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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lappet Moth caterpillar

Wow, anyone who is interested in moths and their caterpillars will be impressed I think by a surprising sighting this morning. Walking round our local meadow , inspecting our one year old new hedge, my companion got quite excited and dived into the young hedge to collect a magnificent specimen of the Lappet moth caterpillar. I am including my photo of its discoverer to show its size. You can see the young hedge in the background. The caterpillar was on Blackthorn. I understand this in not fully grown.

I don't have photo of the moth but here is a link to the UK Moths web site.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Severn tidal power consultation

Trying to meet todays deadline for the phase one consultation I managed to send off an email yesterday. The views here are my own personal comments.

This is what I said:

I wish to make the following comments on the Severn Tidal Power consultation.

My comments are based on the following:

DECC Phase 1 Consultation Doc., and the SDC report, Turning the Tide. October 2007.

Attendance at the RSA public forum meeting on 7th March 2009, in Bristol.

Membership of the Somerset Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.

On the basis of these documents, meetings and the public statements of the above organisations which I support I am not in favour of the Cardiff to Weston barrage because it would cause unacceptable environmental damage to the Severn Estuary.

I support efforts to generate electricity from sustainable sources such as tidal energy but only after thorough testing and development.

I support the view that a greatly increased level of research is needed to explore alternative technologies which offer sustainable energy generation without major environmental destruction which would follow from the Cardiff/Western barrage.

I feel strongly that far more emphasis should be directed to reducing public, industrial and commercial demand for energy before we, as a community, massively change and damage our natural inheritance.

I do not accept the arguments that we must continue to generate ever increasing wealth and prosperity whatever the cost to the environment so that we may all maintain the life style we have become accustomed to.

I support the SDC statements (Section 5.3, page 139) that it is not advocating unquestioning Government support for a barrage and that there are serious challenges for current Government policy.

It is significant the SDC also states in Section 5.3 page 139 that:

“We do not take a position on the relative merits of the various barrage schemes but have instead considered the issues generically, with an inevitable focus on the larger Cardiff-Weston scheme due to the availability of more detailed evidence and the greater degree of impact it would have - environmentally, economically and socially.”

David German 22.04.09

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Art and Wildlife

Art and Wildlife

You will see from our events diary that we have organised an art and wildlife workshop. We tried this for the first time last summer and a dozen, mainly members, all agreed that it was a success. That is everyone found it interesting and perhaps motivating. A few were already active in creating some form of art but others were just interested enough to come along to explore the possibilites of the day.I don't think any great works of art were produced but a lot of creative thinking was stimulated. I can vouch for that personally.
So we are trying again, still very much an experiment I think but we hope another group of willing experimenters will join us for a day,this time spread over two Saturday mornings in Compton Dundon.
This blog has been sparked off by arrangements I am involved in to run a different kind of workshop for the Trusts, Private Nature Reserve Network.
I have been discussing with a local botanist and member of the Trust a contribution I hope she will be able to make to a day spent exploring the creation and management of ponds with wildlife in mind. Anne has worked for the Field Studies Council and to find out more about them I visited their web site. It was a great surprise to find they run courses more or less exactly the same. You might find their work of interest in many ways other than in art.

Here is a link to their web site. Click here.

Here is a brief extract from their art page:

Individuals & Families 2009 | Arts

Painting, Drawing and the Arts

The courses within this section offer the opportunity
to concentrate on the more artistic elements of the natural world.
There is a wide range of courses on offer in 2009 to help you to
explore and develop painting, drawing and creative writing skills.
Courses are based in and around the stunning locations of our Centres. Find out which course is suitable for you.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Local wildlife news

This post shows a note I expect to publish in our local parish magazine. Comments welcome and my email address is shown elsewhere on the page.

Somerset Wildlife Trust, Local Wildlife News.

Wild Orchids will be showing again soon on a field near the village.

The old Rugby Field is publicly owned and open to all to visit and enjoy. The Parish council is responsible for its management. That is important because most other green areas round the village are privately owned and farmed and not dedicated to supporting wildlife. We know some farmers do a great deal to encourage wild life but they do have to produce our food. The Parish Council has both an opportunity and a responsibility to conserve the natural value of the field and by doing so protect its biodiversity.

Round the Rugby Field, old blackthorn hedges are in full bloom in mid April and the field is coming to life again after a winter rest. Soon we will see the rich mixture of flowering plants and some 15 different species of grasses. There will be numerous butterflies including the lovely Marbled White.


Last year we mapped the areas where the wild orchids grow and other flowering plants such as Broomrape and we can share this with you.

The field has been surveyed by a number of qualified experts including the Ecologist working for the District Council who all agree that it is of significant flora and fauna interest. The field has been registered as a County Wildlife Site and local nature reserve.

Members of the Wildlife Trust will know we organise guided walks to local sites of special interest and this local field is no exception. To join a walk email me.