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                  Newsletter - Autumn 2015

The bumblebees joined us in enjoying the magnificent displays of pink and white foxgloves in full bloom  this summer throughout the wood, and especially where the remains of invasive rhododendron have been cleared  to open up the ground to fresh sunlight and let the dormant seeds of wild flowers break through.. This is just one example of.the steady improvements which have been taking place in the wood in recent years. We have recently commissioned expert local ecologist Martin Hammond, who produced the York Natural Diversity Plan, to give us recommendations for future conservation work in the wood. Martin expressed great satisfaction with what we have achieved so far on a recent tour of the wood. This included visiting the bluebell area, the Jubilee Wood area, our rhododendron clearance area  further down to the right of the stone track, the Millennium area, the Crater area, up along Keepers Way, and back through the Breathing Places to Chambers Way. This track has recently been cleared by the Forestry Commission contractor for work that is intended to improve the drainage along the path, following a meeting which we had earlier this year with the FCs engineer and local ranger. Martin was particularly impressed by the way we have been steadily restoring the wood to its traditional semi-natural broadleaf woodland for local people and local wildlife to enjoy.

The fruits of our work are now visible but will become even more so in future years, when our extensive plantings of native broadleaf species in several parts of the wood will grow to full maturity. Next year we will indeed be celebrating our 20th birthday, which is no mean achievement as a local voluntary conservation organisation. We are currently planning enjoyable celebrations to include both Dunnington Community Choir and the Woodsmoke folk music group that gave a very popular concert in Dunnington earlier this summer. So make a date with us on Saturday 4th June 2016 to enjoy our 20th birthday celebrations in the wood.

In the meantime, we have events both indoors and outdoors for you to enjoy this Autumn. These include a cycle ride to the Fangfoss Festival of Practical Arts and its Celebration of Traditional Crafts, a fungal foray in Hagg Wood led by a local fungi enthusiast, and a lavishly illustrated presentation by local RSPB Chairman, Barry Bishop, on the flora and fauna of an English Village not a million miles from Dunnington. We also have a regular programme of monthly Conservation Working Parties where you can literally get your hands dirty doing some practical work to improve our local natural environment. Full details of these events, and of our now traditional New Year walk and lunch are given overleaf.

So there are plenty of reasons to renew your subscription, which we have held at the very modest level of 4 for an individual and 6 for a couple for many years. Please e-mail our membership secretary on elainehudson@talktalk.net or give Elaine a call on York 481520 if you have not yet renewed your subscription for 2015-16.

The FHW committee members are David Mayston as Chairman, Linda Maggs as Secretary, Alan Worsley as Treasurer, Elaine Hudson as Membership Secretary, Olwyn Fonseca as TCV coordinator, Tony Hudson as Health and Safety Officer, Working Party Organiser and Webmaster, Michael Dunn as Social Events organiser, Alan Briers with responsibility for Special Projects, and now also Brian Poulter, who we have recently welcomed as a co-opted member as our Special Events organiser following his recently very successful organisation of our trip to view the magnificent display of bluebells at Middleton Wood in Ilkley.

 

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