West Wickham Common Newsletter – December 2020

Open Space Strategy Consultation
14th November 2020
West Wickham Commons Newsletter January 2021
9th January 2021
Thanks to all who took part in our consultation 
The consultation for our 10-year plan guiding our work on Spring Park and West Wickham Common from 2021 to 2031 is now closed – we’ve had a good number of responses and it has been really encouraging to hear your thoughts and views on the proposed plans for managing the two sites through the next decade. 

The online survey covered some of the main actions of the plan and provided the vision to conserve Spring Park and West Wickham Common’s wonderful habitats, historical elements and facilities for people to visit, enjoy and cherish for many years to come.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the West Wickham Commons team on 01372 279083 or email city.commons@cityoflondon.gov.uk.
goldcrest sitting on twig

Golden time for spotting birds
The falling leaves make spotting our feathered friends easier at this time of year including the Goldcrest, the smallest bird in the UK. At just 9cm in length and weighing approximately 5.5g, which is the equivalent of a twenty pence coin, these birds are somewhat trickier to spot when trees still have their leaves. If not for the fiery orange stripe along its head, the Goldcrest would be a somewhat mute-looking bird, with nothing more than a dull greyish-green plumage with which to advertise its appearance. 

Their numbers grow over autumn and winter, as individuals flock together and the population tends to increase significantly with migrants from Scandinavia. Goldcrests are resident in the UK all year round and can be observed meandering among woodlands (particularly coniferous woods), and occasionally in gardens over winter; take note, they favour spruce, fir and pine (of which there are a few scattered on West Wickham Common!).
butterfly eggs on blackthorn

Breeding butterfly success 
It has been another good year for brown hairstreak butterflies at Spring Park following a November count of eggs laid on young blackthorn. From just one inconspicuous thicket of blackthorn, 69 tiny white eggs were found with another 27 recorded on the roadside verge. This makes Spring Park the best colony in the South East London and Kent region again for a 2nd year! There are still more counts of the site to come, so with any luck the number might rise further. Creating and maintaining the right habitat for these butterflies to breed is key to our management plan for Spring Park over the next decade. Hopefully, this will give a fighting chance of boosting the population of this wonderful butterfly species that is widely disappearing in England. 

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