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Monday, July 22, 2019

Curry Rivel in Bloom

We welcomed inspectors from Britain in Bloom today and found it very useful in readiness for our more serious inspection next Monday as part of our National bid for a gold medal!  More comment soon.

Latest news from Somerset Wildlife Trust

Somerset: on the Frontline of Climate Change

 9th Jul 2019
9th July 2019 - Thanks to a major European grant (Interreg 2 Seas) Somerset has received £2.1m to help communities adapt to the climate emergency.
Somerset’s long coast and large areas of low-laying land make it one of the UK’s most climate vulnerable areas, facing significant risks from sea level rise, fluvial (river) flooding and drought.
The new project, known as Co-Adapt (Climate Adaptation through Co-Creation) aims to increase public understanding of the impacts of climate change, and open challenging conversations about how Somerset’s authorities and communities can best plan for a healthy and productive future. Co-Adapt’s focus areas are the Somerset Levels and Moors, Porlock Vale and the River Culm catchment, this straddles the border with Devon.
The project will use a revolutionary new approach known as Adaptation Pathways, this links nature-based solutions, like planting trees or restoring wetlands and floodplains, to the environmental changes they are designed to tackle, helping Somerset make effective plans in the face of an uncertain climate.
Along with reducing flood and drought risks, these nature-based solutions restore our ecosystems at a landscape scale and some actively lock up carbon from the atmosphere, helping to prevent further climate breakdown.  Through the project, partners in Belgium, Holland and France will also be testing out different approaches, with learnings shared between countries.
The adaptation options themselves will be developed through a consensus-based approach. Many groups will have the opportunity to input their experience and expertise, including policy makers, councils, infrastructure experts, landowners, farmers and communities. Through this process the project aims to increase understanding of the threats we face, encourage action on climate adaptation and ultimately to develop a suite of adaptation options, tailored to the needs of Somerset’s communities and landscapes.
Councillor David Hall, Cabinet member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure and Chair of the Somerset Rivers Authority said: “Natural approaches to reducing flood risk are often less invasive and can be more sustainable in the longer term.”
“Councils across Somerset and the rest of the country declared a climate emergency earlier this year and these projects complement that perfectly. Like all effective climate change initiatives, they are the result of great partnership working.”

Steve Mewes, Policy and Campaigns Manager, at Somerset Wildlife Trust explains: “The impacts from previous decades of burning fossil fuels are yet to be fully felt, but we do know that regardless of work to reduce global emissions, there will be a degree of climate change – the impacts of which we need to prepare for now. The floods of 2013/14 were an early wake-up call for Somerset’s communities, and led to the creation of Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan and the Somerset Rivers Authority. The plan made a commitment to develop long-term solutions to reduce flood and drought risks, the Co-Adapt project is a major part of fulfilling this commitment and being confident that we are adequately prepared for what lies ahead.”
Tim Youngs, Manager, of the Blackdown Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) adds: “We will be working with local communities helping the Culm catchment to ‘heal’ itself. In doing so, it will become more resilient to flood and drought and local people will benefit through reduced flood risk to properties downstream, enhanced biodiversity and improved water quality.”
The main partner organisations for the Co-Adapt project in Somerset are Somerset County Council, Somerset Rivers Authority, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West (FWAG SW), the National Trust and Blackdown Hills AONB.
interreg
ENDS
For interviews and further information please contact:
Beccy Willmetts, Communications Office: 01823 653 414.
Email: rebecca.willmetts@somersetwildlife.org
Shelly Easton, Climate Change Adaptation Officer: 01823 652 473 / 07419 334805.
Email: shelly.easton@somersetwildlife.org
westhay moor
Photo: Guy Edwardes. Westhay Moor
Catcott lows
Photo: Andrew Kirby. Catcott Lows Drone image
levels
Photo: Guy Edwardes. Somerset Levels.
Images are attached for use with this news release.  They are granted on a one-time use basis, in association with this release and the photographer must be credited. More images available on request.
Notes to editors:
About the Co-Adapt project
The Co-Adapt project is designed to help Somerset adapt to Climate Change. The county is one of the UK’s most climate vulnerable areas, facing significant risks from sea level rise, fluvial (river) flooding and drought.
Co-Adapt will use a revolutionary new approach known as Adaptation Pathways, which links adaptation options with the environmental pressures faced. This means Somerset’s authorities and communities can make effective plans, even in the face of an uncertain climate.
The main project partners in Somerset are; Somerset County Council, Somerset Rivers Authority, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West (FWAG SW), the National Trust and Blackdown Hills AONB.
Funding
The Co-Adapt project will bring £2.1m from the European Regional Development Fund into Somerset over the next three-and-a-half years for the projects on the Levels, Porlock Vale and the River Culm catchment.
A total of €7 million has come from the Interreg 2 Seas funding programme - a European Territorial Cooperation Programme covering England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders). The Programme is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
There are two main responses to climate change: mitigation and adaptation.
  • Mitigation addresses the root causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Adaptation seeks to lower the risks posed by the consequences of climatic changes.
Both are necessary, because even if emissions are dramatically decreased in the next decade, adaptation will still be needed to deal with the global changes that have already been set in motion.
About Somerset Wildlife Trust – www.somersetwildlife.org
Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years and, with over 19,000 members, is the largest conservation charity in the county.  Alongside our members and volunteers, we work year-round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
Our reserves holding of over 1,700 hectares incorporates a diverse range of habitats from wetlands to woodlands, grasslands and meadows, and provide secure environments for a diverse range of wildlife such as Dormice, Otters, Hedgehogs, Barn Owls and many other species - as well as providing safe havens for some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Large Blue butterfly.
The majority of our work is made possible through the support of our members and people who live and work in the county who choose to make donations, fundraise for us or leave generous gifts in their wills. By working together with our members and supporters we really can make a difference.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Still here but "gone to sleep"

I really don't understand all the notes about Blogger  that are appearing on my blog so I need to get some advice from someone who knows more than I do.

I've just tried to post details of a talk being given in Somerset but failed. Hope to work it out soon and resume posting.

Here is a bit of our poster!

"Roger Dickey has been conducting seabird studies at Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly and wildest part of the UK mainland, for over 10 years now, working on behalf of the MOD. Cape Wrath is home to huge numbers of seabirds from auks to skuas, and terns to divers. Roger's  talk provides a fascinating glimpse into the wildlife and natural beauty of a region on the edge of Britain's most desolate and inhospitable coastline. "

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wildlife Gardening the easy way.

In preparing for our village entry for the Britain in Bloom competition I have suggested we should try to promote wildlife life gardening. I am copying advice given by RSPB which is a good review of how we can do that. Follow the links given for more information.

RSPB email.
Let parts of your lawn grow long this summer - it will provide a home for minibeasts and save you time too! Find out more here: Do you have a patch of long grass - what bugs and beasties have you noticed there?

By leaving our front lawn to grow naturally this year we have now found 12 wild orchids,(Pyramidal) just coming into full flowering over the last two weeks. All self sown not planted by us!

All just as the RSPB suggests we can do!!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Advice from Blogger


I've been using Blogger for many years now and would welcome any comments on the contents of this message added to my Blog by Blogger!



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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Recording wildlife.

Updating my last post, I have started to use the SERC system and hopefully I have recorded a couple of "ordinary" sightings this week. Here is a link to the web site and the instructions you need to follow:http://www.somerc.com/submit-your-sightings/ You need to live in Somerset of course!!

Visiting a friends garden this week we were amazed to see a Blackbird somehow catch a Newt from the pond and fly off with it. Couldn't see more clearly than that and it all happened in a split second. It took its prey into some bushes and was obviously having difficulty dealing with it. We left it to it!

Will look more carfully at our own garden pond now where we know we have newts.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

How can I record wildlife I see in my village?

On Tuesday this week our local group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust organised a talk to explain to members how we can do this.
I was interested to listen to an excellent presentation of the on line recording system developed by Somerset Environmental Records Centre.( SERC) I followed up the same evening by entering my sighting of a Orange Tip butterfly in my own garden two days ago. I expect many people have seen them recently. After a couple of tries I have entered this sighting onto the Somerset Records. Not remarkable but as was apparent from questions a common reaction to being urged to report common sightings is  why report something which is thought off as not worth the effort.

For me the reason is the same as led us to start our own local village system which you can see in operation if you visit Curry Rivel Community Website. Use this link :http://www.curryrivel.org.uk  A map is shown with the Parish boundary marked  using Google Earth maps and on the map are symbols to represent the reports we have receive, their location and description of what was seen. We set that system up because of our interest in wildlife and because as on of small group of volunteers said," if we want to protect out wildlife then we first need to know what wildlife is currently resident in our area!"

What I learnt form our talk was that SERC have given us the means to pass on our sightings so that they can be " officially" recorded centrally for Somerset where they are available for planning departments , developers and local councils who are considering housing and other projects.

So its a lot more than just local curiosity and interest and I hope we will be able to use this tool and well as keeping our local initiative going in parallel.

SERC web site and the way to make our reports are clearly shown at this web address link:   http://www.somerc.com/who-are-serc/

To see the Facebook page for our local area group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust try this link:http:://www.somersetwildlife.org/Heart_of_the_Level

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Curry Rivel wildlife

I posted this short report on our Community Web Site and have already had several new sightings so happy with that.

The Wildlife Survey Group has set up a map of the village and we add a marker every time someone reports any form of wildlife. 
To view the map simply click here 

To report your sighting if you use a mobile phone or other computer device email to: davidgerman555@gmail.com or editor@curryrivel.org.uk or curryrivelnews@gmail.com
It will reach me, David German, eventually!
At the recent Annual Parish Assembly I was able to report that the Wildlife Survey Group is indeed still alive and well and collecting news of fresh wildlife sightings around Curry Rivel.
Most of the reported sightings so far have been added with an approximate location to the Village Wildlife Map on the website.
Reports for 2018 include the following:
5.3.18.I was contacted about an unusually large "creepy crawly"
I've copied how I asked SERC for identification!
Sent to SERC:
"Help please!
What is this? Sent to me this morning. Found on a slab sunbathing yesterday in a garden next to Batty Piece. Looks very pale and seems to have a pair of legs per segment. I've checked the length and was told it was about 10 cm.It seems to be a centipede but rather big? Mobile phone picture included.The person sending this didn't actually see it and will contact the originator for more info if possible.
Regards,
David"
Response from SERC:
"Thank-you for the creepy crawly photo, it is indeed a centipede. As to which is not so easy to say, there are 57 species of centipede in the UK!
Here is an interesting link
The Western yellow centipede (Stigmatogaster subterranea) seems plausible, up to 70mm, not so long as your specimen but possible. The Nature Spot website says there are several very similar species and they can only be identified conclusively with an id key and a microscope, not from a photo sadly! So, centipede sp. is as good as we can get.
Actually, some people keep non-native centipede species as pets so it could even be an escapee." 
8.4.18 Video clip of two stoats fighting in a local ditch. Very dramatic and serious with probably only one winner! Will try to show video complete with sound effects!


Tried but not working!



Other reports in April so far include ,Swallows,House Martins, early purple wild orchids, Bluebells, primroses and Cowslips in East Field and Batty Piece in large numbers.
By coincidence there will be a Wildlife Trust public meeting with a presentation of the recording work by Somerset Environmental Centre organised by the Heart of the Levels Volunteer Group 8th May in Somerton.
"It is the endless task of the Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) to record the county's plant and wildlife. Why is this so
important, and what is this information used for? Come and find out how you can make a big contribution to counting our wildlife."

Friday, April 27, 2018

Neonicotinoid pesticides.


I thought this news should be spread around!



Dear David

Today is a momentous day for our bees.

In the last few minutes the European Union has voted to ban bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) on all crops grown outdoors. And Friends of the Earth supporters like you – and across Europe – played a massive part in making it happen.

In the past neonics were banned on a handful of crops. Now, if a crop is grown outdoors, neonics are totally off-limits. Our bees will be able to fly more freely through our countryside without the risk of these harmful chemicals.

Following huge pressure from thousands of you, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove played his part and voted for the ban. So an extra well done if you signed our petition. Let’s celebrate and share this huge success for our bees.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Wild flowers and "Plantlife"


This is a good time to get out looking for wildflowers in our verges, hedges and nature reserves.


This is an extract from Plantlife's latest newsletter.




Dear supporter,
Happy Spring! Get ready to hunt for woodland flowers, learn more about how we are protecting ancient trees and help us speak up for wild flowers in Government. Read on...
Great British Wildflower Hunt 2018
The 2018 Great British Wildflower Hunt launches next week with a new list for those who enjoy a woodland walk. Help us discover where those bluebells and primroses are blooming! 




Here is a link to Plantlife's web site where you can find out much more about the important work done for wildflowers

:https://mailchi.mp/plantlife/plantlife-news-april-2018?e=3369987e57