Talk of the Trent

Discover more about the Transforming the Trent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme. Our blog posts are written by members of the Transforming the Trent Valley Team, scheme partners and volunteers.

For all the latest news about Transforming the Trent Valley, visit our news page.

Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

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A morning birding at Croxall Lakes Nature Reserve

13th March 2021
by Wildlife Recording Volunteer

Our Wildlife Recording Volunteers are an enthusiastic bunch, using their local nature reserves for daily exercise and letting us know what they see. One of our group visited Croxall Lakes recently, a Staffordshire Wildlife Trust reserve, and despite the weather, had a successful morning birding!

We set off from the carpark at 08:00 in light rain but by the time we got half way to the first hide were soaked to the skin! Fortunately the rain eased - after an hour! The wind dried us and the sun came out. Sadly not good conditions for birding. There were the usual assortment of Canada Geese and Mallard on the lake, at the car park end, and several Great Crested Grebes further out. Along with the Canadas there were two Oystercatchers on the island (which I managed to get a photograph of on the way back). The rain made it difficult to see much until we got to the river although we spotted a couple of Herons and a few Teal on the Arboretum bank. The Tame was quiet, a couple of Mute swans, more Canadas and Mallard.

In the winter, when doing a Webs survey, we would normally walk diagonally across the meadow to try and flush and get a count of Snipe. But instead, with the onset of the breeding season, we followed the path by the railway bank then along the fence line toward the second hide.

There were Shelduck on the lake, a single Little Grebe and a small group of Redshank on the edge. Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were busy in the field. The Redshank spotted us early on and quickly disappeared. The Rooks were very active in the Rookery, we reckoned there were at least twenty active nests. We followed the Mease around the back of the wood, hoping to hear Chiffchaffs but no luck! However the Redshank, five of them had returned and landed on one of the little islands in the lake, they weren't spooked and gave a good view.

Back to the cars under cloudless blue skies (for a while!) Not a huge volume of birds but with thirty-six different species a good morning's birding.

This is what we saw:

  • Canada Goose - 64 (normally in the hundreds)
  • Mallard - 18
  • Oystercatcher - 2
  • Great Crested Grebe - 5
  • Grey Heron - 2
  • Carrion Crow - 5
  • Wood Pigeon - 3
  • Cormorant - 4 (have seen over 60)
  • Blackbird - 4
  • Teal - 9
  • Chaffinch - 3
  • Dunnock - 2
  • Robin - 4
  • Pied Wagtail - 2
  • Greenfinch - 1
  • Song Thrush - 1
  • Wren - 2
  • Blue Tit - 1
  • Coot - 4
  • Great Tit - 2
  • Black Headed Gull - 3 (again a very low count)
  • Pheasant - 2
  • Greylag Goose - 4
  • Shelduck - 3
  • Meadow Pipit - 5
  • Rook - c60
  • Magpie - 2
  • Reed Bunting - 1
  • Redshank - 5
  • Tufted Duck - 4
  • Little Grebe - 1
  • Mute Swan - 2
  • Stock Dove - 2
  • Jackdaw - 2
  • Lesser Black Backed Gull - 1
  • Bullfinch - 2

© 2021 Copyright Owner


Postcards from the Riverbank

1st February 2021
by Sarah Coxon (TTTV Volunteer)

Hello everyone!

To connect our communities during this strange socially distanced time, the Tales from the Riverbank project wants to bring everyone together to share their childhood stories of play and fun along the riverbank.

This week we are launching a new creative activity where children and their wider family can come together to write postcards to us. We want to hear from you about the games you have played, the wildlife you have seen, and the places you have explored in our many rivers throughout the decades. The postcard is easy to download (many times if you wish!) and comes with some simple instructions and ideas on how to get started.

Download and Print (A4)

What funny, interesting, or unusual memories can you share?
How many of you played in rivers and never went home with a soggy bottom, unlike myself? How many of you played poo sticks, set sail to distant climes, or found treasures in the water? Have you been fishing and caught a whopper? How different are your memories from that of your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles?

Under lockdown restrictions you might be finding home learning trying at the moment, miss reminiscing with others about your shared past, or find yourself unable to go outside into nature as you once could. I'm particularly missing talking face to face with people and traveling out to the Peak District for long walks with the dogs.

But writing a postcard could be just the tonic and a new project to keep you going.

Take a break from formal learning by releasing your imagination into little stories and arty pictures. Revisit and reconnect with nature through your favourite memories. Reach out to others in your community by telling us all about the social history of the rivers in your area.

Already we have received tales about motorbike mishaps, horseshoes being found in streams, and canoeing under bridges. Can you top that?

What are your stories?
Find the download link below and start sharing your Tales from the Riverbank.

© 2021 Copyright Owner


Support Plastic Free July with Sisters Against Plastic.

7th July 2020
by Sisters Against Plastic

In 2018, my sister and I made a resolution to reduce our plastic use. To achieve that goal we made a year-long plan that worked really well for us. It worked so well in fact that I reduced my plastic use by 91% and Mary managed to reduce hers by 73%!

Here's how we did it...


Three Ways to be Kind. Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.

18th May 2020
by Nicola Lynes

Join Nicola as she explains ways to practise kindness to yourself, others and the environment on this, the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.

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