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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Annual Report of the Heart of the Levels Area Group

Heart of the Levels Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Chairman’s annual report

This report covers:

• Some of the successful events of the last year.
• The work of the committee and its members.
• Looks forward over the next 12 months.

I am very much aware of the strong support our committee gives whilst helping to support our aims and objectives. Our committee has met 8 times since last September.

Our finances have benefited from careful attention by our Treasurer, for which we are grateful. At the end of Sept we had £749.09 in our local account.

We had gained two new committee members in 2008 but lost one this year due to other commitments. We would welcome at least two more members.

May 19th 2006 was our inaugural meeting but we started setting up our group at the end of 2005 and so we are now four years old.

The Wildlife Trust has settled down some what since the major upheavals in 2008 caused by economic issues and new staff have been settling in through out 2009.

The most significant event has been the start of a new Botany Group based in Langport. SWT members have signed up for a series of monthly classes in basic botany. Proposed and led by Dr Anne Bebbington with the help of John Bebbington it is hoped that it will give members a chance to improve their plant identification skills and possibly lead to an active group able to carry out botanical surveys.

We have organised or supported 13 events in our area. We have six events organised through to April 2010. We have a new programme card which we can make available.

We visited Aller Woods for a fungi foray and a spring woodland flower walk.

We have an email newsletter. Please let us know if you would like a copy.

We made two donations from our funds to the Trusts appeals for work at Westhay and to maintain bluebell woods in general. There are three new small appeals being promoted by the SWT which we will consider shortly.

In advance of the next election, should we hold a meeting to ask our prospective MP’s for their views on important topics. Would you like us to do that?

We are promoting our Arts and Wildlife Workshops in the next edition of the SWT News magazine and depending on the response we will either continue them on a regular basis or perhaps revert to an annual event.

SWT set up two new committees or Forums to enable staff to discuss with members some of the important areas of the Trusts work. 1) The Living Landscape Committee (LCC) this is a major part of the Trusts work load. 2) The Campaigns, Community and Education Committee (CCE) As Chair of our group I attend the CCE meetings about every 3 months or so.

The Trust has also given new support to the Private Nature Reserve Network (PNRN).
It was set up in1996 to help land owners who wanted to encourage wildlife and has around 200 members at present responsible for a total of 355 hectares in all parts of Somerset.

We supported the educational work of the Kingfisher Project which allowed around 250 primary school children from 8 schools, mainly in our area to get first hand experience of wildlife during visits to a wild flower meadow on a farm in Curry Rivel. We would like to see a Watch Group set up in this area.

I expect our activities for the next 12 months will include:

• Organise about 6 indoor meetings through the winter using venues in Curry Rivel , Langport and Somerton.
• Arrange some visits to reserves during the summer months.
• Encourage members to offer to help out with running our meetings and on reserves with practical tasks.
• Get better at communicating with members especially new members so as to make sure we are putting on talks and events which members find interesting.
• Encourage members to get to know our local reserves.
• Respond to wildlife related enquiries put to us by members and even if we don’t know the answer we will find someone who does! Use the Open University web site, iSpot.
• Support the Wildlife Trust in its work wherever we can with our limited resources through positive and constructive comment and fund raising.



Telephone: David German by email:
Web site: http://

Details of the SWT and other specialist groups are in the Trusts magazine.

Anyone wanting to read more about our activities will find a lot of information on the SWT web site and our Blog: http://

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