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Habitat and wellbeing go together – Improving our biodiversity

This week our Habitat and Wellbeing Go Together campaign focuses on how you can enjoy nature in our borough and how we are improving its biodiversity.

Last week was all about Walk to School Week for primary-aged children. We are encouraging families to make small changes to more active travel. As well as being good for health, active travel also makes it easier to spot the surrounding wildlife, which can be missed when in a car.

Such small changes can have a significant impact on our local environment and our wellbeing.

Natural methods to improve biodiversity 

Traditional methods are being used to turn one of our important spaces into a grazing marsh. 

Battlemead Common was farmland and in the past year, 110 hectares have been occupied by cows and sheep. This is for conservation grazing and the natural repurposing of the land classified as a priority area by Natural England. 

Hereford cows, and a Belted Galloway, were on the River Thames floodplain north of Maidenhead, the past autumn and winter. They were then replaced by sheep which graze the area differently. 

Conservation grazing is an effective and sustainable way to maintain and improve habitats, which is used successfully across the country by wildlife and conservation charities.

It means areas don’t become overgrown and encourages a diverse range of plants and animals, including invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and small mammals, to thrive. 

The farm animals have recently been removed and the grasses will be allowed to grow again before the cycle begins for a second year.  


We purchased the land in 2018 with the intention to use historical measures to preserve what would have been the original view from Cliveden. 

Areas of the site are open to public access, including a footpath link to the Thames Path, while other parts are closed to public access to protect sensitive wildlife habitats. 

Check out our video to learn more.

Explore Braywick Nature Centre this summer 

Come and join us at Braywick Nature Centre and see how the flora and fauna develop through late spring and summer.  

Getting out into nature can help with our physical and mental health. 

Right now, there is the chance to see different woodland flowers which thrive in low light and appear as the canopy closes over with new leaves.  

Birds are very busy finding food for their young. Parent great tits can fetch over 10,000 caterpillars, their favourite food, in just 18 days. 

There is more to look out for after the summer solstice. The old Tip’s tall grass is a great habitat for insects including ladybirds, grasshoppers, and butterflies which provides food for birds and shrews.

These animals, in turn, provide food for larger predators like the kestrels hovering above the meadow during the day, and at night owls and foxes. Although the birds will have quietened down, their young will be foraging for themselves and learning the skills they need for winter.  

Looking further into August, the summer sees a slowing down of wildlife, but there is still much to be enjoyed. In the uncut edges of the Tip, many butterflies, like red admirals, painted ladies, and peacocks, can be seen feeding on the nectar. In the open meadow, crows and magpies take advantage of easy pickings in the short turf, feasting on beetles, grubs, and spiders. 

Then the landscape changes again as the autumn and winter preparations begin. There is always something to see at Braywick Nature Centre. 

Biodiversity lending library 

There is specialist equipment you can borrow to find out more about the biodiversity in your garden or nearby environment. 

To conserve nature, we need to know what is around us, and how it is changing. 

You could see if bats are ducking and diving in the skies above your garden by borrowing a device that can pick up their chirps and clicks that are too high a frequency for us to hear. 

There are also thermal monocles and cameras to discover what shy creatures come out after dark, and the grassland nets to investigate the biodiversity clinging onto the long stalks.  Simple identification guides are also available to borrow. 

The lending library is managed by our team at Braywick Nature Centre. The equipment is free to borrow for you to complete your own biodiversity surveys which can be uploaded on our website.  

If you'd like to borrow something, please contact us. We hope you enjoy finding out more about the wildlife in your local area. 

Focus on sustainability - Plasticblitz and Waterblitz

Help to clean up and monitor the quality of our waterways. Braywick Nature Centre is running a Plasticblitz and Waterblitz, in partnership with Thames21, where you can get involved with a riverbank litter pick and water quality monitoring on Saturday 10 June from 10am to noon.

This is a free volunteer-based event with no experience needed. Guidance and equipment will be provided, just dress for the weather.

For more information see our Facebook event or email

Pharmacies open on May Bank Holiday Monday


Remember, many pharmacies will be closed or have reduced hours on the May Bank Holiday on Monday 29 May.


So, give yourself enough time to order and collect your prescriptions.


But if you do need a Berkshire pharmacy on that day, you can check which are open and find their opening hours on the NHS South East website.


For other medical advice, as well as finding the right support for your condition, visit NHS Frimley’s Health and Care’s website.

World Café is coming to Bray ward

Our next World Cafe will be in Bray ward on Tuesday 30 May, from 4pm to 6pm.


There’s no need to book. Simply pop along to Holyport War Memorial Hall, Moneyrow Green, SL6 2NA. Free refreshments and goodies will also be available.

At our informal Royal Borough World Cafés, you can chat over a cuppa with community representatives and organisations, about what matters most to you in your neighbourhood. The aim is to find solutions to your local issues together, as well as discover support and meet fellow residents.


Since starting the World Cafes last summer, we’ve visited 15 wards across the Royal Borough, reaching out to more than 500 people, and will be going to the remaining few in the next few months.

We’re due, for example, to be in Cox Green on Saturday 10 June and in Oldfield on Wednesday 26 July. If you missed the World Café in your ward, but live in the neighbouring one, please do pop along. All are welcome.

For more details about our World Cafes and the next few dates, please visit the RBWM Together website. You can also hear Sumayyah Zeib, from our World Café team, talking more about the events on Asian Star Radio earlier this week.

Watch our Annual Council meeting

Our Annual Meeting takes place next week on Tuesday 23 May at 7pm.

The meeting will be held at The Windsor Guildhall and includes the election of our new Mayor and Leader of the Council.

The agenda and how to watch the meeting live can be found on our website.

Royal Borough Community Spotlight

Here are just some of the upcoming community events in the Royal Borough:

  • The Quince Players present ‘Murder Weapon’ (Saturday 20 May, 7.45pm) – Cordes Hall, Sunninghill. The Quince Players, a not-for-profit amateur dramatics society will be performing the gripping Murder Weapon by Brian Clemens. Book and learn more on the Quince Players website


  • Spring Fair (Saturday 20 May, 10am to noon) – St Mark’s Crescent Methodist Church, Maidenhead. St Mark’s is welcoming families, friends and those who are new in the community to enjoy their annual Spring Fair. The fair will have lots of stalls to browse with plants, books, CDs, DVDs, bric-a-brac, and homemade cakes for sale, as well as a raffle and tombola. The fair aims to raise money for the church fund. For more information email the church


  • Fresh cut flower sale (Sunday 28 May, noon to 3pm) – The Scout Hut opposite the BP garage, Maidenhead Road. All funds will support Clewer Scout and Guide groups

  • Holyport Summer Fair (Saturday 3 June, noon to 5pm) – Village Hall, Moneyrow Green. Holyport Community Trust is holding its annual summer fair. Perfect for the whole family, with a BBQ, tea and cakes and a beer tent plus loads of stalls and games. There's also a fantastic raffle with a top prize of £200 and more than 20 other amazing prizes. Learn more on the Holyport Community Trust website


  • Clewer Green Summer Fair (Saturday 1 July, from 11am to 4pm) – Hatch Lane, Windsor. An afternoon of family fun. There is something for everyone including games, stalls, face painting, tombola, entertainment, and a fully-licensed bar. Learn more on the Facebook event page


  • Family concert (Sunday 2 July, 4pm) – Sir Bernard Miller Centre, Cookham. The Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra (WMSO) are hosting a family concert featuring the music of Sibelius, Coates and Elgar. Tickets are £18 or £5 for children and students. Visit the WMSO website to learn more and book

  • Holyport Whist Club (Alternate Tuesdays, 2pm to 4pm) – Holyport Memorial Hall. New members and beginners are welcome. Call Jeanette Sperling on 01628 624442 or email to learn more


  • Volunteers wanted at Thames Hospice – Local charity Thames Hospice is appealing for volunteers to join their eBay commerce team, including packers, listers and researchers. The roles are easy with full training given, and are a great way to add online sales to your CV. To learn more, please visit the Thames Hospice website

If you have an upcoming not-for-profit community event or activity you’d like to promote in this newsletter, simply send basic information about your event to and it could be shared with more than 21,000 local residents.

You just need to include a brief description, when and where it takes place, and a link to a website/social media page/contact where people can find out more.

Local Travel Updates

Planned engineering works will be taking place on the South Western Railway (SWR) network this weekend (Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 May). These works may affect your journey, so please check the SWR website before you travel.

The Aslef union's industrial action will affect local Great Western Railway (GWR) and SWR services on Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June. There will also be further disruption to services tomorrow (Saturday 20 May) and on Saturday 13 May and Thursday 1 June due to action short of a strike.


For more information, please visit the GWR website or the SWR website.

For details of council works on highways, visit our website. For full local roadwork details, including work by utility firms, please visit the One Network website.

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