Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve

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01/05/17 Dudley Borough Trial. Another year supporting the Borough Trail with a much-needed refreshment stop promoting the Wrens Nest. Blessed with glorious sunshine, with a considerable 'breeze' at times, we served over 300 drinks and biscuits, with Elaine and Paul enthusiastically engaging with the thirsty walkers. Raised over £80 in donations for the Reserve.
Unfortunately, the Dawn Chorus Walk has had to be cancelled this year due to lack of numbers. 4:30 start on a Saturday is a big ask we know, but is well worth it, as those who have done it will testify. We'll need to do a better job of promoting next year! 
 
13/03/17 Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust are inviting local residents, schools, community groups and creative groups to participate in their upcoming community project, Limestone Links. They want to highlight how the limestone of Castle Hill, Wrens Nest, Hurst Hill and Sedgley Beacon has influenced how our area has developed.
You can send in a poem, story or drawing/painting. They're going to display the work in their visitor centre and gather the written responses into an e-book. Let's make sure the Wrens Nest is represented!! Closing date: 31 July 2017.

Send your entries to holly@dctt.org.uk or:
Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust
501 Birmingham New Road
Dudley
West Midlands
DY1 4SB

16/01/16 Apologies for the gap since the last update. We started the year off with a great turnout for the HEDGE LAYING event with over 20 people turning out to try their hand at it. Good to see Friends of Alder Coppice attend. They were rewarded with great weather and copius amounts of tea and biscuits plus marshmallows toasted on the brushwood fire. As usual, Ian, Dave and Rob provided the tools and expert instruction (thanks lads!).  A great day was had by all. Check out our FACEBOOK page for photos!
 
04/05/15  A return of the FRIENDS v ARMY CADETS LITTER PICK CHALLENGE this weekend. Come on down and join us! Look out for the other events due soon on the events page and FACEBOOK.

03/05/15  The DUDLEY BOROUGH TRAIL has come and gone again with the Friends manning a refreshment stall to promote the Reserve. The forecast was grim but it turned out to be a lovely day with over £70 raised in donations with lots of good humour from the Friends and walkers.

22/01/15  We are pleased to announce that the wardens are once again providing us with a HEDGE LAYING opportunity this year, Saturday 31 January.
If you've done it before and enjoyed it, or would like to come along and see what it's all about/learn this ancient skill, why not join us?: full training and supervision will be provided.
Numbers are restricted and the event will be opened up to the public, so don't delay in reserving your place by calling 07768 487382 by Monday 26 January.

05/08/14 Friends of Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve were recognised at the Green Spaces Awards ceremony, last Friday.
It was the sixth time that Dudley Council's Parks Development Team have organised the event, designed to thank the many volunteers who make a big difference to green spaces in the borough.
Congratulations to all those present, including Friends of Cotwall End Valley Local Nature Reserve..., who won the Epic Events and Activities Award, and Friends of Wordsley Park, recognised for their use of IT and work with children and young people.
Councillor Tracy Wood, cabinet member for environment and culture, said:"The contribution that the volunteers make to our communities is invaluable. Well done to the winners, but also to everyone for their continued support."
A number of endeavours by Friends of Wren's Nest were also recognised, including the tremendous contribution made by the monthly litter pickers (Linda Hunt and her team) and the engagement with local young people (the
Litter Pick Challenge: Friends v Army Cadets, an event which will be repeated later this year).
Unfortunately only 4 tickets were allocated to us at this year's event, but a full table allocation has been requested at future events.
The certificate and award is to be displayed at the wardens' base.

28/10/13 We can’t believe it!! Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve is on a par with the Aurora Borealis, the Giant’s Causeway and more of nature’s greatest wonders – that’s what it says in a new magazine called ‘Land Love’, Nov/Dec2013 issue (available from newsagents for £3.85). The article which refers to the Wren’s Nest begins with the wording ‘From weather and wildlife to countryside and coastline, we discover Mother Nature at her best in our TOP 10 GREATEST NATURAL SPECTACLES from around the UK and IRELAND!.  The fabulous photo was taken by our very own Alison Wilkes, Community Development Officer. Of course, we knew it belonged there already – didn’t we?!  Now we just need to let others in on the secret!

Thanks to Phil (Machin) for leading a great WALK on Saturday! 13 adults and 7 children took part, most of whom had visited our stand at the recent Dudley Rock & Fossil Festival and were keen to experience the delights of Wren's Nest NNR at first hand. Everyone particularly enjoyed the opportunity to look for fossils, resulting in some super finds.
The event was oversubscribed and we unfortunately had to turn some people away, but there's already another date in the diary (1 DEC) and we'll be planning more in the future - including, perhaps, a ‘trilobile trot' for the younger participants, who don't necessarily want the whole geological experience. That said, all of the children seemed to enjoy today's walk - one, aged 8, said "Today was the best day!" We even had a 1yr old taking part today - a first for us, a buggy on the walk! It just shows, no-one is too young - or too old - to enjoy the delights of the Wren's Nest NNR, and it got us thinking ... we should perhaps investigate the possibility of setting up a regular ‘buggy amble', like some other Reserves!

13/10/13 Good turn-out for th LITTER PICK CHALLENGE against the ARMY CADETS with over 40 bags of rubbish collected by all. The Army won the day- just! Weather wasn't great but it didn't dampen anybody's enthusiasm. Good to see such a great attitude from the cadets. Check out the Facebook site for some photos later today.

02/10/13 Anyone interested? We've been notified that a training day on LIME MORTAR & HISTORIC BUILDINGS is hopefully taking place soon at Priory Park, Dudley. The training is designed to increase knowledge of historic buildings and enablepark staff and volunteers to feel confident in carrying out minor repairs to the priory ruins should any stones become loose in the future - thereby preventing dislodgedstones being removed and preserving the ruins.
It will be conducted by the person responsible for completing this summer's restoration and stabilisation works: it's weather-dependent, but is planned to take place in October (possibly 8th or 15th).
The event is free of charge, and if you would like to register your interest, please contact Lydia Allt, Senior Park Ranger, Priory Park on 01384 812474 / 07557 323171

01/10/13 IIt's official! Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve is one of the best green spaces in the country!
It's just received a prestigious GREEN FLAG AWARD from the environmental charity ‘Keep Britain Tidy'. This is a national award, handed out only to those green spaces which can boast the highest possible standards of maintenance. Not only is this a tribute to the hard work put in by the Reserve's resident wardens on a daily basis, it's also testament to the contribution made by the Friends of Wren's Nest National Reserve hardy litter pickers, who turn out once a month on Tuesday mornings, regardless of the weather! The Green Flag award scheme is run on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government in partnership with a number of agencies, including the National Housing Federation and the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. It doesn't stop here! Awards are given on an annual basis, and winners have to apply each year to renew their Green Flag Status, so let's keep it up! Once again, a special word of thanks to Linda Hunt and her team of litter pickers!

GREEN WOODWORKING DAY. Why weren't you there? If you had been, you'd have gone home having learnt a new skill - and the proud maker/owner of some wonderful pieces, eg spoon, spatula, mallet, all made by your own fair hands, expertly taught by Craig Wood from The Wildlife Trust.
The latest event at WNNNR was a ‘Green Woodworking Day'. Green woodworking refers to the state of the wood, meaning wood from freshly felled trees or branches. In its fresh state, wood can be easily worked, using a variety of hand tools. Those who participated, sitting outside in the late summer sunshine, certainly enjoyed the day -and were justifiably proud of their handiwork!
Would you like to know more, or are keen to take part in something similar? Please contact Alison Wilkes, Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve, on 01384 812785.

9/08/13 Make sure you check out the upcoming events!  Lots of interesting events - an ARMY CADETS V FRIENDS LITTER PICK CHALLENGE, a GREEN WOODWORKING COURSE, a GUIDED WALK, and more!

For anyone interested in geology, then the DUDLEY ROCK & FOSSIL FESTIVAL is an absolute 'must' - Dudley Town Hall/Dudley Museum & Art Gallery, SATURDAY & SUNDAY 28/29 SEPTEMBER.  Visit
www.discoverdudley.org/rockandfossil for more info, or call 01384 815575.
One more thing! 
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has funded various works at Wren's Nest NNR , but now we need to get an idea of how many people are using the site via a SURVEY, when and what for ... and we need help!  At some sites, electronic counters are used for this purpose, but that isn't possible at the Wren's Nest, because there are so many entrances.  We'd like to be able to do this ourselves,but need the proper training.  A WORKSHOP is planned for SATURDAY 9th NOVEMBER - don't worry, there's no commitment if you do the training and then find out that surveying isn't for you!  Please contact Alison on 01384 81285 to find out more. 

15/06/13 The second of the GUIDED WALKS with another good turnout of 16 adults and 2 children. Phil and Paul were this weeks Walk Leaders. Weather was not as kind as last week but the 'shower' did not dampen anybodies enthusiasim or enjoyment. "The best day ever!" ... in the words of Oliver, one of the 2 children who took part. His highlight was his great fossil find!

More GUIDED WALKS to be planned for the coming months!

09/06/13 First of the 2 GUIDED WALKS planned for June. A great turnout of 25 adults and 11 children were rewarded with glorious sunshine for the day. Friends, Paul and John, led 2 groups on the tour around the Wren's Nest.

08/06013 Friends embrace the world of social media by taking the tentative first steps of launching a FACEBOOK page! (www.facebook.com/FOWNNNR)

05/05/13 Friends manned a refreshment stand on the last leg of the 12 and 26 mile DUDLEY BOROUGH TRAIL today to promote forthcoming GUIDED WALKS on JUNE 9th and 15th and also provide much needed drinks and biscuits to over 270 grateful walkers. Almost £70 was raised from donations, with a high level of interest shown in the guided walks. We therefore look forward to a good turnout, with plenty of spaces available!

25/04/13 Another great QUIZ NIGHT! 12 teams competed in a close contest. Over £120 raised! Good to see more new faces. Another one to follow...

18/04/13 Later than expected but QUIZ NIGHT date now set for THURSDAY APRIL 25th at 8pm!  Come and bring your friends for a fun night testing your general knowledge against other Friends. £5 per team, maximum of 6 per team.


31/01/13 Unfortunately, due to the weather, we' were unable to set a date for the HEDGE PLANTING event in January.


16/12/12 Second TRILOBITE & MINCE PIE walk saw a high turn-out of 30, ranging in age from 8 to 75, greeted by great weather. Due to the numbers, 2 groups went out with Paul leading his second walk and Phil and John taking the other. Great time had by all, especially 10 year old Austin from Shrewsbury and 8 year old Stan who were overjoyed with their fossil finds.
The TREE PLANTING continued with another 100 trees planted with a small number of Friends helping out Rob and Jess. with a particularly concerted effort from Friend Ian. They were later joined by some of the Trilobite & Mince Pie walkers who helped to finish off the planting. Amongst them were Benji and his dad, Andrew, who planted a group of trees in memory of Benji's grandad. 

09/12/12 First TRILOBITE & MINCE PIE walk with a good turn-out (14) for Friends' guides, Phil and John. Thoroughly enjoyed by all. Phil and John have a wealth of knowledge on the Reserve and are always looking to add to it so you can always learn something new when you visit.
Also, the TREE PLANTING got underway today. Friends joined Ian and Jess to plant around 100 trees (cherry, hazel, rowan and hawthorn).

22/11/12  NEW EVENTS FOR 2013! Hedgelaying, Lime Kiln cleaning and Quiz Night on their way! Check out Upcoming Events page for dates!

22/11/12  DATES FOR TREE PLANTING! DEC9th and 16th. Your chance to plant trees allocated to the Wren's Nest to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubiliee. Put the dates in your diary now!

22/11/12  2nd WEEKEND LITTER PICK. Low numbers (7), but a hardy bunch, turned up to help wardens Ian and Rob. Weather was chilly but kind (started to rain just as we finished). Collected 24 bags of rubbish plus assorted larger items (another push-chair!). Super effort from all, particularily first-timer Bill. 

29/09/12 MEMBERSHIP FEES are now due, £3 per person, £5 per family. Please make cheques payable to Friends of Wren's Nest. Either pass on to Paul, Elaine or John. Alternatively, send to the address below.

Friends of Wren's Nest 
c/o Wren's Nest Wardens' Service
Dudley MBC
Claughton House
Blowers Green Road
Dudley
DY2 8UZ 

29/09/12 TREE PLANTING. Jess has had confirmation of the delivery of over 400 trees for planting at the Wrens's Nest to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (to include a Royal Oak). Dates for tree planting to be arranged; keep checking the website for dates!

29/09/12 First WEEKEND LITTER PICK saw 11 Friends turnout with glorious weather. Collected over 20 bags of litter (plus a football and a pushchair!).
29/09/12 BAT & MOTH night had a good turnout but most bats decided to stay indoors. Better luck next time.

29/09/12 QUIZ NIGHT raised just over £100! Great turnout with 10 teams competing.

16/11/12 RARE BAT FOUND - A Lesser Horshoe Bat has been found on the Wrens Nest Reserve. It is one of the smallest bats in Britain and has only previously been found in Wales and Western England.

Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve