Websites Useful for Identification Follow this link to another page containing a list of links to external websites dealing with specialised areas of wildlife identification.
The GWT runs a number of nature reserves in Gloucestershire. (See this map .) Two are in the near vicinity of Minchinhampton and easily visited in walks from the town:
There are many other reserves accessible by a short car ride from Minchinhampton. (Some we have incorporated into our recommended walks.)
GNS is the natural history recording organisation for Gloucestershire. A number of MWWG members are also members of GNS and regularly forward their observations for formal recording by GNS. MWWG will normally wish to ensure that GNS receive relevant sighting made during our walks and monitoring activities. GNS organise a number of field meetings all over Gloucestershire, and also indoor meetings. (See the GNS events diary.)
This local group takes a particular interest in monitoring raptors.
GCER collate a range of information about Gloucestershire wildlife. It is used by Gloucestershire Naturalists Society and other local groups to submit observation records. (Observations are of little scientific use unless they are readily accessible. It is clearly better if everyone agrees to use the same database where information can be made available to interested researchers in a uniform format.)
The Cotswold Fungus Group organise fungus forays, usually on Saturdays, approximately twice each month over the entire Cotswold region (including many sites relatively close to Minchinhampton, with occasional visits to Minchinhampton Common itself). If you wish to know more about fungi, joining the CFG is the best way to learn from experts, and contribute to monitoring of fungi in eastern Gloucestershire and northern Wiltshire.
Natural England is the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide. In particular it holds the SSSI registration information for Minchinhampton Common and Rodborough Common.
You can search for information about designated sites via this link. See also the specific links below of particular interest to MWWG members.
- SSSI Citation for Minchinhampton Common
- DEFRA "Magic" Map Defining the Minchinhampton Common SSSI.
- SSSI Citation for Rodborough Common
- DEFRA "Magic" Map Defining the Rodborough SSSI.
A list of sites that may be useful for wildlife identification is held on a separate page.
Other Organisations and Information Sources
These have peripheral relevance to local wildlife and conservation, but may have potential interest for members.
The GGT surveys and records regionally important geology sites (RIGS). Much of our knowledge of the geology of this country was established during the industrial revolution, when canal, railways and road construction exposed the bedrock - along with extraction of building stone in quarries. Many of these exposures are disappearing, for various reason (including coverage by natural vegetation and use as landfill sites) and there are fewer and fewer sites where geology can be taught to the next generation. Minchinhampton and Rodborough are sites of special geological interest, having figured in past scientific publications because of unique exposures of particular geological periods - though, for example, the rock faces of the SSSI quarry near Rodborough Fort - now a car park - are all but invisible behind brambles.
The GGT holds the geological records centre from Gloucestershire, carries out conservation work on important geological sites, produces guides and publication and also runs very successful "Rock and Fossil Road Shows" for the public.
The CSTS organise lectures by well known scientists and engineering on a very wide range of topics, but there are usually one or two talks in every Lecture Programme likely to be of interest to MWWG members (e.g. The Effect of Climate Change on Wildlife in Gloucestershire - April 2016 .) Most lectures take place at the Royal Agricultural University, but out of RAU term-time they move the the Ashcroft Centre in Ashcroft Road, Cirencester (close to the Brewery car park).
The NT own and manage Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common. From a naturalists viewpoint, however, their website is more concerned with promoting visits and less informative about the history and unique environment than one might hope.
Wikipedia has articles refefring to Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons which summarise information about the localities, including official designations and a number of useful links. It also has a list of all sites of special scientific interest in Gloucestershire, with links to the Natural England citations. As always, one should take care to verify information in Wikipedia before relying upon it. The above pages, however, do contain the relevant links to official sites.