicks. We had lots of goldfinches visit our bird table at our Hallow premises which was very exciting, particularly for our resident ornithologist Richard Geary.
We spent a lovely day in the hot July sunshine. Many of the volunteers helped the rangers with the heavy work, which included footpath and step cutting, thistle topping and the installation of new signage, i.e. visitor attraction boards, while I assisted with the monthly butterfly survey.
Members of the Friends of Diglis Jane and Gail humoured me while we walked around the reserve spotting butterflies and marking them off against the list using the visual aid we had to help us. Jane is really experienced and she knows her stuff. Gail quickly became a very competent spotter and began to recognise the subtle differences between the species that were often quite similar to the inexperienced eye. I thoroughly enjoyed the activity and I was amazed at how many species visit the reserve.
The day was also a great opportunity for me to catch up with Councillor Lynn Denham, a friend of mine through Worcester City Council circles. She was very interested to hear about Postcode Anywhere as new members of the business community and she is coming here to our Waterside premises very soon to gain an insight into exactly what we do.
Postcode Anywhere has donated £500 to the Friends of Diglis community fund which will be used for a park bench. We are not sure when the bench will be unveiled as it’s now in the hands of the City Council who are responsible for the installation process.
I hope to continue to be the pivotal link between Postcode Anywhere and the Friends of Diglis. As newcomers to the community it is important that we get involved and help them to achieve their objectives by also ‘taking pride’ in the area and supporting them where and when we can.