Coombes Valley

Coombes Valley
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  • Blog Post: Twelve Coombes wildlife highlights of Christmas... continued!

    � Ready for the second installment of Twelve Coombes wildlife highlights? Here we go...! ...eight shrews ashrinking... Shrews can’t hibernate. Their small body size, and the fact they need to eat every 2-3 hours, mean they wouldn’t be able to take on big enough fat reserves. So instead...
  • Blog Post: Twelve Coombes wildlife highlights of Christmas!

    To celebrate the wintery wonderfulness of Coombes we have wrote a series of Christmassy nature facts to get you in the festive spirit. Nature is amazing and we were hard pressed to condense it down to just 12 facts. But we think we've cracked it and now we’re bringing you the first countdown...
  • Blog Post: Winter tree-tastic treats!

    Trees. Where WOULD we be without them? They act like our constant guardians absorbing CO 2 to provide us with the clean air we breathe. They quietly sit and watch as generations go by. They can live for hundreds of years, solving their own problems and adapting to the environment around them. I often...
  • Blog Post: What’s on the menu ... if you go down to the woods today???!!

    Our mud kitchen at Coombes Valley has won over some more mud-pie seekers! Have a read of SylvaFaes guest blog about her children’s muddy makings... Muddy hands – SylvaFae Our girls are natural mud magnets, if there’s a puddle to stomp in, a muddy hillside to slide down or mud...
  • Blog Post: Fabulous Fungal Foray

    On Sunday 26 October we ran our annual Fungal Foray walk. Lead by the brilliant Fungal Punk Dave our large group of courageous explorers set out from the yurt in the search of fantastic, funky, flamboyant and frankly fantastic fungi. The fungi crew! – Lucy Hodson With so many sets of eyes...
  • Blog Post: Red planets and stars on the woodland floor!

    Strange and wondrous things grow in our woods. Some more obvious than others. It is so easy to simply walk past without ever really understanding what something is or how it came to be. Some things are just so well camouflaged we just simply don’t see. And some we get so used to seeing we forget...
  • Blog Post: On the Play Trail - looking for secret signs and finding Fairies! Richard Whiting and his family take us on their personal journey

    Waking up to a misty mysterious Sunday Morning we planned our family morning. Having considered (very) briefly about going to do the big shop, I thought that a visit to Coombes was a far more enticing idea. At the mention of “lets get your wellies”, the girls ran around like spaniels waiting...
  • Blog Post: Witchy Tidings at Coombes...

    What ho? A new witch? Just in time! � Discover what Coombes has to offer this Halloween as our newest Witch joins Coombes Valley in search of magical adventures... Behold what is that I see in the distance?! Alas could it be Coombes Valley? I have come from a far seeking magic in the woods...
  • Blog Post: Mayhem at the Fairy glen; guest blog!

    This week's blog has again been sent by one of our lovely visitors. Sylva Fae and her young family have recently visited Coombes Valley & have adventured around our new Natural Play Trail. For Jan & the girls, the highlight of the visit was the secret fairy village, hidden among the trees...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings-The Hunt for Red October

    No, this isn’t a post about the 1990 film starring Sean Connery. It’s instead about the wonderful things you may see and hear at Coombes Valley over the coming weeks. See if you can spot the common theme amongst the items! Redwings – Redwings are one of Coombes Valley’s...
  • Blog Post: Mongolia in the Woods

    Venture into the woods today and you’ll certainly find a surprise. It’s been a long time coming but the Yurt is up and running! In just one day, three guys transformed an empty platform into our new multi-functional visitor space. Coombes has been an RSPB site for 52 years...
  • Blog Post: Farewell to Matt: A summer at Coombes

    In what seems like an unbelievably short amount of time, I have come to the end of my 6 months here at Coombes. This blog will hopefully give a brief glimpse into my time here, and all that it has encompassed. I have been responsible for much of the survey work at Coombes this summer, which has allowed...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: Birds, berries, puffballs, and a baffling stoat!

    With summer speeding by quickly and autumn right around the corner, the sights and sounds of Coombes Valley are changing. So, here is a run down of some of the exciting things you can spot on the reserve over the coming weeks! Goldfinch on a thistle, taken by Richard Brooks Flocks of Goldfinches...
  • Blog Post: Into the wild: The new extended woodcock trail

    This year Coombes Valley has grown deeper. If you haven’t visited in recent months - where have you been?! There is so much more to explore. The woodcock bench - once an abrupt, albeit picturesque, end to the trails is now a place to stop, catch your breath and drink in the view, before continuing...
  • Blog Post: Open Day: Revealing our woodland makeover

    A little later this year, but well worth the wait; open day is nearly here! Coombes is growing and we'd like you to come and celebrate with us. Join in with a day of family fun on the reserve and explore our exciting new natural play trail. How big a den can you build? How delicious a mud pie...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings: Up in the air

    � If the RSPB had existed a few hundred million years ago, the only flying creatures we’d have been able to protect would have been insects! They were the first creatures to take to the air around 350 million years ago, and dominated the skies until birds came along. Back then some dragonflies...
  • Blog Post: Nothing to whine about: A delicious way to moth trap at home

    It’s not all hard work here at RSPB Coombes Valley. We occasionally let our hair down - just last week we let a few of our residents kick back with a bottle of wine in the top meadow. They weren’t our residential volunteers taking in the stunning views with a glass of vino though, they...
  • Blog Post: Beetlemania

    Forget Paul, John, George and Ringo, the true superstars of Coombes Valley have six legs, a hard exoskeleton and can be quite fearsome predators: THE BEETLES. With over 4000 beetle species in the UK, you might be thinking, “ Help !” when you want to find out what beetle species you’ve...
  • Blog Post: Calling all bats to our buffet!

    On these warmer and brighter evenings, it’s quite possible you could catch a glimpse of one of our most fascinating groups of mammals; the graceful, airborne bats. Bats are the only true-flying mammals, and with our 17 species they actually make up more than a quarter of all mammal species in the...
  • Blog Post: An evening in the wild flower meadow

    Wild flower meadows are very busy places. I learned a long time ago that it’s important to watch where your feet fall to keep from crushing any little creatures. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert to discover the variety of life, just a sharp pair of eyes. Last of the common...
  • Blog Post: Purple hairstreak...and other recent sightings

    What’s about on the reserve? Brimstone, taken by Kevin Sawford Brimstone Is this the original butterfly!? A common myth tells us that the word ‘butterfly’ comes from ‘butter-coloured fly’ , a name given for the brimstone’s yellow wings. The brimstone...
  • Blog Post: Lend Me Your Ear: Why you should volunteer!

    Do you love chatting with people and enthusing them about nature? That is the life of a Coombes Valley visitor volunteer! The reserve wouldn't be where it is without its team of volunteers and we need your help. Lend me your ear for a moment and let’s see if I can convince you why it’s...
  • Blog Post: Woodland Management: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    At this time of year, if you spend any sunny day walking along river banks or canals you’ll notice a very pretty plant. Pretty, until you learn a little more about it... Introduced to Britain in the 1890’s, Himalayan balsam produces attractive, hat-shaped, pink and white flowers which...
  • Blog Post: Orchids Galore: A Window of Opportunity

    The greater butterly orchids are out in the meadows of Coombes and today our lovely volunteer Becca is here to tell you why you shouldn't miss out. They're only fleeting, so find a spare hour to pop down and see us! Greater butterfly orchid, taken by Becca Bratt I'm just...
  • Blog Post: Cuckoo Spit - life right under your nose!

    As a kid, did you ever wonder who in your neighbourhood had been running round the fields and woods spitting everywhere? Most of us will be familiar with those frothy, spittle-like blobs on grass and plant stems; but have you ever questioned what they are? Evidence of someone spitting on our grass...