September 2020 Newsletter  
Wild Wild Child Club - Adopted Sheep at Kings Field ,,,Work Parties ,,,Limefield Pit ,,,Michael Gould,,,Top

Our New Logo (and name)

The new Walden Countryside Logo has been designed for us by Nick Crawley to whom we are very grateful, There were two reasons for choosing the Marbled White butterfly as our emblem:

  • It has a striking, black and white design (it is no accident the the "big boys" in wildlife conservation have chosen black and white animals: Avocet (RSPB), Badger (Wildlife Trusts), Panda (WWF).
  • Marbled Whites, absent from the Walden area for almost a century, have made a remarkable comeback. You can see lots at all three of our reserves and seeing plenty of butterflies is what many visitors say is the best part of a visit to Noakes Grove,

Finally the name we now use: "Walden" because we are only concerned with the Saffron Walden and its surrounding villages and "Countryside" because we are not just a wildlife conservation group. We want to recreate bits of traditionally managed countryside to produce some local food and be enjoyed by people as well as restoring biodiversity.


Essex Lottery Win for Walden Countryside supporter

One of our supporters who buys a £1 Essex lottery ticket each week won £250. Three others have each had smaller prizes. Could you be lucky too? Next week might be your turn to win the £25,000 jackpot or a £2500 prize. The 20 tickets our supporters buy each week earn us £520 a year – a real help with the running costs of Noakes Grove.

Our target is to sell 50 tickets a week – so if you want some fun seeing if you win a prize, while helping us raise the funds we need, please sign-up to buy a ticket or two each week.

Please visit our Essex Lottery page and buy a weekly ticket

Lottery Logo

Wild Children – some are being tamed and sent back to school

From mid-June to the end of August two groups of five children have met each week for a Wild Child Club.

The Friday Wild Kids camp before the rainstorm


  • Friday Wild Kids

The Wednesday Group had a marvelous over-night camp and watched shooting stars, identified bats with a bat-detector and caught moths in a moth-trap. The Friday group was unlucky with the weather and had to be content with a barbecue meal of local deer-burgers followed by pancakes garnished with Noakes Grove blackberries.

Eight of our ten children are going back to school and their club is taking a rest for a month or so. When school is once more a normal part of life, we plan to restart the club on Saturdays.

For our remaining two Wild Children, who are home-schooled, the Friday day-time Club will continue and they will be joined by three new home-schoolers



Cooking the Radwinter deer burgers and Noakes Grove blackberries

deer burgers and blackberries

Photos: Lucy Sinnott

The 6-9 year-olds have

  • Caught small mammals in live-traps
  • Raised tadpoles and caterpillars
  • Counted butterflies as part of the national Big Butterfly Count
  • Made leaf-prints and collected the fruits of each species of tree in Noakes Grove,
  • Made bird-boxes
  • Had fun climbing trees and making dens


Wild Child Club - Adopted Sheep at Kings Field ,,,Work Parties ,,,Limefield Pit ,,,Michael Gould,,,Top

Adopted Sheep at Kings Field

Peter Savic's idea of putting our sheep up for adoption worked brilliantly. All ten of our breeding ewes and ewe lambs were adopted within a few days of last month's newsletter appearing. Soon after their adoption most of our ewes and lambs moved from Noakes Grove to Kings Field (our Hempstead reserve).

Until now, Kings Field has not been open to the general public but that is changing. Adoptive parents of sheep can already visit whenever they like and we hope to finish preparations for the full opening to the public very soon.

Essex County Council has donated a footbridge that will link the fields on either side of the Bumpstead Brook which flows through the reserve.

Work Parties

Sunday 20th September – this is the first of the regular (3rd Sunday of the month) autumn and winter work parties at Noakes Grove. Come any time after 10.00 am. Bring your children if you wish but it will be your responsibility to work with them on tasks they can do safely. We will be working well separated from each other and entirely in the open air. You should bring your own food and drink as sharing food is inadvisable at present. No need to tell us in advance that you plan to join us but, if you have any questions please email

Wild Child Club - Adopted Sheep at Kings Field ,,,Work Parties ,,,Limefield Pit ,,,Michael Gould,,,Top

Limefield Pit

Thanks to those of you who have already asked about helping with the restoration of Limefield Pit nature reserve. We are not yet ready to start work on this project but will do so as soon as all the details are agreed with the Essex Wildlife Trust. Meanwhile, if you would like to join our list of potential volunteers please read all about the project and what we hope our volunteers will do. Click Here

Michael Gould

Many of you will have fond memories of the late Michael Gould working hard at the Noakes Grove work parties before he was laid low by his final illness. Issa has requested that any donations in memory of Michael should be used by Walden Countryside for its conservation work. There is a memorial page for Michael - Click Here


Wild Child Club - Adopted Sheep at Kings Field ,,,Work Parties ,,,Limefield Pit ,,,Michael Gould,,,Top

Copyright 2020
Organic Countryside Community Interest Company
Trading as Walden Countryside
Company number 06794848 - registered in England
VAT No: 947 3003 317

Updated 1 September 2020