Welcome to the Carsington Bird Club website, containing information about the club, Carsington Water, latest bird sightings and much more!


 Posted by on November 26, 2015  Carsington Bird Club, Events, Things To Do  Comments Off on EVENT REMINDER
Nov 262015

CBC Indoor Meeting Schedule for 2015

All CBC meetings are held in the ‘Henmore Room’ in Carsington Water’s main centre and they start at 19.30h. Entrance fee is £2.00 to members and £2.50 to guests – Parking is free.

Dates for the Autumn meetings are:

December 15th – ‘Coombes Valley’ by Paul Bennett

Please contact Peter Gibbon at peter.gibbon@w3z.co.uk with any queries or for further information.

CBC Newsletter – No 4 / November 2015

 Posted by on November 26, 2015  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on CBC Newsletter – No 4 / November 2015
Nov 262015


Last week as my wife and I spent a relaxing half-term in a converted Shiel (a salmon netting station) right beside the River Tweed in Berwick I picked up my Guardian newspaper and read an article over two pages with the headline ‘Puffins at risk of being wiped out, conservation experts warn’. A large colour photo of twelve birds accompanied the feature, which described how the Atlantic Puffin has, for the first time, been added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of species at risk of being wiped out.

The crash in Puffin numbers in Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, which together hold 80% of the European population, has been linked to climate change and fishing practices. In the UK, there have been significant losses on Fair Isle and Shetland, though elsewhere numbers are better. Other species added to this list were European Turtle Dove (90% decline in UK since 1970s), Slavonian Grebe and Pochard. The Puffin was obviously highlighted because of its iconic status in our culture and because it is one of our nation’s favourite birds.

This bad news is part of an ever changing picture of loss and gains in nature that people (of my age in particular) have been following over the years. On 4th November, the BBC breakfast programme had news that Goldfinch numbers are increasing dramatically and experts want our help because the thinking is feeding birds in our gardens is possibly the main cause of this increase. There are now 2,000 pairs of Red Kites soaring above us and 100 pairs of White-tailed Eagles after ‘rewilding’ initiatives.

Climate change has produced increasingly regular visits to Carsington by Little Egrets, Great White Egrets more occasionally (though as recently as 30th October) and even a Cattle Egret last year. Even more surprising, a pair of Bee-eaters bred at a quarry in Cumbria. This was only the sixth attempt at breeding in the UK.

Underlining such positive trends, one of our reasons for staying in a Shiel was to watch out for otters. The very first morning, while we were getting ready for breakfast at 7.30, one turned up just opposite; it was only 20 yards away, swimming up and down and catching fish. After 20 minutes it went further up river and out of sight, but the next morning, at virtually the same time and in the same place, it was there again. This time it came out of the water and walked about on the shore, enabling us to take a picture, before we saw it for the last time two days later.

In late May this year I also watched an otter for almost an hour from a hide at RSPB Leighton Moss. If anybody had told me, even ten years ago, that I would be watching otters quite easily and in two entirely different parts of England, I would probably have said ‘no way’! With such a remarkable increase in the numbers and spread of this species, let us hope the same can happen to the Puffin.

Peter Gibbon



Although monthly totals for September and October were lower than usual, the quality of sightings was high. Great White Egret and Stonechat turned up in each month, a Marsh Harrier joined the final Osprey of the year as raptor highlights in September, while October brought two site firsts as a Ring Ouzel joined a Blackbird influx on Stones Island on the 12th and, eight days later, a report of a Yellow-browed Warbler was recorded.

November then got very exciting with two Water Rails calling in Hopton Reed bed on the 2nd, a site-first Red-throated Pipit flying over Stones Island on the 13th was identified by its call, the first Great Northern Diver returned on the 15th, and two days later three juvenile Shags were the first of that species at Carsington since 2008. Fourteen Whooper Swans showed up on the 20th, while the weekend of 21-22nd was diver time, as up to six Great Northerns were seen on one day, albeit two simply flew through, and a Red-Throated turned up, though it stayed for a miserly 20 minutes.

Reed Warblers were feeding fledged young in Hopton Reedbed up to 20th September – the latest record at Carsington, and three birds overflying on 25th October was the second latest Swallow record. October registered the last Blackcap record of the year on the 12th, and two days later the first Brambling arrived along with a sizeable group of Fieldfare; inevitably, Redwings were noted the following day.

The growing number and variety of wildfowl is evident as winter approaches. Up to 128 Pochard, 145 Wigeon, 242 Teal, 246 Tufted Duck and 148 Mallard have been counted, along with good numbers of Gadwall, Goosander and Goldeneye, while among the more unusual ducks, Red-Crested Pochard, Red-Breasted Merganser and Common Scoter have featured. November’s count of Coot topped 1,100 and there was also a massive count of 620 Canada Geese recorded in October, when 53 Pink Footed Geese also flew through on the 19th.

Two species that had fared badly during recent years seem to be recovering nicely (maybe because of the disappearance of the voracious Yellow-legged Gull ‘Brutus’), as Moorhen numbers have reached double figures, and Little Grebes have attained very healthy levels, with 32 counted in October when 50 of their Great-crested cousins were also noted.

The reservoir’s had a very poor wader count this year, however, though 210 Lapwings were noted on 29th October – the same day the latest-ever Curlew Sandpiper was spotted – and Golden Plover, Snipe and Dunlin have featured reasonably regularly among the sightings.

Hopton Reedbed is becoming an increasingly popular place, and 300 Starlings roosted there on 6th November. A huge flock of 3,500 Woodpigeons flew through in late November, and parties of Lesser Redpoll have been seen or heard regularly on Stones Island.

As many as 11 Buzzards have been recorded in the skies at any one time, and Hobby (6th September), Merlin (two sightings in October and November) and Peregrine (several records) were other raptor highlights.



The talks at our club meetings in October and November were both fascinating and educational, explaining what we do know – and the huge amount we still don’t know – about the life of birds.

In October, ‘Bird Flight’ by Jeff Blincow was the centrepiece of our annual joint meeting with Derbyshire Ornithological Society – and below is a summary by Bryan Barnacle, Chairman of DOS, who was one of the 25-plus audience that enjoyed Jeff’s talk ….

A presentation that starts with the assertion that birds have evolved from dinosaurs is bound to capture attention and Jeff Blincow’s talk was certainly different. We progressed through the evolution of flight, starting with insects and progressing through mammals (bats) to a detailed concentration on birds. In parts, the explanations were technical but Jeff’s genial style meant that his analysis of anatomical differences and physiology came in easily understandable words.

There were many photo images, covering birds from most parts of the globe. Many were excellent shots (one of a Sun Bittern was quite stunning) but it was fascinating to hear about those that pleased Jeff the most. Like so many of his peers, he often spends patient hours trying to get one particular shot but in his case this is regularly focused on capturing a particular aspect of flight control. Examples of this, showed herons compacting their necks to improve streamlining and geese in flight benefiting from the “V” formation, which produces a 25% reduction in the energy expended by most of a skein.

Even more impressive, and surely more difficult to capture, were shots showing birds with the alula (a structure of four small feathers at the base of the wing) extended in order to control the airflow over the leading edge of the wing. This principle has been copied by man during the design of aircraft.

In November, the often-mysterious world of bird migration was the subject of a fascinating talk by Nigel Slater (who joked that he’d not brought any cookery books with him!). Nigel covered a huge amount of ground – both actually and metaphorically – during an hour and three-quarter’s talk … and you sensed he could have continued for well into the night if we’d not told him to aim for a 9.30 finish!

Nigel gave us some history of mankind’s fascination about why birds apparently disappear for half of the year (and amusing reasons once believed to be true, such as swallows hibernating in mud at the bottom of ponds!), and stated the surprising fact that it was not until the early years of the 20th century that bird ringing began to demonstrate some of the amazing feats of migration tackledby birds sometimes weighing only a few grams.

He described experiments that concluded birds seem to rely on genetically implanted information – using techniques like reading the stars and the earth’s magnetic field to get from A to B – and trotted out some of the astonishing routes and distances undertaken by birds like Arctic Tern, Red-necked Phalarope and even tiny hummingbirds.

Modern tracking techniques are now accelerating our knowledge enormously, he added, illustrating this with the heart-warming story of the Sociable Plover, only 200 of which were believed to be left in existence, until a tracker took some RSPB overseas staff to a remote wetland between Syria and Turkey, and they discovered a flock of 3,000 birds!



We birdwatchers are all about experiencing nature first hand. As we spend more time than most out of doors, watching birds and other wildlife in their often fairly remote home environments, we are also in the privileged position of being able to spot and, therefore, help stop crimes against wildlife.

Much of the UK population may not even realise that there are laws protecting our feathered and furry friends: anything from animal theft and poaching to raptor persecution and the destruction of sensitive wildlife habitats can be an offence under laws such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act and other statutes.

A group within the Derbyshire Police are dedicated to minimising wildlife crime across the county. They are passionate about the natural world and volunteer to undertake these secondary duties over and above their main police job. The policing of wildlife crime is thinly funded, but thankfully the Derbyshire commissioner is more understanding than most and makes available what resources he can.

We, in turn, can help them by being vigilant, by reporting direct threats to animals and birds or, indeed, suspicious behaviour and activities that may warrant further investigation. Most of us may never have seen a spring trap first hand, but we would probably recognise what it’s designed to do, and could disarm it with a stick or stone to eliminate the immediate threat to the next animal that happened along. Similarly, without risking our own health and safety, we could cover up obviously poisoned bait intended to kill wildlife such as birds of prey should we encounter this in the field,

Most importantly, though, we can provide details for the ‘wildlife police’ to use to pursue and prosecute wildlife criminals. The means to do so would normally be to ring 101 (999 is strictly for emergencies) and give the number of your local police contact. The list below details those with wildlife policing responsibilities is areas within a broad radius of Carsington; any would be happy to hear from you with information about an offence or suspicious behaviour …



PC 1921 Karl Webster, Matlock
PC 2581 Emerson Buckingham
PC 14281 Andrew Shaw


PC 1288 John Bointon
PCSO 12705 Tamsyn Bell-Heather


PC 2283 Richard Siddall, Ripley
PC 2049 Miriam Roche, Ripley


PC 2493 Steve Clarke
PC 2975 Steve O’Callaghan
Clay Cross

PCSO 4412 Mike Coates, Clay Cross


PC 14051 Gemma Rice (St Mary’s Wharf)
PC 2917 Joanne Kelly (Cotton Lane)
PC 14347 Claire Starr, Peartree


There are lots of unsung heroes who come to Carsington Water to do great work without many of our visitors fully understanding just how much we have come to rely on them to keep the site safe and looking great.

Our Volunteer Rangers, the Parkwood Conservation Volunteers and the Derbyshire Community Payback Team have all been visiting Carsington for years, working on an astounding variety of vital tasks.

One group that deserves a special mention is the dedicated band of Volunteer Rangers who staff the Wildlife Centre on Tuesdays and Sundays throughout the year. I’m sure most birders will know the team and the work they do but for everyone else it’s worth taking time to mention their fantastic work.

Many of the Wildlife Centre Volunteers initially joined a Severn Trent Water/RSPB partnership scheme called Aren’t Birds Brilliant. When this came to an end over four years ago the team joined Severn Trent Water’s Volunteer Rangers.

The team engages with all of our visitors from weekly regulars to high-season crowds, from coach groups to school groups, never failing to share their enthusiasm for this site, its water and its wildlife.

They are very careful to allow visitors to learn for themselves, lending binoculars, telescopes and field guides, and offering tips and advice and knowledge of the site when needed. In the summer they answer countless questions about why the water levels are low and in the winter they’re often the first port of call for the hundreds of people who come to see the Great Northern Diver.

While visitor numbers vary, the Wildlife Centre Volunteers engage with as many as 1,500 people per month and, at peak times, can host over 400 people in a day! A sign of what a fixture they have become is the fact that school groups will now enquire whether the Wildlife Centre Volunteers are available on the specific days they plan to visit.

As well as ensuring so many visitors have a great day out, the volunteers also submit some invaluable records to the Carsington Bird Club whether it’s via their twice weekly species count or by bringing to attention something a little bit more unusual like a passing Cuckoo, a visiting Snow Bunting, or a lingering escapee.

Over the years they’ve witnessed species trends at the reservoir – like the dwindling presence of Little Owls while others like Little Egrets are arriving in greater numbers. They’ve watched the Black-headed Gulls colonise the tern raft and the Yellow-legged Gulls terrorise the Little Grebes!

So if you’re visiting Carsington on a Tuesday or a Sunday and would like to know more about Carsington Water and its varied birdlife make your way to the Wildlife Centre where you’re guaranteed a warm welcome.

John Matkin, Severn Trent Water



Fabulous photographer Paul Hobson, also a regular speaker during our indoor season (and who’ll be with us again next autumn), has just published a new book designed to increase field skills and techniques of those who enjoy wildlife photography. Paul focuses less on the lenses, cameras, exposure and composition, and more on how to get close to the wildlife subjects, offering practical guidance – via projects and tips – allowing mastery of some of the arts of field craft.

The 232-page hardback book costs £16.99 from bookshops, £19.99 from Paul’s website (www.paulhobson.co.uk) which includes packaging and postage, or he’s selling it at a discounted price of £16 at any of his talks, the programme of which is also viewable on his website.



CBC’s winter programme of talks continues either side of Christmas, and we can look forward to varied subject matter. The January talk will be preceded by our Annual General Meeting, so if you want to hear a summary of where the club is at, or make a point about our organisation, please remember to come along half-an-hour earlier than usual – at 7pm. All our meetings are held in the Visitor Centre’s Henmore Room:

15 December                        ‘A New Challenge’ (Coombes Valley) by Paul Bennett

19 January                               AGM followed by Gannets & Bass Rock by Peter Gibbon

(Unfortunately, there will be no meeting in February)

Severn Trent Water, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB and New Leaf Catering also stage one-off or regular activities. To check if events need booking, call 01629 540696 (STW), 01773 881188 (DWT) or 01629 540363 (New Leaf). The programme for the next three months is:

First Sunday of month – Birdwatching for Beginners with STW ranger – Meet Visitor Centre (10am-12 noon)

First Sunday of month – Optics demonstrations –  RSPB shop, Visitor Centre (10am-4pm)

Every Tuesday/Sunday – Wildlife Centre volunteers on parade – Wildlife Centre (10am-3pm)

Third Saturday of month –    ‘Forest School’ (three sessions during the day) – Millfields car park (contact DWT)

1 December – Nature Tots: Rocking Robins (charge applies) – 10.30am-noon (contact DWT)

11 December – Jazz Evening (tickets available to book) – From 7pm (contact New Leaf)

29 January 2016 – Wildlife gardening (charge applies) – 10.30am-1pm (contact DWT)

1 February – Nature Tots: Plant Power – 10.30am-noon (contact DWT)

13-21 February – Half-term Welly Wander (free trail leaflet)  – Available all day


KNOW YOUR COMMITTEE – Here are the club officials and their contact details……..
Committee Post Name Telephone Email Address
Chairman / Indoor Meetings / Membership Peter Gibbon 01629 534173 peter.gibbon@w3z.co.uk
Secretary Paul Hicking 01773 827727 paulandsteph@hicking.plus.com
Treasurer John Follett 01332 834778 john@jlf.demon.co.uk
Recorders Dave Newcombe / Clive Ashton Not supplied danewcombe@hotmail.co.uk


Publicity / Annual Report Gary Atkins 01335 370773 garysatkins@aol.com
Outdoor Trips Peter Oldfield 01629 540510 peter.oldfield2011@gmail.com


Jon Bradley

Roger Carrington

01773 852526

01629 583816



…..and the website address   –   http://www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk
Webmaster Richard Pittam Contact Richard via the website


Divers and Shags

 Posted by on November 19, 2015  Carsington Bird Club, Severn Trent Water, Things To Do  Comments Off on Divers and Shags
Nov 192015

Two Great Northern Divers [ juvenile and a possible returning adult] were back at Carsington Water yesterday.  Joining them were three juvenile Shags.  Local wildlife photographer Glyn Sellors grabbed some excellent shots of these birds.  To view them, click here to visit the CBC Image Galleries.

Carsington Water Winter Opening Times

 Posted by on September 29, 2015  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on Carsington Water Winter Opening Times
Sep 292015
Just a quick reminder that as of Thursday 1stOctober we move to our winter opening times. This means that the shops, restaurant and visitor centre will be open from 10am to 5pm.  Throughout the winter the main gates will be open from 07:30am until dusk – Severn Trent Water.

CBC Newsletter – No. 3 – August 2015

 Posted by on September 3, 2015  CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on CBC Newsletter – No. 3 – August 2015
Sep 032015


On 5th August I was lucky enough to witness what David Attenborough called one of ‘The Twelve Wildlife Wonders of the World’. A birthday present from my wife made it possible. She bought me a ticket to visit Bass Rock which is a large volcanic plug just two and a half miles from North Berwick and just one mile off the coast.

Small as islands go, it is nevertheless home to the biggest collection of Northern Gannets in the world; its 50,000 pairs represent 10 per cent of the world’s population. Very few people are allowed on this private place, and six of us, along with our guide, were taken there by a small fishing boat – and after a somewhat perilous landing we spent three hours amongst the gannets.

They breed from March to October and, with another 20,000 non-breeding birds among them, Bass Rock is home to an estimated 150,000 birds including young. From a distance the rock shines bright white in sunlight purely and simply because of the number of birds that completely cover it. It was an awesome wonder to see up so close, with birds looking after young of all sizes and even one sitting on a single egg. Obviously it’s pretty noisy, and soiled in many places, but not overwhelmingly so. It is also a very successful colony.

A day later with a mind still full of this spectacular natural history spectacle, I bought the Scotsman newspaper and found a story about the plight of Puffins on the Farne Islands. They are a species that have had great problems in recent decades, especially with their food supply disappearing. This year, a new problem in the form of flooded nesting holes has hit them even harder.

While few people visit Bass Rock – making it feel like a place we can only see by watching television programmes – many more visit the Farnes, which are easier and less costly to access and, consequently, are more affected by human presence.

One of our speakers, Eddie Hallam, once talked to us about his time on St Kilda and then went on to make a slightly controversial statement about precious ornithological areas being first and foremost places for birds. For the first time, when on Bass Rock, I could see what Eddie was getting at. Then again, now that I’ve been, I could be accused of being selfish if I said to others, don’t go and just leave it to the Gannets!

Peter Gibbon



As it often the case, the summer has seen mixed fortunes for breeding at Carsington. Early season poor weather seems to have affected tit families, which have been fewer and farther between this year, while visitors such as Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat and Sedge and Garden Warblers all seem to have produced plentiful young.

House Martins and Swallows bred in all the usual places, and Swift families flying around the Visitor Centre eaves seem to indicate breeding in that area for the first time for a couple of years. Four Grey Wagtail juveniles were seen at Millfields and, nearer the water, two Oystercatcher and two Lapwing broods were noted.

Waterfowl seem to have fared quite well with the reservoir staying quite full during most of the breeding season. There were 12 Great Crested Grebe broods counted in 2015, against just seven last year, and other species increasing brood numbers this year included Mallard 26 (22 in 2014), Tufted Duck 19 (13) and Moorhen which have seemed to be largely absent in recent times but two broods of six young boosted the local population. As ever, there were plenty of goslings attached to an unknown number of Canada broods, while Barnacle Geese also bred.

Roger Carrington secured an amazing picture of young Tufted Ducks during mid-summer: but he needed to get his ‘panorama’ setting into use to show a posse of 30 very young ducklings following a single mother. It was highly unlikely to be a single brood; Roger believes several nests were all in the same area and when the only ‘mum’ around took off, the chicks from all the nests followed suit!

Little Egrets have been prominent throughout the second half of the summer: the first appeared on 19 July, since when up to four individuals have been seen on a number of occasions. As many as six Grey Herons and seven Redshank have been recorded at one ‘sitting’, while Greekshank were noted in late July and early August.

This year marked first ever June sighting of a Grey Plover at Carsington, and other waders on site in the last quarter included Common Sandpiper, Lesser Ringed and Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Whimbrel, Ruff and Dunlin, while as many as 100 Lapwings were seen.

Coot numbers are building: 979 were logged during the latest WeBS count, when it was good to witness 12 Little Grebe. As many as 446 Canada Geese have been seen but there were fewer during this WeBS count, when the most numerous water bird apart from Coot was Tufted Duck with 392 individuals. Scarcer ducks spotted during this period included Scaup, Common Scoter, Pintail, Red-crested Pochard and as many as seven Goosander. The first few Wigeon were seen in late August.

There were several Osprey sightings, spread across all three months, but once again all ignored the nest platforms! Peregrines have been regular fast-flying visitors to site, with a Hobby also seen – carrying prey – on 21 July. Almost daily Kestrel sightings around Stones and Horseshoe Island, including vole-catching activity noted from the Wildlife Centre, indicate successful breeding. As many as three Buzzards have been viewed at one time, and Tawny Owls were recorded on 21 and 28 July.

Gull numbers have been low, though 38 Black-headed young were counted at Millfields in July. A Great Black-back was a more unusual species among the Herring, Common and Lesser Black-backs, and Yellow-legs have also been spotted – though thankfully not ‘Brutus’, the cannibal, which is probably reflected in the decent number of Little Grebes currently around!

Tern movement has been sparse, with only six Common and six Arctic passing through representing the maximum counts, but the return migrations of some birds is well under way, as two Yellow Wagtails were logged on 20 July and another on 6 August. Meanwhile, among the quiet period for passerines, it was a pleasure to see a party of Crossbills in early July.



If you’ve been out and about on the paths at Carsington you may have noticed the grasslands which always look at their best and buzz with invertebrate life during the summer months. For much of the year they can be easily overlooked, particularly after a late hay-cut or during winter grazing but at this time of year they are transformed.

Some of you may remember how the land looked over 25 years ago when it was first purchased by Severn Trent Water. For anyone else you only have to look at the neighbouring farmland to see just how far some of our grasslands have come.

Initial surveys by various environmental consultants steered our earliest management practices. Seed was taken from the more species-rich areas of the site and spread over those which lacked the same diversity. More recently HLS stewardship schemes have helped guide our management.

Various management practices are employed depending upon the designation of the land and where on the site it is found. So you will notice the dam, car parks, the sheep pastures around tail bay, the restoration meadows, wet pastures, islands and woodland rides and glades are all managed differently for the benefit of different plant communities.

So many different pockets of land, all with varying management needs present us with a real challenge and prioritising can be tricky with HLS deadlines, health and safety considerations, the logistics of getting grass cutting equipment on to the islands, and the great British weather to contend with.

A common theme in all of these practices is reducing the productivity of the grasslands around the site. Many of them were farmed for years to maximise production so the challenge is to reduce the sward height, prevent the colonisation of a single species or plant groups, and reduce the productivity of the soil.

Parasitic species such as Yellow Rattle play an important part in this process but constant cutting and mowing is most effective and during the summer months you may well see the Volunteer Rangers or other groups such as the Parkwood Conservation Volunteers or Derbyshire Community Payback carrying out the hard work of hay raking.

The Volunteer Rangers have also been busy this summer carrying out surveys of the grasslands to better understand how we’re doing. A dedicated team has been recording the presence of a range of indicator species as well as recording some of the other grassland species that now occur here. The early results are incredibly promising and the indicators suggest we now have some of the best examples of lowland grassland in the area.

As well as flora there are other markers of grassland health: you can spot good numbers of bees and butterflies, the latter also monitored by volunteers conducting formal recording transects. The Derbyshire Mammal Group has recorded healthy small mammal populations and in some parts of the site harvest mice have been recorded. The rich invertebrate life provides food for young birds in the spring and seed for roaming flocks of goldfinches in the autumn.

Unfortunately the areas of grassland on site are relatively small and can’t sustain populations of the farmland bird species that were once more common in the area such as Skylarks and Grey Partridges. That said, with so much time and effort spent keeping our existing grasslands in such good shape the land we manage keeps us very busy!

If you’re out and about on site over the coming weeks be sure to spend a bit of time enjoying the meadows whilst they’re looking at their best. We’ll also be sharing some of the results from the Volunteer Rangers survey work via social media and look out for the team working on our grasslands over the coming weeks.

John Matkin, Severn Trent



In the spring of 2014, we were acclaiming the publication of The Birds of Derbyshire and acknowledging the many excellent reviews of the book. This year comes a counterweight for the other end of the bookshelf in the form of The Flora of Derbyshire.

Based on 840,000 plant records, it is the culmination of some 20 years of research and fieldwork. It gives details of all 1,919 species of wildflowers, grasses, trees and ferns that have ever been recorded in the county with over 1,100 mapped in colour and more than 100 coloured photographs.

It is instantly impressive both visually and in terms of the detail covered. Introductory chapters describe the various landscapes and vegetation of our county, the history of Derbyshire field botany and the story of local plant conservation. There is also a chapter entitled “Where to See Plants in Derbyshire” which describes over 50 easily accessible and botanically rich sites, as well as some of the plants that one might expect to find at each. It is the first county flora publication to appear since 1969 and covers a 400 year historical period running to 458 pages in large format. It is in full colour throughout.

The authors, Alan Willmot and Nick Moyes, are to be warmly congratulated on a magnificent achievement, although they generously share the credit with the many who have assisted the recording efforts that they have coordinated. The book seems set to become an outstanding reference for students and botanists and is highly recommended. We feel sure that it will appear in local bookshops soon and even if you have to pay the full price of £38.50, we think it good value for money. Further details can also be obtained from the publishers at www.naturebureau.co.uk/bookshop/

Bryan & Kate Barnacle



The Bird Club’s autumn and winter programme of indoor talks is just about to get under way with an early cold blast from Ian Newton, who will be talking about wildlife in Alaska. Our full list of talks leading up to Christmas is below – and don’t forget, they are held in the Visitor Centre’s Henmore Room and start at 7.30pm:

15 September                        ‘Alaska’ by Ian Newton

20 October                             ‘Bird Flight’ by Jeff Blincow (this is our joint meeting with DOS)

17 November                        ‘Bird Migration’ by Nigel Slater

15 December                        ‘A New Challenge’ by Paul Bennett

Severn Trent Water, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and RSPB also stage one-off or regular activities. For STW events, it’s always worth checking the visitor centre reception, on 01629 540696, to see if events need booking and, if they do, get your name down. The programme in the coming weeks and months is as follows:

First Sunday of month – Birdwatching for Beginners – Meet Visitor Centre (10am-12 noon)

First weekend of month – Optics demonstrations – RSPB shop, Visitor Centre (10am-4pm)

Every Tuesday/Sunday – Wildlife Centre volunteers on parade – Wildlife Centre (10am-3pm)

14 September – Nature Tots: Dragon Day (charge applies) – Contact DWT to book (01773 881188)

27 September – Carsington Food Fair – Around the Visitor Centre (all day)

KNOW YOUR COMMITTEE – Here are the club officials and their contact details……..
Committee Post Name Telephone Email Address
Chairman / Indoor Meetings / Membership Peter Gibbon 01629 534173 peter.gibbon@w3z.co.uk
Secretary Paul Hicking 01773 827727 paulandsteph@hicking.plus.com
Treasurer John Follett 01332 834778 john@jlf.demon.co.uk
Recorders Dave Newcombe / Clive Ashton Not supplied danewcombe@hotmail.co.uk


Publicity / Annual Report Gary Atkins 01335 370773 garysatkins@aol.com
Outdoor Trips Peter Oldfield 01629 540510 peter.oldfield2011@gmail.com


Jon Bradley

Roger Carrington

01773 852526

01629 583816



…..and the website address   –   http://www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk
Webmaster Richard Pittam Contact Richard via the website