Earlswood Wildlife Partnership
Contact us at: ewp2010@btinternet.com or on 07528 595444       Newsletter 14

It has been quite a while since the last newsletter and the summer may now be over but we did have had a decent summer this year and it seems there were quite a few butterflies around particularly the whites and Small Tortoiseshell – hopefully this will show up in our Butterfly survey.

Moth Night – 13th July
An excellent evening of moth trapping in Clowes Wood with 64 species recorded including Northern Spinach, Beautiful Snout and Sharp-angled Carpet which particularly pleased county recorder David Brown.
(If you would like a complete list of the species caught, please let me know)

Our bat walks continue to be very popular with 50 people attending the latest one! Once again the bats did not let us down and the following were recorded:-
Soprano Pipistrelle     =    108 files recorded (first bat appeared at 8.28pm)
Common Pipistrelle   =    43 files recorded   (first bat appeared at 9.05pm)
Daubenton’s bat         =    2 files recorded    (first bat appeared at 8.45pm)
Noctule                        =    5 files recorded   (first bat appeared at 8.37pm)
Brown Long-eared bat   =    2 files recorded  (first bat appeared at 8.58pm)
Thanks again to Paul for his excellent and informative commentary.

As part of a research project run by Phil Brown of Bristol University, two harp  traps were set up in Clowes Wood. In all eight bats were caught representing five different species:-
3 Noctule                                        
2 Brown long-eared
1 Soprano Pipistrelle
1 Daubenton’s
1 Natterer’s                                                                 

Birding for Beginners
Our first “Birding for Beginners” course was organised and run by Tony Philp. The course, which was fully booked, included basic information about equipment and field craft and was followed by a walk showing the various habitats around the Lakes. The course was well received by those who attended. Many thanks to Tony and Matt for their time and expertise.
Evening Chorus walk
As an easy alternative to a dawn chorus walk, this year we ran an evening chorus walk in Clowes Wood and were rewarded with a good sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!
We know this species has bred in the wood this year and there have also been recent sightings of Spotted Flycatcher and Black Tern in the area. You can always keep up to date with local bird sightings by following Matt’s blog at:-

More than 40 people attended the AGM in June and were treated to an excellent talk given by Paul Wilkinson on the wildlife of the West Midlands canals.

Earlswood Fete
Once again we had a stall at the Earlswood fete in June which attracted many people and the aquarium, with wildlife taken from the lakes, was very popular. Thanks to the fete committee for their donation towards specialist nest boxes which we intend to install around the lakes. Special thanks to Brenda, Paul, Ron, Cathy, Izumi and Len for helping out on the day.

Dates for your Diary
Bat Survey – Saturday 21st September 10am meet at Malthouse Lane car park

Bob Roberts (Membership Secretary)
CLARIFICATION has been sought after comments from the Government’s planning chief appeared to cast doubt on a policy to build thousands of Redditch homes over the border in Bromsgrove.
Councillors in Bromsgrove are set to vote on Wednesday (September 25) about whether to allow 3,400 homes to be sited in Foxlydiate but confusion has arisen after Nick Boles, Minister for Planning and Development, appeared to suggest councils did not need to take other authorities’ houses if they were planned for green belt areas.
If confirmed, it could affect both Bromsgrove’s Local Plan - which sets out where housing should be built in 2030 and has been influenced by their duty to accommodate neighbouring Redditch’s housing need - and the plan for Redditch, which relies on cross-border growth to meet the forecast need for 6,400 extra homes in the next two decades and has already been given the green light by borough councillors.
Malcolm Glainger, chair of the Bentley Area Action Group, called for the Bromsgrove decision next week to be halted to allow senior officers time to meet with Mr Boles and clarify whether they were obliged to take on Redditch homes in light of the comments, which were then seemingly contradicted by a blog post on the Conservative home website, which suggested conserving the green belt was not a good enough excuse to stop new homes being built.
Mr Glainger said: “Perhaps if members are more fully informed at the Bromsgrove District Council meeting, they themselves will have serious questions of their own and may arrive at a different conclusion.
“The people of Bromsgrove are being sleepwalked into the building of a new town of perhaps 10,000 people. It’s time to wake up.”
He added if Redditch councillors had been aware of the potential issue when they had voted through their own Local Plan the outcome may have been different.
Coun Roger Hollingworth, leader of Bromsgrove District Council, said officers were clear in their view the Bromsgrove plan, including the Redditch growth aspect, met the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework including the green belt policy.
“However comments attributed to planning minister Nick Boles had created some mixed messages around the issues and so I asked the government to clarify the position. A meeting has been organised in London next month and I have instructed senior officers to attend so they can hear what is said first hand.
“Meanwhile the council will vote next week on whether to approve the plan to the next representation period, which would provide the opportunity for anyone who thinks the plan is unsound for any reason to raise their issues. Ultimately it will be the Planning Inspectorate that decides whether the plan is sound.”

Read more: Doubts about green belt policy after minister comments | Redditch Standard