Nice sightings include a Kingfisher seen occasionally at Mill Hill Lane bridge, and once even in Beech Wood; 9 Common Spotted Orchids in Sandbach Park; frequent Banded Demoiselle dragonflies along the brook (all Trail routes); and (16/7/2021) unusually, an Emperor Dragonfly patrolling a short stretch of the canal just on the Elworth side of the Wheelock road bridge! George
Saturday, 17 July 2021
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
We are now on Facebook! - just click on the right to go to our SWWG group page. BUT this blog will stay in operation as a place to find links to our free downloadable Trail guides (via tab or on right), and as an information store; and occasional nature articles may still be posted here. But for a busy view of Sandbach woodland and wildlife and lots of friends, just press the button!
Thursday, 8 October 2020
Work continues in Filter Bed Wood on the Sandbach Woodland and Wildlife Group's Sandbach Bridges Trail (East), which will complement the existing Sandbach Bridges Trails (North) and (South), the Brook Wood Trail, the Sandbach Environment Trail created by the Friends of A Rocha group and of course the very popular Wheelock Rail Trail managed by Cheshire East Council.
This image from near to Filter Bed Wood shows a magnificent Giant Horsetail that demonstrates how challenging the natural world finds it to live alongside us humans nowadays. The height of the plant can be judged by comparison with the (standard size) traffic cone that someone had abandoned deep in the woodland....
Sunday, 23 August 2020
As we all know, our local wildlife has flourished during lockdown this spring and summer. I have photographed some nice wild flowers along the nature trails in Brook Wood and Dingle Wood, including Moschatel. Sweet Violet is well established on the Rail Trail. Tawny Owls are often heard around the Park area and a young Great Spotted Woodpecker was there. A Kingfisher has been seen flying up the valley to the old mill pool above the weir on Mill Hill Lane. (Grey Wagtails nest there too, and at Brook Bridge). A fine colony of Butterbur grows by the river below the Wheelock football field. Little Owls may have nested not far from the Queens Drive estate. Not all of our wildlife has appeared naturally. Several spikes of Common Spotted Orchid flowered in the wildlife area of Sandbach Park; they had been planted there but are from local rescues and we wish them very well for the future - they look nicely settled.
But elsewhere, I found an even stranger artificial delivery today when a shocked dog-walker outside my house pointed out two Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars on the grass by the road! I attach a couple of pictures.The larger stretched to some four inches long (when it felt like it). I can only think they must have been dumped there by some equally shocked person who found them in their garden. I looked up their food plant on Google, and discovered to my delight that one plant which Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars will consume is Himalayan Balsam! So they are now chomping away not far from here on one of Sandbach's most pervasive pests. That's the sort of biological control measure that I like! I hope you see one of the moths later.
Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars: