Jon Cranfield

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

dragons have awoken in New Alresford

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2016 at 4:51 pm



Happy New Year!

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2016 at 8:36 am

2016 is upon us. Had a great break down in Cornwall seeing the fireworks across Plymouth and taking the New Year’s Day Dip (see below)

It was my first dip and it was really fun. I will be looking for similar events in Hampshire for NYD in 2017.

It’s a new year and the Alresford Ukulele Jam will be busy from March onwards. You can find out more at AUJ’s facebook page and read their news on their WordPress site 

I am organising some voluntary herpetofauna surveys in 2016 in Hampshire. I have a few volunteers and hope to assess several sites in Winchester for reptiles and possibly amphibians.

More details to follow very soon.

Contact to find out more.

a change in direction…

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

Over the past year or so I have taken up various activities and hobbies away from my main interest of herpetology. I learn Aikido, play five a side football, large distance walks for charity, started a Ukulele Band and a volunteer with the scouting movement.

I am going to expand this blog to include updates on the various activities I am now involved in.

There will be wildlife reports, latest on gigs with the Alresford Ukulele Jam, my progress in Aikido, and the latest scores from the Real Fat Dad’s Football club on every Thursday evening.

I will also be reporting on the latest in the saga of the local plan in New Alresford. I will try to minimise that to snippets of information rather than full on rants as the whole issue is really highly political.

My thoughts and position on the city council’s proposed policies, the exhibitions by the opposing community group and other updates will be posted here.

One of my main interests at the moment is the Alresford Ukulele Jam.

We have played two gigs so far one at the Alresford Scarecrow Festival on the 28th September and the second was at the Globe on the 16th October.

Last night we had a jam practice session at the Globe and went through our set list. Our next small gig is at the Lest we forget Remembrance Concert on the 8th November.

Let’s hope I can keep these posts light hearted and interesting from now on…

2014 – a new project for this year

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I will be at the Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting at the end of the month. An excellent meeting which sold out within 13 days. My company is sponsoring the event and will be having a stall at the meeting.

Anyway just what project could I start this year. I am already for the challenge of the Winchester PPP (in July), the Grand Union Challenge (in June) and the Thames Path Challenge (in September). I will be visiting adder sites this spring to count the emerging adults for Make the Adder Count.

I will be busy this year with the business, family and my interests. I would like to concentrate on my local area this year. Therefore a biodiversity audit of my garden is going to be the main thing I am going to aim for.

Recording all the species existing in my very small patch of a garden over the coming year.

Here is to a great Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting 2014….

Make the adder count on the #Recordpool

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

A mini website designed to enable reporting of spring counts of adders over February to June.

Make the adder count on the #Recordpool

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

A mini website designed to enable reporting of spring counts of adders over February to June.

Great crested newt surveys this year.

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

This year I have been registered under Natural England’s class license which came in at the end of last year. This year’s survey work has produced some great results around the M25 and the A12 in Essex and at the Nevendon washland reserve. 

The reporting arrangements for the class 2 license is due for the end of October and there is a requirement to report survey results to local record centre’s. There are no excuses for people undertaking newt surveys you will be in breach of your survey license and effectively the survey work would be considered illegal if the results are not reported to local record centre’s. 

I will be sending all the data I have collected to the online record pool based on the ARG UK website at I will be reporting all my data to the record pool knowing that the information will be heading to local groups, lrcs and county recorders. 

The question is will there be a rush of records this October? 


the Xmas tree is in its third year

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2011 at 8:50 am

Will it survive the central heating for a third time? A living christmas tree to help reduce waste, pollution and the cost!

Admittedly the tree is taking on a strange shape and is also leaning to one side in its pot.

The tree spends the rest of the year in the back garden providing shelter for a variety of bugs.

When it came inside several ladybirds were found amongst the needles. They were released back into the garden into cover for the winter.

still going strong 3yrs on

still going strong 3yrs on

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the first day the pond has frozen 18th Dec

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

The garden pond has its first covering of ice today. After a very cold night the entire surface of the pond is iced.

Now should I worry about the ice. Well people often say that you should float a ball or melt a hole in the ice.

The evidence that this helps either amphibians or other animals is sadly lacking according to the Big Pond Thaw Survey run by Pond Conservation.

There are a number of green plants in the water column including starwort, hyacinth, duck weed, moss, grasses and algae which as long as sunlight reaches them will keep the oxygen levels up.

No snow yet but this will be scraped off the pond to keep the oxygen levels up and hopefully the invertebrates will survive the winter.

no need to worry about the ice in this shallow pond

no need to worry about the ice in this shallow pond

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South West Regional Meeting 10th December 2011

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Had a great time at the South West Regional meeting of the ARG UK. I gave a talk on Make the Adder Count and I also led a seminar on Raising the profile of reptiles in the South West.

It was very enjoyable to see how the ARGs are getting on with conserving their local amphibians and reptiles.

It was a nice mixture of talks with a hefty weighting towards reptiles which is a change as these meetings are mostly amphibian.

There was a talk on great crested newts in Devon along with testing reptile survey guidelines through two MSc research projects. The issue of disturbance was discussed alongside in relation to reptile conservation.

Apparently I came over as anti consultant in my views towards the standards of reptile mitigation in the south west. I have to say I thought I was leaning on the nature conservation bodies as they definitely do not have reptiles on their agenda. The delegates were under the impression that wildlife organisations should know what they are doing when it comes to conservation. This is continually not the case when reports of reptile sites being damaged by nature conservation activities such as clearing scrub, brambles and gorse to create ‘heathland’.

The attitude is the reptiles can look after themselves. Sadly evidence points to local extinctions of adders particularly.
The Make the Adder Count is geared to addressing this problem. Assessing status of adders and making them count in habitat management is the aim of the project.

The seminar led to selection of land managers and planners who were the most important people to raise the profile of reptiles to.

Hopefully an advice note will be produced on this as we go into the Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting in January 2012.

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