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, 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!

April Fools Frost

Just when you think winter is a thing of the past, a late April Fools Day frost kept us all on our toes! Sue Walters, who snapped this icy photo, said, “Yesterday, nature played an April Fool’s Day trick. Woke early to find everything covered in a hard frost and all the flowers were withered from the cold.”

Keep an eye on any seedlings you have planted and keep them protected throughout April, as surprise frosts may appear again! For some quick tips to protect your garden plants from frost, visit the RHS website.

Photo of frosty field
Frosty fields taken by S.Walters.

Getting Batty at Centenary Field

Emily from Bristol Bat Rescue giving a presentation all about bats!

On 19/02/2020, Frampton Cotterell Parish Council had 6 bat boxes installed at the Centenary Field. The bat boxes were handmade by the Frampton Cotterell community at a Bat Box making workshop that took place last summer. The bat box making event was organised by Village Action and many of the boxes were kindly donated to the Parish Council. Whilst these boxes were being installed, Bristol Bat Rescue gave a talk all about bats and about their rescue charity. Bristol Bat Rescue talked about all the different species of bats that may be present locally and how the bat boxes will help support them. Over 20 people braved the rainy British weather to see the boxes being installed in the trees and to learn lots of interesting facts about bats.

Emily Wilson (who ran the session pictured above) from Bristol Bat Rescue reflected and said “opportunities like this are crucial for inspiring the new generation and securing the future of bats.”

Local resident, Luka, with a bat box he made during the bat box making session in 2019.
Two out of six of the bat boxes installed at the Centenary Field.

Frampton Cotterell Parish Council recently had a wildlife survey done on the Centenary Field and will soon be implementing a new biodiversity management plan to help the local flora and fauna flourish. The six handmade bat boxes were successfully installed and will provide a place for the local bats to roost and help support local wildlife.

Daisy Finniear (Project Officer to Frampton Cotterell Parish Council) said: “I walked around the Centenary Field last year with my bat detector and recorded 4 different species in the space of 15 minutes, so we know we have lots of bats around that will be very happy with their new boxes! Thank you to everyone that kindly donated their handmade boxes.”

A noctule bat rescued by Bristol Bat Rescue (image copyright Bristol Bat Rescue)

Bats are the only species of mammal that have evolved the ability to fly. They are nocturnal (awake at night) and contrary to popular belief, they are not blind. They use echolocation to find their way around and to catch their prey. They navigate by making ultrasonic sounds that bounce off objects. There are 18 different species of bat in the UK, all of which are protected species. There may be as many as 14 species locally, including rare large species of bat such as the noctule. During March and April, bats will begin to emerge from hibernation in search for food. If you keep an eye out at dawn or dusk, you may start noticing bats taking their first flights after sleeping through the long cold winter months. The smallest of the UK bat species, the common pipistrelle, can eat up to 3000 insects in one night! Bats are therefore fantastic at pest control and a vital part of the ecosystem.

As bats begin to emerge from hibernation, you may come across one that has been injured. Bristol Bat Rescue can provide guidance  if you find an injured bat

Tony’s Trees at Centenary Field

Four trees were kindly donated to the Parish Council’s Centenary Field by local resident, Tony.

The species are native and originally came from the Woodland Trust.

The trees have been planted in the Centenary Field. They are currently tiny saplings, but will one day be towering rowan and birch trees.

Thank you Tony for the donation.

You can find out more about native tree species and tree planting on the Woodland Trust Website.

Rowan and birch tree saplings inside green tree guards at Centenary Field
Tony, who kindly donated the tree saplings to the Parish Council.

‘Hoppy Valentines’ from Frampton’s Frogs

This valentines day proved to be full of romance for some, not just for us humans but for our amphibious friends, too!

Over twenty frogs congregated in the garden of local resident, Phil Handy this Valentines Day. Three was certainly not a crowd for these friendly frogs!

Three frogs "hugging" in the water.
Frog “thruple” sharing the love this Valentines Day.

Keep an eye out for frogs in your garden or out on the roads as they begin to migrate in search of places to breed. January to February are key times for these migrations, and sadly many frogs end up being killed on these daring journeys. Frogs also begin to lay their frogspawn at this time, so if you have a pond in your garden keep a look out for these jelly like eggs. Find out more about frogs behaviour and frogspawn on the Country File website

Frogs and frogspawn poking heads above water. Photo by Phil Handy.
Frogs and frogspawn poking heads above water. Photo by Phil Handy.
Frogspawn and frogs in local pond. Image by Phil Handy.
Frogspawn and frogs in local pond. Image by Phil Handy.

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: 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