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Friday, September 22, 2006

Group news update

After the quiet of the summer holidays the pace of wildlife activities has stepped up a gear.
Here are brief notes on current events and news.

  • I think I'm correct in saying that the film made by Al Gore is now available in the UK or soon will be. Judging by the trailer shown on the web site it should be seen by anyone seriously interested in the effects of global warming. As soon as I can find out more about its showing locally I'll let you know.( Or you can tell me if you find out first) See post 29.08.06

  • The last major reserve on my list of local sites called Thurlbear Wood has been located. (See posts July 21st and 29th.)This afternoon I managed to find my way through some exceptionally narrow lanes on the foot hills of the Blackdown Hills to get to one of the several entrance points to the wood. Its described as ancient woodland which means it has been in existence for many hundreds of years maybe thousands. I must go back and spend some time there next spring. Its particularly interesting because I happen to be reading an excellent book by Richard Maybey called The Common Ground published in 1980. It was written "to widen the public debate on nature conservation". Its surprising to see that at that time the author was using terms such as climate change, loss of species and habitats and recording the way industrialized farming was causing so much damage to wildlife. So not much has changed in the 25 years since then. I recommend the book to anyone interested in understanding why the countryside is the way it is now so that a better way forward can be achieved. More on the book later.

  • The Reserve Manager at Babcary Meadows has contacted me to offer an organised walk to his site next spring when the Green Winged Orchids will be in evidence and much else I'm sure. This has got to be a must for our spring programme. Having made a brief visit last August just after the hay and flowers were cut it will be good to see it at its best. See post 21st and 29th July.

  • All of this ties in well with the news that our private initiative in Curry Rivel to acquire a four acre grass meadow to be maintained and improved if possible for its wild flowers and butterflies has received the blessing of the Somerset Environmental Records Centre and will now be registered as a County Wildlfe Site. This gives formal approval and a much welcomed new status from the point of view of grants and planning control. This was very good news.

  • Having joined the Private Nature Reserve Network because of our four acre field I am making contact with others in a similar situation so as to compare notes on management. It will now be more meaningful with our new status.

  • This Sunday is the Trusts Open Day at the Bishops Palace in Wells and I intend to be there most of the day and hope to see a few of our local members. The programme includes an interesting selection of the Trust activities in addition to those we organise as local groups.

  • Next Thursday we hold our first open meeting in Somerton on the subject of Climate Change and hope to see many of our local members. Contact us if you want to come along and need more information. See post Aug 20th and Sept 10th.

As you can see there is much to report and I'm sure members will be able to add many other news items to this short list. Dont forget to email us with your wildlife reports.

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