Newsletter: September 2018

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Crazy Golf

Our nine hole crazy golf is now open for business. For just £2 per adult or £1.50 per child (under 1.3m) you can test your skill (or is that luck) on our nine obstacles. Clubs and balls (£1 refundable deposit) are available from Granite’s shack.

Our course is open 10:15 until 4:00 pm every weekend until the end of October, and during the half-term holiday (15th to 19th October), weather permitting.

Steam Toys in Action: 22nd Sep 2018

Local enthusiasts are joining us at the Heritage Centre to showcase a variety of their steam engines and toys.

The wagons in the Railway Museum will be temporarily moved outside to make space for their exhibits. Lots of steam toys will be on display, including toy trains, miniature steam engines, model train tracks and a quarter size traction engine, all under cover in our Railway Museum. Enthusiasts will be on hand throughout the day to provide information on their fantastic collection of toys and engineering marvels.

The exhibition will be open from 10:00am to 4.30pm. Entry is free, but if you would like to make a donation then all funds raised will go towards our railway museum extension.

Trains: 20th and 21st October

This will be the last run on the Mountsorrel Branch Line this year. The Great Central Railway will be running their DMU shuttle between Mountsorrel and Swithland Sidings and back, but not onto the GCR’s main line. We don’t have train times for this event yet, but as soon as we do we’ll post information on our website. Tickets will be £6 for adults, £4 for children and may be purchased from the GCR on-line, or cash only on the train.

Nunckley Nature News

We are now a “recommended site” on Kew Gardens’ “Grow Wild” website. You can find our entry at

Big Butterfly Count

Do you take part?

On July 31, our Eco volunteers took part in the annual UK Big Butterfly Count, which ran from 20 July to August 12. By this time, the drought had really taken hold leaving butterflies and bees without their usual bounty of pollen and nectar. Consequently, numbers were down on early July when we recorded 15 Meadow Browns, 9 Cinnabar Moths, 7 Speckled Woods, 5 Ringlets, 4 Common Blues and 4 Gatekeepers.

On the day, the count produced:-

  • Small Whites – 15
  • Large Whites – 6
  • Speckled Woods – 2
  • Common Blues – 2
  • Green Veined Whites – 2
  • Meadow Brown – 1
  • Gatekeepers – 2
  • Silver Washed Fritillary – 1

August produced the usual Red Admirals, Small Coppers, and Painted Lady butterflies but in lower numbers than usual. Happily we again recorded and photographed Purple Hairstreak butterflies – not easily seen or photographed as they spend most of their time in the crowns of mature Oak trees! August also brought us our usual numbers of Dragonflies which delight visitors and volunteers alike with their aerial, hovering flight. Like tiny ‘drones’ just above our heads, they warm up in the contained heat of the quarry bottom and feed around the area.


It’s now the quiet time for birds in the woodland as they approach moult, but visitors can still enjoy watching the regular Nuthatches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins and Great Spotted Woodpecker, on the feeders by the woodland picnic area. A new information board, sponsored by the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society (LROS) will be erected here soon. Information and pictures will help you to identify the birds regularly visiting the feeders.

We will soon be cleaning out and re-hanging nesting boxes ready for next Spring. Nests can house a variety of parasites such as fleas, lice and ticks, so cleaning is essential to ensure the box is pest free for the coming year.


Autumn is harvest-time in the meadow and the hay has already been cut, dried and distributed around the hedgerow bottoms. New, sweet-smelling hay is great for our Nunckley Badgers. They make good use of it for bedding, dragging it down into their setts with their strong claws. Badgers are clean animals and undertake regular ’housekeeping’ duties!

It is also time to think about planting Spring bulbs, not Crocus for Nunckley though, the Muntjacs and rabbits just love eating the flowers!!!! Luckily they don’t like Narcissus or Snowdrops. The native large Viper’s Bugloss plants are still in flower and greatly enjoyed by a variety of Bumblebees. We will shortly be gathering seeds from this brilliant bee-friendly wild-flower to increase numbers for next year and sowing this, with other wild-flower seed we have collected, ready for planting out in the Spring.