Monday, 6 May 2019

Building the "Sand Castle"

We thought you might like to see the pictorial story of how our newly completed Sand Martin Nesting Bank came to fruition.

November 2018 and work starts with the digging out of the foundations

December sees the preparation of the ground ready for sinking the support posts

The new year and construction gets underway in earnest

February and the posts are in and the walls start to take shape

March, the start of Spring and the arrival of the nesting chambers on site

Mid-March and the access area takes shape and the first of the nesting chambers are installed

The roof is fitted and more nest chambers are put in place

As March progresses the nest box access tubes are cemented into place 

Early April and the access tubes are completed.....

and inside the addresses are all numbered

Mid-April and the job is completed with an external coating.

Open for Business

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Work Sunday Bonus

Friends attending the work party on the 2nd September were treated to the bonus of a close encounter of the feathery kind, as Kenny Cramer was conducting one of his regular ringing sessions.

Kenny had predicted a busy session and this proved accurate with a whopping 132 birds caught of which 126 were new.

Out of the 16 species represented, blackcap accounted for exactly half of the new birds with 63 ringed. Other migrants included 10 reed warblers, 5 sedge warblers, 11 chiffchaffs, 6 willow warblers, a garden warbler and a whitethroat.

2 new kingfishers were a privilege to handle and gave the spectators an unforgettable experience.

Total species were as follow:

Blackcap 63
Reed warbler 10
Dunnock 2 (2)
Sedge warbler 5
Robin 2 (3)
Chiffchaff 11
Willow warbler 6
Wren 2
Reed bunting 1 (1)
Great tit 8
Blue tit 10
Kingfisher 2
Garden warbler 1
Whitethroat 1
Treecreeper 1
Long tailed tit 1
( ) indicates recapture.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

AGM 16th May 2018

I am pleased to advise that at a very well attended AGM the following officers of the committee were unanimously re-elected to the following positions:

Chair               Tony Bedford
Secretary        Janice Robertson
Treasurer        Pauline Studman

I have attached my report below for information.

I would also like to thank Phil Bowsher from the Parks Trust for coming along and updating us on the Parks Trusts plans for the reserve and other PT land over the next few months - I look forward to seeing many of you at our various open days and events throughout the coming year.

Best wishes 

Tony Bedford

FoLLNR  AGM 16th May 2018

Chairman’s Report
Officers and Committee 
The Officers of FoHESC have remained unchanged since the last AGM. Jane Grisdale has now resigned from the Committee due to other commitments but will continue to be involved whenever possible.

Chair               Tony Bedford
Secretary        Janice Robertson
Treasurer        Pauline Studman

Committee Members are currently:

David Carter
Keith Gander
Malcolm Stewart
Michel Wellborn 
Neil Studman
Helen Brooks
Roy Platten
Saffron Summerfield

Parks Trust Representatives include:
Martin Kincaid
Phillip Bowsher
Carla Boswell

Election of Officers

Our constitution states that the elected officers shall serve for a term of one year and thereafter be elected at the AGM. 

This year I will be standing for re-election as Chair, Janice Robertson as Secretary and Pauline Studman as Treasurer.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer special thanks to Janice and Pauline for their work as Secretary and Treasurer respectively, to Jane for all the work she has done in organizing our events over the last year and to Pauline and Neil for once again being at the heart of all our Open Sundays by running the “Catering Department”. 

Thanks too to all the Committee Members who have given up their time to help organize plan and manage events throughout the year and of course a very special thanks to our very kind Cake Bakers and donators.


I am pleased to advise that our membership has remained stable over the last year and still stands at around 400.

FoLLNR Activities since the last AGM.

The FoLLNR Committee has continued to meet regularly since its formation to discuss and plan (in agreement with PT), conservation tasks, events and fundraising activities.

We continue to hold Open Sundays on the third Sunday of every month throughout the year. Attendance at these events has continued to grow and we regularly host over 100 guests and members.

We also continued to organise and host various events. During the last year these have included a guided walks, talks, presentations and the now infamous Fish & Chip Quiz Night curtesy of Keith Gander. 

We will continue to organise Bat and and Moth evenings and thanks go to Martin Kincaid and Gordon Redford for making these events so successful.

Bird ringing by the local BTO group has again continued on a monthly basis throughout the year with over 500 birds being ringed. When possible bird ringing has been co-ordinated to take place on an open Sunday so that visitors can watch and ask questions.

Our Flickr site continues to grow and now features over 5000 images. 

I have tried to maintain our Blog Site ( which was set up in March 2012 to communicate news of views, events, sightings etc. and I hope it will continue to be an important part of our communication system. The sighting list within the blog has been kept up to date and we welcome feedback on any species we have missed. The Blog has now had over 62,000 hits since its inception.

Fund Raising Activities

Our primary sources of funding continue to be the sales of refreshments, second-hand books and other sundry items at the open Sundays and events.

Fund raising has enabled us to keep the reserve supplied with bird seed for the feeders and to provide money for tools, work materials and support various projects.

Practical Work Parties

We have averaged at least one work party per month over the last 14 year and our most notable achievement of the last year has been the completion of the new Warbler Hide. 

We have also carried out our usual tasks including: 

Clearing scrub and cutting back overgrowing trees around the reserve, keeping paths clear, seeding meadow flowers and planting and relocating small trees, installing nest boxes and bird feeder stations, maintaining seating benches around the reserve, painting tables, benches and tidying the front of house, repairing and cleaning hides.

The new bridge and new covered screen is nearly

My special thanks must go to David Carter for his work in and around the front Garden and to Neil Studman, Allan Clark and Simon Bunker for their work on the Warbler Hide,  along with all our other Sunday Volunteers, for their skills and energy on a variety of  tasks around the reserve. 

I would also like to thank the Milton Keynes Green Gym for the very much appreciated work they carry out around the site.

Results of BTO Bird Ringing Group

Over the past 12 months Kenny Cramer and his group have conducted 26 ringing sessions at Linford. During the course of these sessions they ringed 958 birds, and processed 415 retraps of a total 38 species.

New species ringed during the year included cuckoo, water rail, moorhen, stonechat and tawny owl.

5 birds were encountered that were ringed elsewhere:-

A blackbird ringed in Skegness in 2011
A blackcap ringed in Switzerland in 2017
A reed warbler ringed in Tring in 2013
A blackcap ringed in Tring in 2013
A garden warbler ringed in Icklesham in 2011

Working with the Parks Trust

I would like to say that working alongside the Parks Trust, who have the funds and support structure to address the maintenance tasks and projects that are beyond the resources of volunteers like ourselves, has been a great boost to the site management and to the upkeep of the site in general.

I and other members of the Committee maintain regular communication with the Parks Trust to discuss work plans, projects and ideas and I believe we continue to have a good working relationship based on mutual aims and goals.

I would particularly like to thank Martin Kincaid who has again been very supportive, along with Phil Bowsher and Carla Boswell who given great support particularly with H&S, Insurance and other administrative issues. I would also like to thank the PT for their prompt decision to relocate the public arts event planned at LLNR and wish them every success for the event at Linford Manor Park. 

Proposed Housing Development

As I am sure you know the appeal against the refusal of planning application for around 250 houses on the land adjacent to LLNR was refused by the Planning Inspector in March. This decision was made despite MKCs inability to demonstrate that they have a 5 year housing development plan in place and is a fantastic testament to all those who wrote in objection to the appeal and to those who attended and spoke at the Inspectors inquiry.

Our Future Plans

We aim to
·       Continue building on the excellent foundations we have laid down and to grow the membership of the Friends Group, so that the members may have a strong voice in helping influence the future of the site.
·       To continue to work on agreed tasks and projects as outlined in the Site Management Plan to maintain and enhance the condition of the site for wildlife and visitors.
·       To explore the opportunities for activities available on Open Sundays, walks, events and special interest meetings to meet the interests of the membership.
·       To agree with the Parks Trust and membership plans for future projects and possibilities for enhancing the site habitat and members enjoyment of our environment and wildlife. We hope this will soon include the construction of a new and much larger Sand Martin Nesting Bank on the South East shore of the main lake.

·       Strongly oppose any threats to the habitat, wildlife and our members enjoyment of the site and to encourage our partners the Parks Trust to do the same.