New Chief Executive appointed
Mr Evan Bowen-Jones has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Herefordshire Nature Trust.
Evan is presently working as an Independent Biodiversity Consultant; his current main contract is with Total E & P Uganda to assist with establishing an operational biodiversity programme in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. From 2002 to 2008 he worked for Fauna & Flora International as Regional Director, Americas Programme.
Evan has a BSc. 2.1 (Hons.) in Zoology from Bristol University. He and his family live in Bromyard and he is Chair of Bromyard Downs Commons Association, which, with HNT, has recently secured a 3-year lottery funded project. Evan has very strong conservation and biodiversity credentials, with a real grasp and understanding of the issues facing HNT, together with the drive and commitment to resolve them.
Evan will be taking up his post at the beginning of March 2014. We very much look forward to working with him.
Estelle Bailey, who has been with us as Interim Chief Executive since the beginning of August will be leaving just before Christmas to take up her new post as CE of BBOWT. Estelle has made a huge contribution in the short time that she has been with us. We are planning to make a formal thanks and presentation to her on Thursday December 5th at the Volunteers' celebration so hope as many members as possible will be able to be there.
Marie Clarke (Chairman of the Board of Trustees)
Fungus foray success
A fungus foray at the Trust’s Lea & Pagets Wood reserve near Fownhope in October proved a great success.
Twenty pairs of eyes helped walk leader Sheila Spence, one of the Trust’s recently elected Trustees, search out the many wonders of Kingdom Fungi to be found along the walk. We did not have to go far to find Earthstars, Green Woodcups, Chicken of the Woods and some brightly coloured Waxcaps among the many different species spotted by the keen eyed participants. Other exciting finds were the deadly Panthercap and the beautiful Magpie Inkcap – one of the star species on this reserve.
The fungus foray, run in connection with UK Fungus Day, will be followed by another next year at Great Doward where the Trust has several reserves, many of which are renowned for their wealth of fungi.
› Click here to find out more about the Discovering the Doward events.
The Trust’s AGM
As a charity the Trust is required to hold an Annual General Meeting and this year, the Trust’s 50th was held on 12th October, 2013.
Admirably hosted by Weobley branch, chaired by our Vice- President, Tom Davies, it was a lively and informative event. Thanks go to our Chairman, Marie Clarke, Honorary Officers, the staff and the volunteers of the Weobley branch for the smooth running of the event. About 60 members attended to hear updates on the work of the Trust and its hopes for the future. Marie welcomed Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trusts, who outlined the history of the movement and its achievements.
After enjoying tea and cakes, the speaker, Dr Pat Morris, an expert on hedgehogs, gave a fascinating account to members and visitors who by then filled the hall, of his studies of the habits of this sadly declining prickly little creature.
The Trust, alongside its LEMUR partner Ambios Ltd, has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a £544k digital technologies based training project.
The project, called WildTech, will address practical skills shortages in wildlife species identification and recording, heritage interpretation and public engagement, via the use of citizen science and 24hr Bioblitz wildlife surveys. This project will build upon the Trust’s long standing LEMUR project which has now become a nationally established brand for training the next generation of wildlife professionals. Wildtech will look to provide 36 x 3 month and 9 month training bursaries and it is hoped that the project will start in late 2014.
Welcome and thank you
Following our request for reception volunteers, we are delighted to say that all three vacancies have now been filled, and extend a warm welcome to Sarah Kemp, Mary Merron, and Owen Fleet to front of house, and also our thanks for taking this role on. Having telephone and reception cover 5 days a week has already made a big difference and is very much appre-ciated. We would also like to say a very big thank you to Margaret Wrenn, a valiant, long-standing reception volunteer, who spent time showing each of them the ropes on their first day.
Calling Lois Lane and Clark Kent!!
We are on the look out for a volunteer to help with writing and circulating press releases and publicity! Currently all press releases are done by staff, but we don’t always get it right! We really need someone who has experience of working with the press, or has a desire to get more experience in the world of mass media. Staff will work closely with the volunteer providing all the necessary information, we need someone who can take that information and make our events unmiss-able!! If you would like to get involved in this vital aspect of our work please contact the Trust on 01432 356872, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hedgelaying Training Event
The Trust is running its annual hedgelaying training weekend which is run by Nature Reserves’ staff. The course will probably be based at Birches Farm (TBC) on Sat 11th and Sun 12th Jan 2014 and places are limited with priority given to Trust members, so please book early!
To learn the skills of this traditional craft, or just to work off some of those excess festive calories come and have a go at what is a very rewarding task. All tools and training are provided.
To book a place on the course at a cost of either £35 for one day or £60 for both days (£40/£70 for non-Trust members) please contact Doug Lloyd on 01432 356 872 or email email@example.com.
Vine House Farm
We’re delighted to announce that Nicholas Watts, MBE, of Vine House Farm in Lincolnshire, has recently been crowned the winner of the Nature of Farming Award. Vine House Farm sells wild bird food, bird feeders and accessories which are supplied direct with every sale supporting the work of The Wildlife Trusts.
For all new customers ordering from the catalogue the Herefordshire Nature Trust will get a flat royalty fee of £5, helping us to conserve wildlife at a local level. Last year this helped us raise £1415.94!
For more information about the Farm visit www.vinehousefarm.co.uk.
Gift Membership this Xmas
If you are stuck for an idea on what to buy your friends and family this Christmas then why not buy a gift membership to Herefordshire Nature Trust.
Gift packs contain all our usual magazines, car sticker, welcome leaflet, certificate and a Christmas card with prices starting at £26 for a year’s subscription. Contact Bev Bishop at the Trust or complete an online form. Please submit orders before December 16th to allow for delivery in time for Christmas.
Your trash is worth cash...
Your office trash can be worth thousands of pounds to the Trust.
Office materials that normally end up in the bin such as toner and inkjet printer cartridges, and old mobile phones can be recycled to raise valuable funds for us. We have teamed up with leading recyclers at the Rethink Recycling Appeal in an environmentally friendly fundraising scheme. Every time you donate a cartridge or old mobile phone to the Herefordshire Nature Trust’s Recycling Appeal, we will earn cash. To get you started we have included one of our recycling envelopes in with this mailing.
Bev Bishop at the Trust says: “The Trust’s Recycling Appeal is an easy way to help the environment while supporting a great cause. Our organisation is currently working to raise funds and with your support, we are confident our Recycling Appeal will be a great success. Whatever is sent will be refurbished and re-used’’.
You can also donate other used items to us such as Laptops, Tablets, Ipods, PDA, Cds, DVDs, Game Consoles, Games & Cameras. It won’t cost you a penny but will earn us funds!
So put your unwanted items to one side. The Rethink Recycling Appeal provides free collections if you have more than ten items and freepost envelopes, for smaller items, if you have less. For more information and to begin recycling, visit www.recyclingappeal.com or call the Rethink Recycling Appeal team on 08451 30 20 10.
There is also a recycling box in the reception area of Lower House Farm.
One of the Trust’s older members, Rosemary Nash, died recently at the grand age of 98. She had been a member of the Trust for a very long time, since the early days of the Trust in the 1960s. She knew some of the earliest stalwarts like Jack Fox, Joe Bond and others.
Rosemary was born in 1914, soon after the outbreak of the first World War, and grew up on the family farm in north Shropshire, where she developed an early interest in flora and fauna, and came to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of flowers. She could remember seeing corncrakes in tunnels in long grass as a small child.
She had lived in Little Dewchurch since the mid 1970s and managed a large garden which was at least half nature reserve. Lawns became wild flower meadows, with many old fashioned species including a large number of orchids. She was a great conservationist and encouraged her sons to run the family farm taking full account of conservation, to such an extent that the farm won the Shropshire farm conservation prize in 2000.
Rosemary was very concerned that the younger generation should be educated about farming and the countryside, and was keen to support the efforts of organisations such as the Herefordshire Nature Trust to this end. She had clear memories of her early life and the times she had lived in. Much of what she had seen and witnessed had disappeared, but there is always hope of recovery with increasing public interest in conservation and the countryside, and of restoration of what has been lost. She retained her interest in this right to the end of her life, and died peacefully in her own home.
The Trust has a very attractive selection of Christmas cards, with a wildlife theme, which are now on sale at Lower House Farm, and also at Cards for Good Causes in Hereford, Ledbury and Leominster. This is a good way to support the Trust and also to send cards that are showing the delights of what is to be seen in our countryside.