Three new interpretational boards have recently been installed on The Hook Nature Reserve in Lady Bay. These are at the entrances next to Melbourne Road, Mona Road and Holme Grove, providing a plan of the site together with information on its history and examples of the varied plants and wildlife that might be seen.
The project was managed by Friends of The Hook Community Group, with support from Rushcliffe Borough Council. Friends of the Hook are grateful for funding for two of the boards from the East Midlands Airport Community Fund and for the other from the Cooperative Local Community Fund. Please come along and take a look at these new displays and see if you have spotted any of the wildlife mentioned or if the information prompts any memories of The Hook in years past!
The name ‘The Hook’ appears on 19th century maps, shown as an area of low lying water meadow used for grazing of sheep and cattle. Major changes to the site occurred in the 1950s due to the spreading of river spoils over the meadows following the construction of Holme Sluices. A set of allotments was established at the east end of the site in the 1970s and travelling fairs and gymkhanas were held on the large field. The two rows of poplars along the river path were planted in the late 1970s and further planting and landscaping took place in the 1980 and 1990s, including trees on the embankment along Holme Road and also in the current conservation area.
The Hook was designated as a local nature reserve in 2009, recognising its important value to the community. Continuing developments have included the creation of a community orchard and wildlife pond, with further planting of shrubs and trees and sowing of areas of wildflowers. The wider the variety of habits has led to an increase the biodiversity of the site, with 87 species of birds and 19 species of butterflies recorded this year. Rushcliffe Borough Council, Friends of The Hook and Nottingham Wildlife Trust work together on the management plan. Friends of the Hook are also active in fundraising for a variety of related projects.
Friends of The Hook carry out regular wildlife surveys and organise working parties each month. The Group also organise fun community and educational events, including birdwatching, wildflower walks and late night moth watches. There are lots of nature activities and experiences for everyone to enjoy and also a chance to socialise and learn more about this special green space.
Do get in contact if you are interested in getting involved by emailing: friendsoftheho[email protected] or visit the website: www.friendsofthehook.org.uk.
Written by Roger Ibbett