News

Thank you

Hagge Woods Trust would like to thank Lin Hawthorne for her work with the Trust over the last five years.  Lin has made a huge contribution to the project.  As Project Designer, Lin’s vision, her knowledge of flora, her expertise in horticulture, and her understanding of ecology set the Trust on its path to creating and exploring the value of wood-meadow as a tool for conversation in the UK.  We congratulate her on her election as a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.  Lin left us at the end of March and we wish her all the best in her passion and enthusiasm as a naturalist, and in her continuing career as consultant and author.

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£15,000 GRANT PROVIDES BOOST FOR VOLUNTEERS AT NORTH YORKSHIRE WOOD-MEADOW

The pioneering Three Hagges Wood-Meadow near Escrick, between York and Selby, has received a £15,000 grant from North Yorkshire County Council Trust to help to build a dedicated team of volunteers.

The grant comes from the Stronger Communities initiative of the county council and has enabled the recruitment of a dedicated Volunteer Co-ordinator for the wood-meadow.

Rosalind Forbes Adam, the chair of the Hagge Woods Trust, commented: “We are incredibly grateful to the county council for this generous grant, which will be spread over three years. As a result, we have been able to appoint Dr Kat Wotherspoon to lead our volunteer team, manage the wood-meadow and recruit new volunteers from the York and Selby area.

“Kat has a great deal of expertise in volunteer work and meadow management, having long been associated with the Floodplain Meadows Partnership. She is also organising the Floodplain Meadows conference at the Railway Museum in May this year.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council’s Stronger Communities programme explained that the grant would be providing £15,000 towards developing and supporting volunteer involvement in Three Hagges Wood-Meadow.

He said: “This includes supporting provision of a hut  where volunteers can get together to chat and have a warm drink  as well as a training space where they can develop their knowledge of ecology to equip them to guide visitors round  the wood-meadow.

“In providing this financial support Stronger Communities recognises the positive volunteering opportunities the project offers and the benefits to health which people enjoying outdoor green spaces experience.  The project was also commended for its efforts to make the outdoors accessible to disabled people”.

Dr Wotherspoon added: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at Three Hagges Wood -Meadow and am looking forward to working with the volunteers to continue the wonderful work that has already been achieved to enhance the biodiversity of the meadow. If you are interested in joining our friendly team as a volunteer please don’t hesitate to get in touch: volunteer@haggewoodstrust.org.uk”

The Hagge Woods Trust has a programme of work and courses planned for the coming seasons, from this month through to October, including a Discovery Day on Saturday 1st July from 1-4pm. This is a chance to explore the wood-meadow with family and friends and discover the wood-meadow’s native plants and wildlife.

Rosalind Forbes Adam said: “We hope that families from villages in the York and Selby area will come along and take part in the activities, wander through the meadow and enjoy a picnic. The meadow will be blooming with wild flowers and alive with bugs and butterflies to appreciate.

“The Discovery Day this year is generously supported by Persimmon Homes and activities will include willow crafting, bug hunting, face painting, live music, examining owl pellets, bug hunting; wildflower trails, examining owl pellets, making your own wicker bird-feeder, face painting, live music and homemade teas and cakes. Entry is free for children and £3 for adults. There is plenty of free parking.

“We are easy to find. Just take the Hollicarrs turn off the A19 between Riccall and Escrick and follow the signs. For more details, please check out our website at www.haggewoodstrust.org.uk.”

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New blog: ‘Seeing, not just looking’                                                    Written by Pat Bone Butterfly Recorder and Photographer

Jim’s love of wildlife began at an early age, going walks with his dad, looking for bird nests, not to pillage but to observe.

During our early years together, scales covered my eyes, but gradually I began to share his interest, primarily in birds. Our birding travels were eroded by Silky Girl Number One who refused to travel long distances by car and of course we refused to leave dogs alone for hours on end. We needed to travel less.

Then we found butterflies. In fact, we saw a Brown Argus on Walmgate Stray, York, in 2003, the first recorded in York for 200 years, rapidly followed by several other local sites. We hosted Butterfly Walks at York Cemetery. Delighted in the Painted Lady irruption of 1996. We counted and recorded for Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire. We planted our tiny garden for insects. No chemicals for us, soapy water will do the job.

And then it happened.

7.30 pm, August 15th, 2005, the evening which changed my life and damaged our bank balance. We’d gone to Wheatlands, a privately owned, open to the public, nature reserve near York.

We had a camera, used only on full automatic. Neither of us knew how to work the wretched thing, it was all a mysterious mystery.

Then Joy showed me an image, still within her camera. It looked like a blade of grass – until she gradually expanded it, revealing masses of insect eggs.

Fascinated, I learned to use the camera’s macro settings. The world of the tiny opened up to me. I began to SEE where previously I had only LOOKED. Things I hadn’t noticed before leapt out and screamed for attention. Two months later, on October 14th 2005, I took this photo of a bee feeding on a bramble blossom. I hadn’t realised how exquisitely beautiful a bee’s face is, how complex, the textures, shapes and colours.

Then there was the fly blowing a bubble. Why? How did he do it? Do ALL flies do this? What about other insects? And just exactly which fly, wasp, bee, hoverfly have I captured on camera? Things to learn, books to buy. Over the years, many subjects have claimed my attention & interest, none have snared me in quite the same way as insect photography, so deeply. Most have been passing fads. This is serious.

I didn’t understand any of the twiddly bits. My “technique” was point, click, hope, view, delete – sometimes it even worked. But I had fun, great fun.

Someone once told me macro is the easiest form of photography. That’s not really true, but what a wonderful world is revealed when you try and even more when you manage to get it right.

Joy had no idea what she was starting that evening, and neither did Jim & I.

Now, several cameras, lenses, books, hours of reading, experimenting, failed attempts to move away from the tiny world later, I have a greater knowledge base, both of photography and insects. I remain frustrated that my images are not as good as I want them to be, frustrated that sometimes my camera can’t/won’t/doesn’t capture what I want it to. But still my interest prevails, my desire to learn more, to understand why, how, what, continues to grow. And now, nearly 12 years later, I realise that the more I learn, the less I know, but… I AM HOOKED

This was the beginning of my photographic journey and the growth of my great fondness for the insects we take for granted or abhor or try to annihilate with our sprays and toxins. They may be small, but they are essential to our existence and incredibly beautiful and complex.

Why didn’t I learn all this when I had world enough and time?

Photo by Pat Bone. Taken on Olympus Digital Camera

 

 

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Community Questionnaire Winners

Many thanks to everyone who completed one of our Community Questionnaires in 2016.  The information you have provided will help us plan the future of our wood-meadow.  The winner of the square share in the wood meadow for a year is The Buttery Family – Kara, Andrew, Jenson and Amelia are photographed here with their square share certificate – congratulations!


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P r e s s   r e l e a s e

Recognising wood-meadows & pastures in Britain & Europe, and assessing their value:

Wood-Meadows & Wood-Pastures Conference 23-24 May 2017 Sheffield Hallam University

Woodland ecologist and keynote speaker Professor George Peterken OBE, having studied woodland and meadow across Europe, observes, “Once one has seen surviving wood-meadows in their Baltic homelands, one immediately recognises that we do have related vegetation in Britain”.1 Peterken sees similarities in traditional meadows surrounded by spreading hedges and boundary trees, ancient coppices with grassy rides that have in the past been mown, the herb-rich grasslands of traditional orchards mown for hay, and even churchyards.

The blurring of the difference between the plants of woodland and grassland, characteristic of Estonian wood-meadows, is also found in Britain. Many species, such as bluebell, wood anemone and oxlip, commonly cross the boundary between the two. What’s more, such habitat can be highly biodiverse:  Laelatu in Estonia claims a European record with up to 76 vascular plant species recorded in one square metre.

How does wood-meadow in the UK score in terms of biodiversity? Assessing the quality of a site has been one of the challenges facing the government’s strategy to put a figure on the nation’s natural capital and the benefits the natural environment provides. Dr Jon Webb, Senior Invertebrate Ecologist at Natural England, will be demonstrating the Pantheon System project, developed by Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, to assign quality to sites;  he will live demo the system analysing entomological and botanical data from Hagge Woods Trust’s Three Hagges Wood-Meadow site, and see how wood-meadow scores.

Speakers are drawn from a range of disciplines covering ecology, horticulture, farming and forestry:  Fergus Garrett, keeper and developer of Christopher Lloyd’s legacy, discusses the creation of wood-meadow at Great Dixter in Kent; Professor Chris Baines, pioneer of gardening for wildlife and environmental adviser to industry and government, shares his long experience of creating and managing meadows2; Professor Jim McAdam OBE, Head of Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute’s Crops, Grassland and Ecology Branch, discusses Silvopastoral  Agroforestry; Rosalind Forbes Adam and Lin Hawthorne of Hagge Woods Trust tell their story of establishing wood-meadow as a means to restore biodiversity and redress losses in coppiced woodland, flower-rich grassland and hedgerow.

Professor Ian Rotherham3, chair & organiser of the conference, believes the topics are particularly pertinent in helping shape ideas and policy about wilding, or re-wilding, the British countryside, and the future of UK agri-environment schemes in the wake of Brexit 4.  Organised by SYBRG / The UK-econet, the conference is supported and sponsored by the Forest Ecology Special Interest Group and the Peatlands Special Interest Group of the British Ecological Society, and also supported by the Ancient Tree Forum, the Woodland Trust and others.  Ian would like to see a wood-meadow or wood-pasture in every parish, and the aspiration of a wilder Britain from the inner-city window box, to the highest mountain-top!

For further information & bookings please see:

http://www.ukeconet.org/woodmeadowspastures.html or email info@hallamec.plus.com

And background information:

http://www.ukeconet.org/wildervisions.html

Draft conference programme see: http://www.ukeconet.org/uploads/4/2/5/2/42528355/wood_meadows___pastures_may_17_-_draft_programme_v1.pdf ]

Or contact:

Christine Handley: conference manager  christine@hallamec.plus.com 0114 2724227

Ian Rotherham: I.D.Rotherham@shu.ac.uk

Rosalind Forbes Adam: rosalind@escrick.com<mailto:rosalind@escrick.com> 07976 821903 / 01757 288381

 

Notes

1       George Peterken, ‘Recognising wood-meadows in Britain?’  British Wildlife Volume 28 Number 3 February 2017.  He is also the author of Meadows, British Wildlife Publishing Ltd, 2013

2       Chris Baines is the author of RHS Companion to Wildlife Gardening, Francis Lincoln 2016.  Revised edition of How to Make a Wildlife Garden.

3       At the conference there will be a launch of Ian Rotherham’s book, ‘Shadow Woods – the search for lost landscapes’ and of a major new book on European woodlands edited by Ian Rotherham, Alper Çolak and Simay Kirca, and with chapters by the late Oliver Rackham, George Peterken, Frans Vera and others.

4       The Natural Capital Committee (NCC), set up by the government in 2011, to pursue the government’s bold objective of “being the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than that in which we found it”, recently published 4th Report  in which it advises the government on its forthcoming 25 Year Environment Plan:  “The 25-Year Plan should contain an explicit focus on wildlife conservation with new wildlife areas and corridors that lead to improved conservation outcomes for species and habitats in line with the recommendations of the Lawton Report (2010)”.

This 2-day event is part of the ‘Wilder Visions’ Programme

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New Trustee Appointment

Chair of Trustees, Rosalind Forbes Adam says: “We are delighted to welcome Professor David Raffaelli to our Board of Trustees.  Director of BESS (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability) at the University of York, Dave brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the Trust, completing that of our existing six Trustees”.

 

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Hagge Woods Trust Annual Report and Accounts for 2015/2016

Read about our aims and objectives, our achievements, our plans for the future and our financial review for 2015/2016 READ REPORT

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Hagge Woods Trust Financial Accounts 

The financial accounts for Hagge Woods Trust for year ending 2016 are now available to read here

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Film Project

Nick Atherton, an undergraduate filmmaker currently studying Biology at the University of York, has been funded by Santander Universities to assist the Hagge Woods Trust in recording through filming the wildlife that calls the wood meadow home. The purpose of this is to have authentic wildlife footage from the Three Hagges Wood Meadow to use in the films being produced for the project since stock footage that accurately reflects the wood-meadow’s own flora and fauna is seldom available.

The filming project and funding was set up through the University of York’s Internship Bureau, which works with local businesses to establish project-based opportunities for its students and graduates whilst providing businesses with a talented addition to their workforce. You can find out more about the Internship Bureau here: www.york.ac.uk/careers/employers or by emailingJennifer.Plummer@york.ac.uk

Santander Universities is the keystone of Santander’s social action and enable it to maintain a stable alliance with more than 1,200 universities and research institutes all over the world. More information at www.santander.com/universities andwww.becas-santander.com

Music credit: Bensound Music – www.bensound.com