New Year 2016 - Wookey Hole Wildlife Blog


Picture – looking down on winter floods from high ground

Most of us can be pretty smug, not much of our village floods, but my heart bleeds for those poor people up north that have been flooded time after time. In Somerset it is a bit different.  The levels are supposed to flood!  If we are going to have more exceptional weather events as Global Warming accelerates it will happen again and again. Dredging to upper Parrett is only a partial solution – and will probably mean the water will rush off even faster and flood Bridgewater!

Wookey Hole Wildlife Blog - December 2015

I hear there is a mink in the valley- they are devils and will kill anything they get near. They are not  native and have no natural predators, apart from man. Some misguided animal liberators released them from mink farms and had a lot of adverse publicity a few years ago – but  American mink were already well established in most of the UK long before that, as escapes or deliberate releases from uneconomic mink farms. (it is not commonly known that there were at least 30 farms in UK where mink were bred for the fur trade in disgusting  conditions - till wearing of fur became unfashionable.  

I have the skull of one in my collection that came up the Axe a few years ago – only to meet it’s end by attempting to climb a drain pipe after swallows nests – but slid back down and drowned in the rain barrel !

All the conservation bodies in Somerset now have a policy of trapping the little brutes.


image.png  Picture – mink killing kingfisher from Halcyon River.BBC 


So, apart from Mink, here is a wish for peace to all the Almighty's  creatures and for the world in 2016

Happy Solstice/Christmas

Les C

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Church of St Mary Magdalene, Wookey Hole

David Scarth, Churchwarden for St Mary Magdalene Church has compiled this article about the church as part of his work documenting the Church's significance, for the Diocesan records.  The photos are courtesy Nicky Amos. 


Wookey Hole, St Mary Magdalene

Section 1: Brief history and description of the church building, contents, churchyard and setting.

St Mary Magdalene, Wookey Hole is a small Victorian Church built in 1874.  It is built in what is probably an old quarry, occupying a visible, raised position in the centre of the village, next to the village pub and opposite the car park to Wookey Hole caves, a major Somerset tourist attraction. 

It is in the Victorian Gothic Early English style, constructed of local ‘Pudding Stone’, Dolomitic Conglomerate with Doulting freestone dressings.  The Church was listed Grade 2 in 2004. 



Wookey Hole Wildlife Blog - Early Winter

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Woodcock and Snipe


There was a  Woodcock in the Valley yesterday. They have incredible camouflaged, and on a woodland path they will sit tight till you almost tread on them. Woodcock used to breed up at the Priddy Mineries but it is many year since I last heard, usually in spring at dusk, the males grunting flight. I often see them in local Wookey Hole woods – but not normally till the cold of midwinter drives them down from the higher Mendip Woods this one is very early. 

Wookey Hole Wildlife Blog - November 2015

Even those of us who already knew what an amazing place Ebbor Gorge is were thrilled by the walks put on by Natural England at their open day in October.   Apart from the wildlife and spectacular scenery of this ‘Cheddar Gorge in miniature’  right on our doorstep, the caves and rock shelters give  insight into our prehistoric past.

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