Introducing Frampton Cotterell Nature Notes!

This is a page to share all of your encounters with nature and wildlife in the local village. Whatever wild plant or animal you’ve spotted, we want to hear from you! We welcome pictures as well as anecdotes of sightings across the parish and the surrounding areas.

We hope that by sharing our sightings and wildlife encounters, we will learn more about the biodiversity we have in the local area.

Anyone of any age can send in to Frampton Cotterell Nature Notes. All you have to do is email Daisy Finniear on projectofficer@framptoncotterell-pc.gov.uk, message us on Facebook or leave a comment on one of the posts below and we will add it to this page for all to see. Remember to state where you saw the plant/animal and your name (age discretion optional!).

We are especially keen to hear sightings from the Centenary field, as we have recently had a biodiversity survey undertaken and want to improve the habitats across the field.

Happy nature spotting!

Frampton’s Fox

Fox enjoying a spot of sun in a local garden.
Fox enjoying a spot of sun. Photo by Phil Handy.

A healthy fox has been pictured relaxing in the sun in a residents garden.

Phil Handy, who spotted the fox, said ” Foxes frequently visit our garden in the heart of the village, usually as visitors just passing through. This one decided to enjoy the rare winter sun and stopped for a bit of sunbathing! “

Fox cuddled by the hedge. Photo by Phil Handy.


It is lovely to see foxes enjoying the gardens across Frampton. Often, less is more when it comes to wildlife gardening. Why not let nature take over a little in parts of your garden? You may be surprised at the creatures that come to visit!

For more tips on encouraging wildlife into your garden, you can take a look at the Wildlife Trusts Gardening Guide.

Healthy fox poking his tongue out at the camera!
Healthy fox poking his tongue out at the camera! Photo by Phil Handy.

Dipper on the Frome

The River Frome is home to an array of wildlife, especially species of bird. A dipper has been spotted this December (2019) feeding from the local river.

The dipper is a chunky bird with a nice plump body. Dippers are listed as ‘Amber’ under Birds of Conservation Concern.

Dippers feed from the shallow areas of rivers for underwater invertebrates. If you want to try and spot one for yourself be sure to take a walk along the River Frome and keep an eye out for their short tails and chocolatey brown feathers.

You can find out more about the dipper on their Wildlife Trust info page.

Dipper catching his lunch in the river frome.
Dipper on the Frome catching it’s lunch. Photo by Steve Jones.

Grey Wagtail on the Frome

A Grey wagtail has been spotted on the River Frome. Grey wagtails are listed as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern.

They can be spotted along rivers as they feed on the insects that hovver around the waterways.

To spot one for youself, take a walk along the Frome and look out for their characteristic yellow rumps!

Grey wagtail perched on rock by the River Frome. Photograph by Steve Jones (copyright).
Grey wagtail perched on rock by the River Frome. Photograph by Steve Jones (copyright).

Kingfisher on the Frome

A kingfisher was spotted on the river Frome December 2019 by Steve Jones, who took some wonderful photographs of the beautiful bird. It is great to see that Kingfishers are present in the local area as they are listed as ‘Amber’ under the Birds of Conservation Concern and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Kingfishers are often hard to spot due to their quick flying speeds. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot one for yourself along the River Frome as they swoop down to feed on small fish from the River.

You can find out more about Kingfishers on the Wildlife Trusts website.

Image of a Kingfisher perched on a branch on the River Frome.
Kingfisher on the Frome by Steve Jones (copyright).
Second image of Kingfisher on the From by Steve Jones (copyright).

Otter Sighting

An otter was spotted crossing the road near Ram Hill in Coalpit Heath.

Otters are making a comeback in England and it is really exciting to hear that they are present in our local area.

The Frome Valley River is being used by otters to get from place to place. Keep and eye out for signs of otters if you are taking a walk by the river.The easiest way to identify signs of otter is through their scat (aka, poo!). Their scat is black in colour and usually has visible small bones in it from the fish and small animals they have eaten. If you are brave enough to get up close an personal, you can also ID otter scat from the smell – it actually has a mild musky smell that some say smells of jasmine tea!

If you see any otters or signs of them, please get in touch so we can share it on Nature Notes!

Email: projectofficer@framptoncotterell-pc.gov.uk with your sightings.

Spotted: Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar!

An elephant hawk moth caterpillar has been spotted in the parish.

These chunky mini beasts can grow to be the size of your thumb! Their adult counterparts are just as impressive, growing into huge spectacular moths with a wingspan of up to 6cm.

Councillor Sue Walters, who spotted the caterpillar, said:

“I found this large caterpillar marching up my garden path today. It’s about 8 cms and quite fat with chunky legs and distinctive head markings like two eyes. It also has a ‘hook’ on its tail end which suggests it’s a hawk moth. The moths are huge. Over the last few weeks I’ve had something that felt bigger than a usual moth flying past me at night in the garden and I think that must be it. They mostly feed on rose bay willow herb so will be trying to plant some in my wild garden.”

Read more about elephant hawk moth’s here.

Images by Sue Walters

Slow worms – the legless lizard

Our local groundsman discovered a young healthy slow worm at the over grown nature zone at the back of the Brockeridge centre 31/07/2019. As slow worms are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework, this is very promising in terms of biodiversity that they are present in the overgrowth. This just shows that sometimes less is more when it comes to wildlife gardening, as the lawn clippings, overgrown brambles and shrubs provide ideal habitat hiding spaces for many species!

Slow worms thrive in composted areas – so keep a look out for them if you have an allotment at Jubilee or Mill Lane and be careful when turning your compost.

Nature Notes – Butterfly Sightings

One of our councillors, Sue Walters, shared her encounter with some beautiful butterfly species:

“Walking the dogs this afternoon some meadows had been cut and there were hundreds of butterflies. Every step they were flying up around us, I think they were Meadow Browns but they were the sort that keep their wings closed so cannot be sure. But amazing. Nevertheless.”

Bug Hotel at the Glebeland

Chair to Council, Linda Williams, spotted a bee hotel in use at the Glebeland by the wild flowers between Rectory and Church roads.

Linda says, “Possibly leaf cutter bees? (…) It was good to see as I’ve never seen a bug hotel in use before!”


(Photo by Linda Williams).