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Nature: the part each of us can play

First, a quick reminder of our Water Vole Celebration meeting on 3rd November.

Details on our Meetup site here.

It’s a busy time for WildCookham. Last month we’ve been working on the local Commons with the aim of restoring this bit of the 97% of wildflower meadows that have been destroyed nationwide since the 1940s. So far this has been a project with the National Trust but now we are also working with the John Lewis Partnership at Odney Common to give that area the same uplift. It’s hard work so our thanks to John Southgate and the volunteers who have mowed, scarified, raked and sown. And be patient: it takes several years to achieve the result we want – with more flowers, more insects, more good foraging for many species. But more helpers are a big part of that too.

Water voles have also been a prominent feature. We’re getting more reports of the presence of the voles we have released over the past two years in the waterways around Cookham village and our public meeting early this month gives us all a chance to celebrate that. Again, the success is only possible with the help of a lot of volunteers – monitoring mink presence, tracking the voles we have released, helping with the actual releases. Our thanks to all of them.

Looking ahead we will be encouraging residents to give a helping hand to our local birds with a nestbox building session on 3rd December – in time to make some great Christmas gifts (details at Early next year we’ll be looking at how we can do more to help our house martins (like water voles, an endangered species) when they arrive next Summer. And we can look back to another successful year for our wild gardeners with the Wild About Gardens Awards, with plans for further extensions to the scheme next year. Congratulations to the 2022 winners, including the first to our community gardens, shown above.

Our work with the Borough, and with the other local ‘Wild’ groups, also continues. This takes us to the larger scale projects with the hope that soon we will have plans for Berkshire that will help us to create the nature recovery networks that are now part of national thinking. We want Cookham habitats to be an important part of that.

Can all of this make a dent in the appalling 70% wildlife loss in the last 40 years, recently reported by the World Wildlife Fund? (Please read the last sentence again to fully absorb it.) We have to believe so. If you have not yet please think about what you can do, how you might change the ways you do things personally and as a family to help our natural world, and what contribution you can make to our community efforts. We all caused the problem and only we can get us out of it.

Find out more at and on our Facebook page.

Cookham Parish Magazine - November 2022

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