Programme

Early Summer Walks Programme 2022

Here are details of the MKNHS walks during April and May 2022. These take place on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

We also have some events that involve outside organizations: these you have to book so that we know numbers. Further details of these will be sent by email in the near future; the only one in this program is Gallows Bridge which is briefly noted below.

You can locate a Grid reference on a map by searching ‘Grid reference finder’ in your browser or Play store or Apple I-store app.

The start time of each meeting is given against its date. Please arrive 15 minutes before the walks are due to start, so we can run through the risk assessment as appropriate. 

Please note that clause 7 of the Society’s constitution reads: “the Society will exercise due care when arranging its meetings and activities for the benefit of members.  Members taking part in any meeting or activity do so at their own risk.”

A PDF file of the Early Summer Walks Programme can be downloaded here.

April

Tuesday 26th – Howe Park Wood: Colin Docketty and Martin Kincaid
Meet at 18.45 for 19.00 start
First Outdoor Meeting of the Summer Programme.
A circular walk around the wood to see how nature is waking up to spring. Wood Anemone possible, and maybe a Red Kite nest.

Parking: Howe Park Wood centre off Chaffron Way H7, opposite Westcroft District Centre Morrisons ).   Grid Reference SP830344. Café post code MK4 3GG

May

Tuesday 3rd – Yardley Chase:     Julie Lane
Meet at 18.45 for 19.00 start

The nightingale is back!!! I did recce last night and it was singing well (although we will have to be quiet as it tends to slow down if it knows you are there). I also heard cuckoo and grasshopper warbler plus many other birds so hopefully we are in for a good evenings walk. Bring a torch and waterproofs as there is a chance of a bit of rain. See you later on. 

A hike to hear nightingales at Yardley Chase starting in Olney and walking across to Yardley Chase on country paths.  There are no guarantees that there will be nightingales singing but I will do the walk beforehand and check if they are there and post on the website.

We might also see deer, foxes, barn and tawny owls, bats and any amount of other wildlife as it is a quiet undisturbed area. We will need to walk quietly to optimise our chances of good sightings.

This will be a 5.5 mile walk over rough but manageable terrain starting from Johnsons field, Olney MK46 5JF. Drive up Westside Rise, turn left into Johnsons Field and drive along to the bottom corner of the field. Parking is limited so please car share where possible and I will be there to meet you. Grid Reference SP 884515.

We will almost certainly be walking home in the dark so please bring a torch and please only come along if you are confident walking in the dark.


Sunday 8th – Blue Lagoon: Colin Docketty
Meet at 10.15 for 10.45 start

The Blue Lagoon is a very important site for Dragonflies and Butterflies. However, the owners, MK Council, have not carried out regular maintenance for several years. This walk will look at what state the key natural history parts of the site are now in.

This walk is not on made-up paths like previous walks so please wear suitable footwear.

Parking: off Drayton Road, Bletchley (signed), go under railway bridge 150 to car park. Grid reference SP870326

Tuesday 10th – Bury Field:   Ann Jones
Meet at 18.45 for 19.00 start

Bury Field is an ancient common, a medieval open field. We hope to see a wide range of birds including Larks, Reed Buntings and various finches, and summer migrants such as Swallows, Swifts and Martins and Cuckoos. We are hoping that Kestrels and Little Owls might nest. A wide variety of flowers and insects are also present.

Parking: behind the Newport Pagnell Medical Centre – 8 Queens Ave, Newport Pagnell MK16 8QT. Grid Reference SP874439.

Tuesday 17th –  Stony Stratford Nature Reserve:    Joe Clinch
Meet at 18.45 for 19.00 start

The Reserve was created in the 1970s following gravel extraction. It offers a good range of habitats especially wetlands for bird species with Oystercatcher, Lapwing, and Common Tern usually breeding. Meadow Saxifrage should be in flower. Bird hide. Walking will be mainly on hard core paths but there are some muddy parts after heavy rain.

Parking:  The Parks Trust Car Park off Queen Eleanor Street, Stony Stratford.  Grid reference SP791409.
Car sharing is encouraged.

Saturday 21st May  – Dunstable Downs: Colin Docketty
Meet at 10.45 for 11.00 start

We will first view five species of butterfly not commonly seen in MK – Duke of Burgundy, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Green Hair Streak, Small Heath – which all occur together in one very small area, with Small Copper and day-flying moths also possible some flora. We will then get some exercise doing a circular walk in the downs, where we should see more common butterflies and flora.

Afterwards we could optionally have well-earned refreshments at the café – possibly a Bedfordshire Clanger, a long pastry case which the miners used to have for lunch. It has meat at one end (main course) and apples (dessert) at the other. Toilets and outside seating are available. Walking footwear is recommended.

Parking: at the Chilterns Gateway Centre , on the right of the Whipsnade road B4541. Grid reference TL008195 and post code LU6 2GY. Please note the centre charges £3.50 for parking all day.
Car sharing is encouraged.

Tuesday 24th – Stonepit Field: Joe Clinch
Meet at 18.45 for 19.00 start

Stonepit Field was created as a biodiverse park in the early 1990s taking advantage of the underlying limestone geology and earlier quarrying. It includes small areas of trees, shrubs, flower-rich meadow, ponds, and a ‘scrape’ where the limestone has been exposed. Good for flowers, invertebrates and aquatic species but also with bird activity (30 species identified on the Society’s last visit in 2019). Walking is mainly on grass and can be slippery if wet.

Parking: Parks Trust Car Park at Stonepit Field off Wolverton Road on the opposite side to Oakridge Park. Grid reference SP844422.
Car sharing is encouraged.


Friday 27th –
Gallows Bridge: Tim Arnold
Meet at 09.45 for 10.00 start

This is a special visit to Gallows Bridge courtesy of BBOWT, to see waders and other nature to be found in old fashioned wet pastures. This must be booked with Tim Arnold and full details will be sent by email after Easter.

Gallows Bridge is approx 25 miles /40 Mins from MK , 4 miles south east of Bicester. Grid reference SP671199,  approx. postcode HP18 0SY
Car sharing is encouraged.

 

Tuesday 31st – St Mary’s Church, Linslade: Martin Kincaid
Meet at 18.45 for 19.00 start

This churchyard is rich in botanical life and a county wildlife site. We have found some unusual insects in the past.
Limited parking close to the church so please car share. Grid reference SP909268, postcode LU7 0DU


The next meeting is on Tuesday 7th June and details will appear in the later half of the program.

 

All members of the Society are reminded that during Society outdoor activities they must comply with current Government and Public Health rules and guidance concerning Covid-19.

For any forthcoming Society activity, each member who is planning to participate should assess his/her own risk and that of their household having regard to his/her own health and circumstances. This requirement is in accordance with the Society’s Constitution that states ‘Members taking part in any meeting or activity do so at their own risk.’

Practical and Covid-19 risk assessments are carried out in advance of each planned walk. Please arrive 15 minutes before the walks are due to start, so we can run through the Society’s risk assessment as appropriate.

Note that there is also a page of self-guided walks, with directions and guidance on what you might see.