Wraysbury Surveyer Required

16 July 2008 | Marek Walford

I've received an email from a Wraysbury resident who, along with some other residents, is looking into the possibility of protecting an area of woodland. He's keen to carry out a "quick and dirty survey". His email is reproduced below so if you think you can help please get in touch.

I wonder if you could help me with some advice. My name is Martin Morris and I live in a small village called Wraysbury - in between Staines and Windsor. The area is classified as "semi-rural" and we live with the River Thames on 1 side of us and a series of Lakes/Gravel Pits on the other! I am part of a small action group that has just been set up to try and protect a small area of Woodland (11.6 acres) that has recently been put up for sale. The woodland is adjacent to a much large area of accommodation land (c35 - 40 acres).

Our goal is to try and preserve the woodland (called the Kayles) in it's current state, for as long as possible. Our fear is that a Buyer might look to carry out some development on the land at some time in the near future - Planning Permission is unlikely as the are is in a flood plain, but the land is very close to the river and one possibility is that there might be a plan afoot to link the woodland to the river via canal, and then dig out a marina. Our options range from purchasing the land and putting it into a Trust, to trying to minimize change by Protection Orders, that could apply to the Trees or the wildlife.

With respect to the Birdlife that lives in the area, let me first say that I am in no way an expert, but we have a very wide range of species: - Wood Pigeons, Doves, Wood Peckers, Jays, Owls, Cuckoos, Kestrels, and far too many parakeets! You can probably guess from my list, that I am only listing birds that are distinctive through their appearance or their noise, and I am sure that we have many more species cohabiting in the area. My thoughts are that I would like to carry out a (Quick and Dirty) Survey to try and assess if the area has any breeds of specific interest, or that might be classified as being of special interest through a decline in numbers - but I do not know how to go about this exercise, and I do not have the necessary knowledge. At the moment I have put out an appeal from the residents to see if I have any Bird enthusiasts living close by.

Any Help, Advice that you can give me would be gratefully received!

Kind Regards,