The fruits of our conservation efforts last Autumn clearing lots of invasive bramble in the Bluebell area of Hagg Wood are now apparent with a magnificent carpet of bluebells stretching even further than last year now coming into flower, and joined by numerous wood anemones. In bloom too are many primroses, celandines and wood sorrel adding to the delights of Nature following some days of sunshine, and rain, this Springtime. So with birdsong also much in evidence, it is a good time to take a refreshing walk around the wood. With several boggy stretches of the paths still to dry out, it is also a good idea to wear stout shoes or wellies. While water is essential to life, too much of it can clearly cause problems and is a reminder of the real problems which climate change and global warming can indeed bring, with steady increases in average temperatures implying greater rainfall, as more water is picked up in clouds by evaporation over the Atlantic and dumped as rain on the UK. The well-documented steady trend across recent decades of spring flowers appearing earlier each season is itself a sign of global warming continuing apace, with many important policy issues still to be fully addressed. We have been able to touch on some of these wider issues, such as through our visit last year to Drax power station and our visit to a Leeds recycling centre that will be part of next spring's programme. However, there is much we can still do locally to preserve the good things which this planet has been blessed with, and not make such a mess of them. Our own conservation working parties each month continue to provide numerous opportunities to make a positive difference to improving the natural environment of the wood. It is important also though that users of the wood play their part, such as by keeping their dogs under close control to prevent them chasing wildlife, such as deer and squirrels, and out of the ponds in the wood to prevent damage to the plant s, tadpoles and other species which are seeking to survive there.
Our AGM this year is on Wednesday 30th May, (more details here) and will be accompanied by an illustrated talk by Dr Jean McKendree, who works for Non-Native Species Secretariat in collaboration with the Animal and Plant Health Agency in York. Her presentation is entitled "The Black Stuff - estimating burning on a grouse moor using recent carbon deposits" and the associated impact on the local environment. We need new committee members, including younger members. If you would like to stand for the FHW committee, or nominate another member for the committee, please send your nominations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by 16th May 2018. If you wish to propose an amendment to the Constitution, please refer to paragraph 9 of our Constitution, .We need your support, so please do renew your annual subscription and your consent for us to keep you in touch, using the membership form
With all good wishes
Dr David Mayston