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Thursday, September 10, 2020

 A new nature reserve in Curry Rivel Somerset UK. Read the story.

You can find our project on Crowdfunding at:

Latest development:

New stretch target

Once the land belongs to the Trust we will need to invest in trees,  fencing, materials to use on path improvement and on information boards

Many, many thanks to all those who have helped us reach the initial target that enables us to buy the land. Thanks also to those who have expressed an interest in helping in other ways - we will be in contact once we have your addresses.

In the meantime we are now hoping to raise more money towards the next costs as shown above

The nine and a half acres of land at Curry Woods has come back into Somerset County Council's hands after a long period of being tenanted. The Curry Woods Conservation Trust was formed in 2019 with the aim of buying the land and then maintaining the ancient woodland, planting more trees on the part of the land that has been intensively farmed and also using some land to grow crops to provide food for some of the many species of birds that overwinter in the area. SCC have agreed to sell the land to the Trust for £60,000 and we have so far raised over £ 46000 locally, with another grant for £12500 on the cards - so £1000  would see us over the line!

 Why is this land special? So many reasons! For a start most of the woodland is known to be ancient, which means there has probably been woodland on this site since the 1600s. It is therefore the habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species, and forms part of a wildlife corridor of along a ridge above the Somerset Levels. Surprisingly Somerset has relatively little woodland (7%) compared to the national average of 9%)  so we need to conserve what is currently present. Secondly, the land is at a high point on the ridge and in winters water runs off from it in two directions - to the Levels on one side and to the village of Curry Rivel on the other. It floods down the aptly named Water Street to the heart of the village, where it has flooded the village school on at least two occasions in the last decade. Tree roots are known to hold up the the flow of water and prevent soil erosion so planting more trees will aid water retention .

The local community has already become involved in fund raising and collecting sapling trees and we intend to hold guided walks in the autumn, led by one of the trustees who is an experienced naturalist.  the community will be involved in tree planting  and the maintenance of the land. There is a (disused) footpath across the field and through the woodland down to the Levels and we anticipate volunteers will help to reinstate the path and provide information boards on flora and fauna to look for while walking down the path. 

Thus the planned woodland management and expansion will help to deliver the benefits of biodiversity, heritage, carbon capture and storage and water retention essential to the long term well-being of our population and our planet. 

Monday, December 09, 2019

Curry Rivel in Bloom 2020

 We won a gold medal this year! RHS suggestions for next year!

Help others to grow in 2020
You’ve told us that growing with others is what makes Bloom special, that’s why we’re calling on all groups to Grow Social in 2020. We’d love to see you making new connections in your community through plants; reaching beyond ‘the garden gate’ to bring people together.

Grow Social will be the Bloom theme in 2020, but all community groups and schools will also be able to join in. We’re developing packs with inspiration and tools to help get you started, which you will be able to request by post or digitally download from January.

We realise many of you have been eagerly awaiting news of the Bloom theme to help with your planning, but please rest assured that as community gardeners who bring people together by nature, you’ll be halfway there already!

That’s why we want to hear your own innovative ideas. If you’ve worked to bring different parts of the community together through gardening, or reached out to those that might otherwise feel cut-off, please tell us more. 


I do use Wiki from time to time and have once before made a donation to keep it going and did so again recently.Its a great source of information on wildlife. This is the reply I received and hope it might encourage others to do so. In this age of electronic data flow I recently came across a new word : doxing! I used Wiki to find out more and it is scary and related to the current discussions about electoral interference and false information. A good example of the use of Wiki I think.

Dear David,
I feel so lucky to get to be the person to thank you for your  gift, on behalf of a world of people seeking free knowledge.
I used to try to guess what motivated you to give, but the longer I do this work, the more I realize I can’t put your curiosity in a box. There is no one singular experience of Wikipedia. Curiosity is as diverse as we all are, and it looks a little different for each of us.
When you use Wikipedia next, I hope you feel that it belongs to you. Because without you, and without the millions of people who come back to us every day, we would be nothing.
Thank you for giving Wikipedia shape, and purpose, and momentum. Thank you for fitting us into your life.
With immense gratitude,

Katherine Maher, Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation
Many employers will generously match employee contributions: please check with your employer to see if they have a corporate matching gift program.
For your records: Your donation, on 2019-12-08
This letter may serve as a record of your donation. No goods or services were provided, in whole or in part, for this contribution. Our postal address is: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 98204, Washington, DC 20090-8204, USA. U.S. tax-exempt number: 20-0049703
If you do not wish to receive any future fundraising emails from the Wikimedia Foundation, you can unsubscribe instantly. Please note we will still send you receipts, like this one, for future donations.

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.
For interviews and further information please contact:
Beccy Willmetts, Communications Office: 01823 653 414.
Shelly Easton, Climate Change Adaptation Officer: 01823 652 473 / 07419 334805.
westhay moor
Photo: Guy Edwardes. Westhay Moor
Catcott lows
Photo: Andrew Kirby. Catcott Lows Drone image
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.
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 –
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: 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 :  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:

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