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                                                                          Newsletter - Autumn 2019

After a Spring and Summer in which we have enjoyed many warm sunny days, as well as plenty of rain and several cold spells, we can now look forward to Autumn, with its traditional promise of ‘mists and mellow frutfulness’.  After the flourishing of many wildflowers in Hagg Wood, including a patch of orchids along the Stone Track and a great display of foxgloves within the wood, we can now confidently predict golden Autumnal leaves in the coming weeks on the many broadleaf tress which are to be found within Hagg Wood.  As well as the opportunity to enjoy these splendours within Hagg Wood itself, you are also welcome to join us on our visit on  Friday 8th November to the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard with its own magnificent collection of trees from all over the world. We also have an Autumnal cycle trip on Friday 20th September to Selby Abbey, which this year is celebrating 950 years since its foundations. Quite what the next 950 years will bring for our fragile Planet Earth remains to be seen, but unfortunately we cannot now simply rely on the substantial benefits that our natural environment provides us with continuing to flow if we continue to mismanage it in the way we have been doing in recent decades. Despite the legal protection given in the UK to many endangered species, wildlife crime still goes on, with North Yorkshire being high on the RSPB list of regions with high rates of wildlife crime. On Wednesday 6th November, we have a presentation by Stuart Grainger of the North Yorkshire Police on his experiences in tackling wildlife crime.

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see has emphasised the role of deforestation in reducing the planet’s capacity to absorb harmful carbon dioxide and give out beneficial oxygen, with the ‘lungs of the earth’ severely impacted by the continuing destruction of rainforests in Brazil and elsewhere. Closer to home, there are fortunately some positive signs of actions being planned to increase tree coverage in the UK. Yorkshire Water and other water companies, which own large areas of land in Yorkshire and elsewhere, have recently pledged to plant 11 million trees by 2030 as part of their efforts to make their own industry carbon-neutral. The Woodland Trust has an ambitious plan to plant 50 million trees in the coming years as part of its Northern Forest project from Liverpool to Hull.

There are a couple of other events taking place in the near future which our members may be interested in supporting. One is the New Networks for Nature conference at St Peter’s School in York from Thursday 31st October to Saturday 2nd November, which aims to be a “creative celebration of nature in words, music, film, photography, art and debate”, with a full programme of presentations by expert naturalists, writers, musicians and film-makers (see One of the organisers is Dr Amy-Jane Beer, who gave us an inspiring presentation last year on why we should celebrate the many treasures of our natural environment. One of these treasures is the spectacular Tansy beetle which is to be found in a rare colony in York, with Amy also seeking your support for a celebratory mural to be erected in York (see A second event is a guided field trip on Wednesday 25th September to Deepdale near Langdale on the North York Moors led by Brian Walker, the former Conservation Officer of the Forestry Commission, who gave us an excellent talk on the Langdale Forest at our recent AGM. The trip is organised by PLACE (see, which you may also wish to support.     To keep in touch with our own activities, please access our website . Please also e-mail our membership secretary on or give Elaine a call on York 481520 if you have not yet renewed your subscription for 2019-20.                                   


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