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              Newsletter - Spring 2014

We have lots for you to enjoy in our new Spring programme, with an emphasis on protecting and promoting local wildlife, both flora and fauna. Our indoor events include illustrated talks on Wednesday 26th February by Terry Smithson of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust on the role which improved farming methods can play in this direction, and on Wednesday 28th May by Dr Margaret Atherden, the Chief Executive of PLACE (People, Landscape and Cultural Environment of Yorkshire), who has recently co-authored a well-illustrated new book entitled Wildflowers on the Edge: The Story of North Yorkshire’s Road Verges that emphasises the importance of our local extensive network of roadside verges as refuges for wildflowers and other wildlife.

Outdoors, we have a visit on Saturday 1st March to the farm of the Northern England winner of the RSPB’s 2013 Nature of Farming award, Richard Bramley. Richard farms at Manor Farm near the village of Kelfield, which lies on the northern bank of the River Ouse, midway between Riccall. Cawood and Stillingfleet, and 5 miles north west of Selby.The RSPB award recognises Richard’s achievements in nurturing wildlife and the environment while running a productive arable farm.

There is an opportunity for you to play your own practical part in improving the local natural environment  by planting wildlife-friendly species of saplings for trees and shrubs, such as rowan, oak, field maple, hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn. The first is on Saturday 15th February in Hagg Wood, where we will be adding to our existing plantings in the Jubilee wood and the Crater areas of the wood, that we have been developing to provide attractive wildlife sites for birds and other species.

Outdoors on Saturday 10th May we also have a chance for you to enjoy the Dawn Chorus in Hagg Wood during an early morning visit. Later in May, on Saturday 31st May, there is another chance for more fresh air and healthy exercise with a cycle ride to the extensive local nature reserve of Wheldrake Ings, with its numerous Spring visitors of birds and other wildlife. In addition, we have regular monthly conservation working parties in Hagg Wood, that combine practical work to improve our local natural environment with enjoying the fresh air, exercise and the companionship of our fellow friendly Friends. The details of all of these events can be found here

Remember, the more you take part, the more you can enjoy! We had another good year last year, and have already started 2014 with a very enjoyable New Year lunch. Our chairman, Dr David Mayston, has recently been appointed to the Forestry Commission’s regional Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee, so we should be able to keep you up to date with developments more widely in the developing agenda for our nation’s forests and woodlands. More immediately, you can help to protect our heritage of ancient woodlands, which take hundreds of years to develop into sites of natural splendour, but only a day to destroy, by supporting the current campaign by the Woodland Trust on www.woodlandtrust.org.uk for their greater protection against the increasing pressures on our green spaces.  As we know, Dunnington and the York area are not immune to such increasing pressures.  The risk of lasting damage to our natural environment can be reduced if all those who recognise its true value and importance get positively involved in its protection.

 

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