Nailsea Environment and Wildlife Trust

Our 2023 Annual Report is attached HERE.


October 2023


A group of keen volunteers from Wessex Water visited the reserve for their annual corporate volunteering day. Despite the rain, they tackled the reeds around both ponds with enthusiam, clearing a significant area of the overgrown area and clearing the waste from the meadows.

February 2023


Thanks to a donation from Waitrose, we were able to purchase 100 dogwood saplings which our volunteers planted during the February work morning at the eastern end of the meadow. We are hoping that once these grow up, they will smother the reeds that grow so strongly in this area.


We also noted the unusual scarlet elf cup fungus inside the carr. According to the Woodland Trust, it is wipespread but uncommon in Britain and can often be seen in damp, shady areas including the woodland floor.

June 2023


Very hot dry weather through May and June resulted in plants wilting in the heat. Despite this, orchids appeared from late May and 3rd May in the region of 120-130 orchids were counted across the reserve.


The workday on 3rd June was a very bearable 20 degrees, with a good turnout of 17 volunteers. All the paths around the reserve were scythed back, the usual blanket weed cleared from the top pond, the carr outflow unblocked and both sides of the boardwalk cleared of overhanging vegetation. A further attempt was made to tidy up and re-stock the insect hotel.


On 22nd May, on a lovely sunny evening, we hosted 24 members of the 1st Backwell Beavers group to do some pond dipping. They used both ponds as there were so many of them and they found a good selection of beetles, tadpoles and little fishes.


May 2023


We were sorry to announce the death of our founder member - Dr Terry Smith on 21st May 2023 at the age of 88.


Terry obtained grant funding for the purchase of the land at Moorend Spout in 2008 when it became available and to set up the Trust which has owned and managed that land as a thriving nature reserve from 2009 to the present day.


We are indebted to Terry for his hard work, commitment and vision in creating this haven for wildlife which have benefited the people of Nailsea as much as the environment.


As a lasting memorial, we have placed a small plaque on the bench by the top pond and will refurbish the earlier plaque.


July 2023


Five volunteers went to the reserve to tackle the rampant growth sprouting from the ash tree that was felled in 2021 and reduce the height of the stump. This has once again opened up the view onto the Levels as well as the new pylons.


We are also pleased to announce that four young kestrels have now fledged and departed the nest box at the eastern end of the site. Somehow we failed to notice any residents at this box until early July when Trevor Riddle and his assistant checked the box to find the four well-grown chicks.


August 2023


We held two workdays in August to tackle the vegetation: scything in the meadow, clearing the boardwalk vegetation and removing blanket weed from the pond. The reeds were cleared around the dogwood saplings that were planted earlier in the year, and these are growing well.


We received the results of the annual RiverBlitz held in July. Overall, 89% of sample locations recorded high level of nutrients across the 293 study samples. Results at Moorend Spout were much the same as previous years.


Thanks to a donation we received from Waitrose, we were able to commission the Nailsea Shedders to build a metal scuplture of our logo, and so the sculpture of a damsellfy has now been installed on the fence at the entrance to the meadow.


September 2023


Hilary helped our regular volunteer Melissa to install a Bat Detector device for the second year. After the success of last year’s survey, we were apprehensive about getting good results again, as rain was forecast at times all week. It was set up in the same place as last year and set to run for 6 nights.  The study has now been taken over by Bath University in conjunction with North Somerset Council.


The distribution of species varied on different nights, probably due to the weather, but the results were outstanding – 895 bat recordings in total, with 12 different species of Bat being recorded, some in very small numbers and the most frequent being the Common and Soprano Pipistrelles. Two new bat species were recorded this year compared to last: Greater Horseshoe and Natterer's.


The survey also recorded small mammals, including Wood Mouse, Common Shrew, Eurasian Pygmy Shrew and Yellow-necked Mouse. Two new species of bush-crickets to the site were also potentially recorded: Grey Bush-cricket and Roesel's Bush-cricket.