The first woodpecker of 2020 was heard today, wed 5th February, on Cherry Orchard  Nature Reserve. It’s not unusual  to hear the tapping of these  birds at this time of year.

Of the three species of woodpecker found in Britain, the great spotted is the most likely to be seen in our gardens at any time of the year but during February it isn’t the sight of one which is most appealing, but the sound.

Now is the time the trees begin to take a hammering as great spotted woodpeckers establish their territories.

These starling-sized black and white birds don’t have a song to advertise ownership of their chosen patch of woodland, so they make themselves known by drumming on dead trees with their powerful bills.

The Great spotted woodpecker is the most common of only three species of woodpecker in the UK, the other two being the Lesser spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopus minor) and the Green woodpecker (Picus viridus). It is present all year round, apart from in extreme northern parts of Scotland, and is famed for its rapid drumming on the sides of trees. The Great spotted woodpecker is, without a doubt, one of the more striking species of bird in the UK.

Of colourful hue and memorable pattern, the Great spotted woodpecker is a stout bird, with black and white spotted wings and two main red patches (head and underbelly); the scarlet patch on the back of the (male) woodpecker’s head is a distinct and unique feature. A simple confusion can often emerge from the fact a young Great spotted woodpecker displays a scarlet patch on top of its head, which disappears after the first moult; these young birds can be easily identified as Lesser spotted woodpeckers, when in fact they’re not.

Swallows Leave-29 Sep 2019

A huge “flight” or a “gulp”of Swallows amassed over the Cherry Orchard Nature Reserve yesterday, by far the most Swallows spotted over the nature reserve EVER.

That’s how big and absolutely amazing the whole spectacle was to observe.  On one hand it was a heart stopping moment but on the other it was a melancholic sight also; the little beauties were gathering to go home for the Winter, leaving behind all the potential bad weather we have coming to us.

Hurry on Spring 2020.

Muntjac deer spotted 14 May 2019

This would be the second sighting of a Muntjac deer on the CONR, the first being three years ago. The one spotted this time was actually near to the road  by the small model railway site.

How they get into the nature reserve is still a mystery, but it’s possible they travel along the river bank.

Muntjacs, also known as barking deer and Mastreani deer, are small deer of the genus Muntiacus native to south Asia. Muntjacs are thought to have begun appearing 15–35 million years ago, with remains found in Miocene deposits in France, Germany and Poland

First swallows of 2019

The return of the swallows were noted on 13 May. For the last few years the swallows have not been as numerious as in previous years, however let’s hope that this year they will gain in numbers.

One of the theories that are doing the rounds are that there are less insects to keep the swallows in one place for very long, and each year there are fewer and fewer birds.

The swallows, martins and saw-wings, or Hirundinidae, are a family of passerine birds found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. Highly adapted to aerial feeding, they have a distinctive appearance. The term Swallow is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the barn swallow

Kestrel spotted -2019

The Kestrel has been absent fron Cherry Orchard Nature Reserve for some years now, but one was spotted hovering over the reserve today (May 4th 2019).

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, female in flight/hovering in early morning light, Hungary, May

Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 metres over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects

First Cuckoo of 2019

On the 16 April 2019 a cuckoo was heard. It seems to have stayed because it’s been heard a few times since.
The calls are used in order to demonstrate ownership of a territory and to attract a mate.

New Calor Gas Site. Trow way Diglis

On 14 June 2018 Calor Gas Limited applied to the Worcester City Council planning department for planning permission to allow their new site to start trading in Trow Way on the Diglis trading estate, Application Number (P18D0262 ).

The threat of the Calor Gas containers exploding,  potentially turning them into life threating missiles, means that the new site should have been granted planning permission under the “Health and Safety Executive”.

It was not granted planning permission under the “Health and Safety” critera instead it was granted using the “Town and Country Planning Act”

HSE is a statutory consultee under The Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015.
Calor Gas Ltd made an application (WCC Ref P18D0001) to Worcester City Council (WCC) for Hazardous Substances
Consent for land at Trow Way, Diglis, Trading Estate, WORCESTER. HSE would normally be consulted by Hazardous Substances/Local Planning Authorities through the route described in our HSE Land Use Planning (LUP) – Public Safety Advice web pages http://www.hse.gov.uk/landuseplanning/ &
http://www.hse.gov.uk/landuseplanning/contact.htm .
For reasons yet to be established HSE was consulted through HSE’s Local Birmingham Office, who did not recognise
the significance of the application and responded (not objecting) directly to WCC.
WCC granted the application, however it is noted that it has been granted under the Town and Country Planning Act
1990 and not the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990?

The danger of having a “Hazardious Substances” site on the doorsteps of the residents of Waverley Street is that they have to live with a constant threat of an explosion from the “Hazardious Substances” being stored there and the fear that an explosion could occur any time of day or night.

The Diglis.com team were made aware of this danger by local residents and have contacted Robin Walker MP, Cllr. Lynn Denham and others in a bid to obtain more clarity and to put right any underhand dealing that may have taken place with the contentious decision to allow Calor Gas to trade from this position, so near to residential properties.

Apart from the threat of an explosion, the residents have to live with the noise of containers being moved about from early morning to well after midnight. There is also the question of very bright floodlights shining into local residents windows keeping them awake at night. This light and noise pollution is unacceptable to the voters and taxpayers of the Diglis area. The Diglis.com team will campaign on behalf of the local residents for a satisfactory outcome.

The campaign to save the Saturday Skip

Monday 25th Febuary

The campaign by the Diglis.com team and local resident John Tandy to save the Waverley Street Skip seems to have paid off. Subject to the Worcester City Council application to the Environment Agency for a license. Although the skip was to reopen on the third of February, we await confirmation and will keep all updated.

Closure of the Saturday Skip

October 27th 2018

The City Council, in their debatable wisdom, have closed the skip that was open on the 3rd Saturday of each month. The residents and others have found this amenity invaluable over the years and closing it down will no doubt have repercussions by the increased amount of fly tipping that will inevitably add to the already growing problem throughout Worcestershire.

The City Council have once before tried to close the skip, but pressure from residents and Cllr. Lynn Denham with other protesters, made them back down. Unfortunately the eye was taken off the ball when the Friends of Diglis Fields assumed the role of guardians for the fields including the skip area allowing the City Council to finally close it down.

There were promises that the skip area would be a small overflow car park for the Diglis fields but that on the third Saturday in the month the skip would continue. This promise seems to have been broken leaving the Diglis residents with nowhere to get rid of rubbish that cannot be taken by the usual refuse collectors.

It now seems that there is a review in progress following concerns about health and safety! Click here for the official version.