What we're about

Who are we?

Local people taking care of wildlife and sharing our passion and knowledge in a practical and fun way in the parish of Cookham.

What is our vision?

By 2019 we will have a Cookham plan for wildlife and nature that stands alongside, and has equal status to, the Village Design Statement and is adopted by the Parish Council and the borough planners.

What are we doing?

· Planning a calendar of local events and activities such as guided walks and talks

· Running practical campaigns and initiatives to enrich habitats such as:

o Wildlife and natural gardening – educating people about the importance of their gardens and creating wildlife corridors through gardens for hedgehogs and many other animals. Promoting the use of natural and non-chemical substances in the garden.

o Leaving verges and meadows long, not cutting until after flowers have seeded, and planting wildflowers on verges as food sources for bees and other insects

o Not cutting hedges and trees between Feb and Aug while birds are still nesting

o Securing habitat and nest boxes for certain birds such as House Martins and encouraging the use of Swift bricks in new-build properties

o Reducing light pollution

· Updating the Cookham Wildlife web pages on cookham.com

· Offering wildlife advice and building a community of interest through a dedicated wildlife forum on cookham.com

Who is supporting us?

National Trust

Woodland Trust

Upcoming events (5+)

Toad Rescuers needed

Lightlands Lane

Did you know Cookham has it's very own toad migration? The problem is that when the toads start to move from surrounding grassland and gardens to their breeding lake they have to cross roads and this means many get killed. The toads are now on the move. Please come and help the toads cross the roads and breed for another season. WE LOSE HUNDREDS EVERY YEAR killed by cars. Good activity for children. Come around dusk. Come with torch, high viz jacket, clean bucket, disposable gloves (it's not good for their skin to be handled). There is increased traffic in Strand Lane now due to more horses being looked after there and the scouts. We need you tonight and every night you can do for the next few weeks that’s clear, dry and warmer (if it's too cold they don't move). They start moving at dusk and can continue until late. Stay for as little or long as you like. Please contact Ann Harris[masked] or Ann Burley[masked] to get more info. We also have a toad first responder WhatsApp group to keep all volunteers up to date with precise locations and nights you're needed. Thank you from the toads and all at WildCookham.

Battlemead: All hands on deck to create the new hedge!

We need arms and legs! Over the next two weeks we need to plant 4000 whips (small trees) to create a hedge alongside the Thames Path to protect the land at Battlemead recently acquired by the Council. We'll be working with RBWM and volunteer teams to get the job completed before the end of the ideal planting season. This is the first outing. There will be at least two further separate Meetups - on 28th March , then again on 30th March: you are welcome at any/all of them for as long as you can give! Bring all weather clothing, sturdy footwear, and a spade and gloves if you have them. Also a flask and a snack or something to eat depending on how long you can give us. There'll be a designated leader in charge (for this one it is RBWM's Jason Mills - on[masked]): accompanied children are very welcome - a great project for them to help with. No dogs please. The site is remote and we are hoping there will be a portaloo or two! Getting there involves some walking. If coming by car, please share as much as possible. Options are: i) park in small new car park by road over Widbrook Common or parking on or around Sheephouse Road and walk from the new car park across the fields to the river; ii) park in or around Islet Road, walk down the path to the river and then left along the Thames Path, or park at Boulters Lock carpark and walk along the Thames Path; iii) walk along the Thames Path from Cookham. If parking on a road please be considerate to local residents. The photo shows the pond on the site taken some time ago: part of the plans for the project involves restoring this.

Wildlife photography workshop

Lightlands Lane

Here's another opportunity to spend a morning with a hugely talented wildlife photographer. The session will be led by local award-winning photographer and WildCookham supporter Mick Vogel. It follows a very successful session with Mick last summer. He'll be giving tips on how to get the best wildlife and wild habitat photos. Whether you have a Smartphone camera, a little point and shoot or an all singing and dancing Nikon or Canon, you'll learn something to get the best out of your photos. And you'll then have one month to use your new skills to take photos for the 'Wild About Cookham' competition and exhibition at the Cookham Festival (full details including prizes at www.wildcookham.org.uk). Bring your camera to get the most out of the session. And it's open to all ages. No fee to attend but a donation will be welcome. Take a look at Mick's amazing photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mickvogel/

Harris Woodbridge Nature Reserve - dig for Cookham!

Do you want to get your hands dirty on the Harris Woodbridge Nature Reserve ? We are having another Meet Up to continue our good work there. Day : Sunday 24th March Time: 10 am – 3 pm, a couple of hours, or longer. Any time given is gratefully received. Where: Off Dean Lane, Cookham Dean – on the path from Dean Lane going up to Lea Barn Tools: Garden fork to continue to weed out the Periwinkles, garden gloves, secateurs, loppers and bow saws continue our pruning - please put some form of identification on your tools. Food: Please bring a packed lunch, tea and coffee will be provided Please feel free to visit the site prior to the 24th March to see the renovated pond, I look forward to meeting you all. Mike Day (Project Coordinator) For health and safety reasons at this early stage, I'm afraid we have to stipulate NO CHILDREN and NO DOGS. This is due to sharp tools and unknown terrain. These sessions are hugely satisfying and great fun. Here's a film of our pond renovation team. https://youtu.be/niD4QRexRjc How to find the Harris Woodbridge Nature Reserve: Off Dean Lane, Cookham Dean – 50 yards after Warners Hill in the Marlow direction, turn right at the last house on the right (called Warners), take the path on the right of the track. Go up hill for 150 yards with the field on the right, where the field ends there is a wooden fence leading you to the gate into the Harris Woodbridge Nature Reserve.- Map ref:[masked]

Past events (76)

Wild about Gardens Launch Event

Lea Barn

Photos (122)

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