Gardens in the Wild
Eardisley based Gardens in the Wild organised a very successful fundraising weekend over 21st/22nd June and raised a truly staggering £10,000 towards the Birches Farm appeal.
The activities began with a guided walk at the Birches on Saturday morning with Neville Hart; in the evening there was a fundraising supper and auction at Titley Village Hall. On Sunday 22nd those attending Peter Jennings early morning bird watching were treated afterwards to breakfast. Later on that morning there was another guided walk at Moccas with Lewis Goldwater – both events were sold out.
Many thanks to the event organisers and to the participants for their generous donations.
Click here for further information about Gardens in the Wild.
Cethins Land– A NEW RESERVE
The Trust is celebrating the acquisition of a new reserve, Cethins Land comprising two hay meadows lying in the most idyllic rolling landscape on the fringes of the Black Mountains.
The 5.5 acres of meadow have been donated to the Trust by generous benefactors, who have been looking after the site for the last decade, managing the hedges, cutting the fields for hay and grazing the aftermath with sheep, to encourage the wild flowers. They have been really successful in their endeavours and it is now a wonderful example of what can be achieved through careful restoration management.
The meadows are a fine example of lowland neutral grassland (MG5) with an outstandingly rich diversity of grassland species including green-winged orchid, common spotted orchid, pignut, harebell, eyebright, yellow rattle, knapweed, quaking grass, adder’s tongue fern and spring sedge. On a sunny day the meadows are teeming with invertebrate life. Six spot burnet moth, common blue, meadow brown, ringlet and orange tip butterflies abound as well as many species of bumble bee.
The Trust will continue to manage the site by traditional hay cutting and aftermath grazing and will be doing some work on the hedges and boundaries with our volunteers.
Please contact the Trust if you would like to visit.
AGM - Saturday 11th October
Notice is hereby given that the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Herefordshire Nature Trust Limited will be held on Saturday 11th October 2014 at 2.30pm (doors open at 2pm) at Bishopswood Village Hall, Kerne Bridge, Herefordshire, HR9 5QT.
The event is hosted by the Ross-on-Wye Branch of the Trust, and will include tea/refreshments, followed by an illustrated talk on “Tropical Rain Forests –their flora and fauna” by Roger Beck, the Chairman of the Ross branch and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Herefordshire Nature Trust. Roger has completed four visits to rain forest areas and has a wealth of information and images to share with us.
The programme for the afternoon is as follows:
2.30 pm - Annual General Meeting, followed by light refreshments
4.00 pm - Talk – “Tropical Rain Forests –their flora and fauna” by Mr Roger Beck
Business to be transacted:
- Apologies for non-attendance.
- Approve the Minutes* of the 50th Annual General Meeting held on 12th October 2013.
- Matters Arising from the Minutes.
- Presentation by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Report for 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014.
- Presentation of the Accounts by the Hon. Treasurer for 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014.
- Report of the Auditors, Messrs Thorne Widgery.
- Appointment of Auditors for 2014/15.
- Election of members to fill vacancies on the Board of Trustees. Nominations for any member of the Trust, together with seconder’s confirmation, and certificate of member’s willingness to act, should be sent to reach the Administration Manager at the Trust office by no later than Friday, 19th September 2014. Employed staff are not eligible for election.
- Special Resolution “The Members of The Herefordshire Nature Trust Limited hereby approve that an application be made to Companies House to change the name of the company to The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Ltd as soon as it is possible to do so.”**
- Any other business
Under Section 324 of the Companies Act 2008, Herefordshire Nature Trust Ltd. members are entitled to appoint another person as his/her proxy to exercise all or any of their rights to attend, speak and vote at a meeting of the Herefordshire Nature Trust. Forms of Appointment of Proxy may be obtained from the office of the Herefordshire Nature Trust.
* Minutes will be available for perusal prior to commencement of the AGM.
Wild Flower Society sponsored training
The Wild Flower Society generously awarded the Trust a sum of £250 to organise and run wild plant identification training for our volunteers.
Thanks to this support the Trust held a training day on 17th June. Twelve volunteers, plus staff, met in Winforton Village Hall for an initial day of training, concentrating on grassland wildflowers. The morning was spent using keys to identify plants. To many this can be quite daunting, but thanks to our trainer Phil Burton the discipline of following a key was transformed into an enjoyable and “user-friendly” task. Participants were also able to look at the very wide range of floras available.
The afternoon was spent on the Sturts reserve – an extensive area of floodplain grassland where we were able to look at a variety of different plant communities and test some of the skills learned during the morning. Follow-up sessions are planned over the next few weeks to coincide with work party outings to some of the grassland reserves.
It is hoped that this will help make work party tasks even more enjoyable and that those who attended the session will be able to pass on their knowledge to others in their groups. Many thanks to The Wild Flower Society for their support which has enabled us to hold a most enjoyable day.
Balfour Beatty help on Lugg Meadow
Thanks to support from Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP), the Trust has been able to set out the framework for our long term monitoring project on Upper and Lower Lugg Meadow Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The project is a partnership between the Trust and Plantlife, with support from Floodplain Meadow Partnership, and aims to monitor the vegetation on the meadows, which are the largest and most important surviving examples of Lammas meadows in the UK.
BBLP runs a Community Engagement Programme which provides support for a wide variety of projects in Herefordshire. Through this programme they have provided us with the vital technical support we needed in order to set out the baseline monitoring points across the meadow.
Michael Mable, BBLP’s Definitive Map Modification Officer spent a day and a half with us in the sunshine on the meadow. He helped us map and pinpoint on the ground, six transect lines each with fixed points at 20m intervals using an accurate GPS device. A total of 100 points were precisely marked and vegetation surveys using 1m quadrats were carried out at 88 of these points. Thanks to the GPS data gathered we will be able to relocate each of these points for re-surveying in future years.
We are very grateful to Balfour Beatty for their help and to Michael Mable who gave up his time to work with us on the meadow.
Upper Tan House, Stansbatch
James and Caroline Weymouth opened their beautiful garden in aid of the Birches Appeal on the 29th June, and it looked just as beautiful as the picture seen in the Spring Wildside. Many people came to admire and enjoy the afternoon and, with the added bonus of the proceeds of £700 going to the appeal. Many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Weymouth.
Click here for more information about Upper Tan House.
Herbert Charles Wooler (1922- 2014)
The Trust has learned with sadness of the death of Charles Wooler. Charles was a volunteer with the Trust for many years, at a time when the resources of the Trust were limited and its nature reserves were increasing rapidly.
He had been in Singapore for a lot of his working life, first as Chief Engineer on the ‘Straits Times’ newspaper and then during the war, an officer and aircraft engineer in the Fleet Air Arm, before retiring to England and Fownhope.
When he joined the Trust, he was for some time deputy to Jim Watkins, Volunteer Reserves Officer, and took over from him in 1995, being responsible for managing the volunteer work parties, organising their work, overseeing the tools and equipment, and transporting them to whichever reserve was being worked in. He adapted his small car to carry the multitude of small and medium sized tools that were needed, in a way that other members of the Trust would marvel at.
As a member of the work party he brought with him a wide and impressive range of skills, which he tirelessly employed to further our reserve management. He thoroughly enjoyed solving management problems such as erecting safety fencing into solid rock and working in seemingly inaccessible places. He acquired and maintained a huge range of tools for work party use. On occasions he used his surveying and mapping skills to mark reserve boundaries, paths and compartments while at other times he could be found in the workshop building nest boxes and making wooden signs for reserves.
In 2001, when he was presented with the longest serving volunteer award in the Trust, he was described as a ‘man of many skills’, whether working on shelving in Lower House Farm, levelling its furniture to deal with the uneven floors of an old building, or fitting out the barn for the tools. He had the ability to adapt and invent ways to deal with the kind of work that needed doing, something that he had acquired during a lifetime in engineering.
In addition, he wardened reserves, would turn his hand to anything that needed doing, and helped with editing the Trust publications.
He was dedicated to the aims of the Trust and had a love of the countryside and the nature reserves that made him an inspiration to all. Many in the Trust remember him with affection.
Reception Volunteers Wanted
We are looking for a volunteer to work in reception at Lower House Farm on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings from 9am to 1pm. The role involves answering the telephone, taking messages, greeting visitors to the Trust, photocopying, and tackling a variety of other ‘one-off’ tasks to help other staff and project officers.
If you are interested in helping out, please contact Val Bagley on 01432 356872 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for more information about volunteering with the Trust.