From:                              Emma Daniels <>

Sent:                               04 January 2018 17:02

To:                                   'Emma Daniels'

Subject:                          Winter Newsletter 2017



Read all about our achievements in 2017.


Hagge Woods Trust Winter Newsletter 

Note from Rosalind Forbes Adam, Chair

2017 has been an exciting year for us.  The term 'wood-meadow' is gaining momentum, our Patron, woodland ecologist Professor George Peterken OBE used his keynote address at the Wood-Meadows and Wood-Pastures Conference in Sheffield this year to illustrate the many examples of wood-meadow across the UK. Amy-Jane Beer captured our story and wrote a seven-page article, 'Green Shoots', for BBC Wildlife Magazine with photographs by Laurie Campbell.  The future of our countryside and a network of wood-meadows across the UK is key to our charitable objectives and we were delighted that eight members of Defra’s Environment Analysis Unit visited us for a day in July.  Their Senior Economic Adviser, wrote afterwards, “We were very excited to see the use of the natural capital approach working so well including seeing the high level of engagement with the local community.  We are also very impressed by the level of commitment of the Hagge Woods Trust team.” Following their visit, the Defra team invited us to submit our ideas for future conservation grants: challenging the current lack of focus on creating whole ecosystems and promoting methods for joined-up thinking.

The wood-meadow is far from mature, but the tractor driver’s eyes lit up with delight when we asked if he would like to see the site in 10 years’ time.  Landowners have been heard to say they would far rather create what we have created than ‘another boring plantation’. 



Wood-Meadow Enhancement

The difference between the meadow and the copses looks ever more interesting and attractive.  However, the grasses have grown strongly so after the hay cut this year we decided to sow yellow rattle in as large an area of the meadow as possible. We are very grateful to Plasmor and Groundwork: Bags of Help for Local Projects for their generous help funding this work. We have worked with local East Keswick Wildlife Trust and learnt many lessons about best practise for enhancing the wood-meadow. They also generously gave us a fine selection of locally collected wildflower seed.






336 school children have explored our curriculum topics on pollination and food-chains at Three Hagges Wood-Meadow and at Countryside Days at the Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.




Above images by



Only scientific evidence will tell us whether the wood-meadow we are creating is truly biodiverse. We formed a recording group earlier this year with 14 researchers. We also created a research policy and have submitted records to the National Biodiversity Network.  We were delighted to appoint Dr Kat Wotherspoon as Research Coordinator this year.  Kat will be responsible for our botanical recording and will assess the results of her surveys.  

The success of our methods and diversity of the grassland in the open areas has been assessed by our first MSc student, Keith McSwinney who submitted his MSc dissertation in September.

Dr Kelly Redeker from University of York has teamed up with Paul Muto of Natural England and Dr Raj Whitlock of Liverpool University to look into various management strategy impacts on soil health restoration using Three Hagges Wood-Meadow as one of the exemplar sites as a first PhD project on the site.  Jeremy Clarke started in October.  We are excited to be tackling this important issue.


Botany Days

At four botany days with experienced teacher Mark Duffell, students have learnt valuable ID skills on grasses, flora and winter trees, not readily available elsewhere nearby, setting them up to carry out plant recording.  If you would like to receive information about next year’s botany days, please email


How to create a wood-meadow

This year we published our one page ‘How To Create a Wood-Meadow’, detailing the processes of making a wood-meadow.  We hope it is precise enough but also sufficiently inclusive to allow anyone interested to follow our methodology, whatever their soil or situation, whether farm, urban, park or garden.  We added information on costs per hectare as a guide for anyone considering making wood-meadow as part of a Defra Countryside Stewardship scheme.




New Website

Putting information about The Wood-Meadow Project in the public sphere is central to our way forward and our current two websites are being amalgamated and redesigned and we are excited to announce that our new website will be launched early next year.



Image by Mike Cowling


Exploring Nature Events 

In 2017 we held 46 events/courses and 1152 have attended these, 515 of them children.  Events are designed round encouraging a hands-on experience of nature (of largely uncharismatic species that once were commonplace) and promoting a generation of budding ecologists.  For Discovery Day - part of Plantlife’s National Meadows Day - 70 children and their parents set off with a passport on a trail to seek out plants and trees, insects, pond life, and understand sheepdog training.  On Winged Wonders Day, 52 children, mostly aged 2-5, were introduced to insects by entomologist Andrew Grayson and engaged in all sorts of learning activities including the telling of a wildlife story. 



We are now the proud owners of a golf style buggy which those with limited mobility can use to get around and see parts of the wood-meadow they were unable to see before.  One of our Friend’s was delighted that he can now visit the square he sponsors and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the pond for the first time. We are extremely grateful to Plasmor for their generous help funding our new buggy. If you would like to book the buggy, please contact



Citizen Science

Volunteers, families and children under the guidance of a variety of experts participated in learning new skills in recording pond life, grass snakes and ground flora quadrats. The small mammal population of voles, shrews, mice and bats was recorded with Ann Hanson and Rob Masheder, over the Bat and Small Mammal Weekend in August. 




Around 100 Friends, supporters and a growing number of local businesses attended our annual celebration of Drinks in the wood-meadow in early June. Trustee, Professor David Raffaelli, introduced Patron George Peterken’s concept of wood-meadow and attendees enjoyed walks, wildflowers and music throughout the summer evening.






60 volunteers gave 1020 hours of their time in 2017 working on tasks such as sowing, potting on, planting, raking, taking guards off trees, Indian Balsam pulling, dock cutting, erecting fencing for sheep, helping out at events, administration etc. Our new volunteer programme has been a huge success and at the same time as learning environmental management skills we aim to foster the wood-meadow community. Volunteers received complementary sessions about relevant aspects of ecology in order that they can go on to become knowledgeable guides for event.




Support Us

Your support is vital to our success in continuing our ground-breaking work in wood-meadow creation and continue our vital work in re-building our countryside.

There are many ways you can support us: for just £5 a month you can sponsor a square in the wood-meadow and become a Friend, become a Corporate Benefactor, work with us on a particular project, or simply make a donation.

You can also give the gift of time and become a volunteer.  We have a variety of roles to suit different abilities, from working outdoors in the wood-meadow, helping at events, with botanical and wildlife recording, or with school visits or administration.  If you are interested in volunteering please email us, telling us a little about yourself at



Image by Mike Cowling


Thank You 

A huge thank you to Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Forestry Commission, The Kenneth Hargreaves Charitable Trust, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, The Sir James Reckitt Charity, The Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Foundation, Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, Selby’s Eastern Area Community Engagement Forum, Escrick Park Estate, Native Architects, North Yorkshire County Council: Stronger Communities Programme, Persimmon Homes, Plasmor, Santander Universities, Careers and Placements: University of York, Wurlitzer Design, Grays Solicitors, Andrew Jackson Solicitors, DG Dale & Son Ltd, McInroy & Wood, Saffrey Champness, Stephenson & Son, The Peel Group, Riccall Care, Young Discoverers Nursery and After School Club, all our Friends, volunteers and everyone who has donated in cash or in kind in 2017.


'Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2018!'






Hagge Woods Trust
Little Annexe, Estate Office, Escrick, York, YO19 6EA

You are receiving this email as you are a Friend, Benefactor, Individual Donor, Corporate Partner, Trust or Foundation, Volunteer, Visitor, attended an event, or someone who has expressed an interest in Three Hagges Wood Meadow.