A Chairs View

a personal account

Invaders

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Good morning campers and tree huggers. For the last two weeks the ConVols have been working on the annual task of Himalayan balsam removal.

Hymilayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)  is listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales therefore, it is also an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow these species in the wild.

H.B is Britains largest annual plant growing to over  two and half meters and introduced  to the UK in 1839. Travelling both up and down stream H.B quickly dominates the riverbanks forcing other less aggressive species out,this in turn dramatically reduces the biodiversity of the river banks.

New Volunteers are often reluctant to work on this task as what they are seeing is a bonny relative of the Busy Lizzie plant and it is an attractive plant, thats why it was brought here all those years ago but it has to go. Anyone that has witnessed the way that H.B. colonise our river banks,will in a short time realise  that H.B. poses a major threat to our river and beck sides, with what can be catastrophic results to the indigenous flora/fauna.

If you would like to know more about this subject the net is full of info.R.H.S    

Rhododendron   Rhododendron ponticum (L.)pulling  is a very similar task to H.B. a stunningly beautiful plant grown all over the world, that has to go. Although it possesses attractive flowers R. ponticum has few attributes that offset the negative impact it can have on an invaded site.  It has been shown to reduce the numbers of earthworms, birds and plants and regenerative capacity of a site, leading to a reduction in the biodiversity of the area. Physical access to a site can be reduced by the density and size of mature bushes, and management costs then rise as the bushes need to be treated prior to other activities being carried out. Established bushes then act as a seed source for further invasions in adjacent areas, eradicating ground cover plants and interfering with the process of natural regeneration of trees.

The ConVols have contracted with the Woodland trust to continue with Rhododendron pulling in Raincliffe Woods and over the coming year we hope to make some dramatic improvement in the amount of this unwanted plant.

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JOBS JOBS JOBS

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My name is Paul Thompson and I work for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. 

 I am beginning to recruit for next year’s cohort of my project, ‘Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders’.  We really struggled to recruit last year in Ryedale (where there are 6 vacancies) so I wondered if you could please pass this opportunity on to any conservation volunteers, friends or relatives to help raise awareness of this amazing opportunity for young people (age 16 – 24) looking to start a career in the conservation / countryside management sector.

 

Placements will run from September 2017 – August 2018 and the deadline for applications is 30th June.  Detailed information about the vocational placements including how to apply can be found on our website here:

 

http://www.ywt.org.uk/Tomorrows-Natural-Leaders

 

Participants receive a bursary of £250 per month, a training budget of £470 and a placement completion bonus of £500 cash.

 

I have attached a flyer for use in newsletters or social media, plus an article featuring interviews with some of this year’s participants.

 

We will be hosting two practical “taster sessions” in June for anyone who would like to find out more and have a chance to ask myself and the current trainees any questions on the following dates:

 

·         Saturday 17th June

·         Wednesday 21st June

 

These will be held at one of our local nature reserves or farms and further detailed information will be sent through later this month.

 

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to forward this email and my contact details on.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Paul Thompson
Environmental Youth Project Leader

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Tel: 01751 417503
Email: 
paul.thompson@ywt.org.uk

Website: http://www.ywt.org.uk

 

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A two way split

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Hello good people ,Wow what a week of ups and downs. The ConVols had a rare split task this week, first to collect brash and chip it at Millennium wood and then bring it to the meadow for our gate . While 3 of us went onto the Raincliffe meadow to prepare the ground helping Pete Wilson of Thorne Park farm and his big red tractor.

Unfortunately problems with the chipper stopped work on the gate but at least its ready. While we were waiting for the other volunteers to join us in Raincliffe we decided to have a look at the new wetland ,what a surprise the lower three scrapes were almost empty ,so we set about clearing its feeder stream .As the other volunteers joined us we were able to clear more of the stream, low and behold two of us found an old Belfast sink, that had been put in by a previous owner to feed his cattle . Sadly I dont think that will be enough, the banks that we created are behaving like large radiators pulling water out of the ponds as it evaporates out of the bank. We also have a problem with dogs jumping in and pushing their paws through the clay lining and I suppose the Deer will do the same. Solutions I here you shouting well its going to be a bit of fun ,first we will change the way the pond fill each other and use angled pipe to supply the water to the lower ponds , puddle the clay with spades and use a form of pond liner take a breath oh and all the rest of tree planting, training and our weekly tasks .I feel some “ special events “comming up soon .Have a good week

Ron

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A task that is in two halves

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Hello good people of the Sun. Next week we are working on a strange and unusual task .CHIPPING COOL. .We are splitting the dy in two the first half will be in Millennium Wood then on to the Meadow for the afternoon. We are chipping already felled timber and using the chips to dry out the West gate in the Meadow. This is our busiest time of year and we need Volunteers out to help us ,so if you can come please come along WE NEED YOU

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All Bow the sun is out

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Good Morrow people of the Sun, I can confirm that the big bright thing in the sky is indeed the fabled Sun ,the gods must be very happy this morning. This week the ConVols Have been very busy not just in the field so to speak but filling application forms in, ordering, sorting out training, buying stuff and getting ready for our beautiful halcyon Summer. Thinking of summer lets start planning our summer family days. What do you think we should have? BBQ, Bug Hunt, let us know and we will see what can be done. Thank goodness its stopped raining for a day maybe the gate will start to dry out and green up, at the moment it looks a right mess, part of the problem (a big part) is galloping horses .the ConVols love to see people cantering/galloping across the meadow but there comes a point when the rider and horse want to slow down, thats when the huge mess gets much worse. A slowing horse and rider make hellish divots and the ride gets covered in 3/4/6 in holes .

I know its a pain and if it was me on the horse I would want to give the horse its head but for aesthetic and safety grounds can you please walk or trot. We dont want people put off coming to the Meadow just because its ankle deep in mud.

Good news on the Wetland project some plants have come from the Wild flower shop http://www.wildflowershop.co.uk/index.html I will be going up today to plant them up ,i will concentrate on the scrape nearest the fire pit for planting. When our #bagsofhelp funding comes through we will plant up the other scrapes .

As you will be able to see the Vols have been thinning trees in the arboretum plot again this depends on #bagsofhelp funding but as soon as we can we will be planting new species. The way we decided to do it is to plant heavy standard trees with whips planted round. This will give an immediate variety in canopy hight and in the future look like the tree has self seeded.

The Daffs we planted are all out and I hope to post some photos today.

Coming soon we will be planting willow round the Bird hide and planting a few hundred mixed wild flowers.

Have a good week

Ron

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International Womans Day #bagsofhelp

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The 8th of March International Womans Day

We celebrated this by holding a Chainsaw training event on the Meadow all week. Sammie and Marie were joined by Roger and Dave in bringing our skill level up to date. As you will perhaps know if your a member of a group people come and go, some members only come out in good weather others have favourite tasks and come out for them only, some thank goodness get work and move on. Its the latter this time for the ConVols, two of our membership took the training and later in the year managed to find work (fantastic) We are hoping to offer regular training in woodland/conservation skills over the coming months and years, coming next is dry stone walling in the spring. Please let me know baxterron56@hotmail.co.uk if you are wanting a place as numbers are limited.

Next week we will be in the Meadow thinning the Cheery plot, raking the brush up and preparing the path for chipping. We will use the brash in the cherry plot on the east gate and brash from the arboretum plot for the west. I will also be getting some new trees for small cherry plot. WE must not forget the hide in the next few days we will be planting around the hide with willow, hopefully this will make it a little less conspicuous. Then it will be time to plant out the few thousand wild flowers we have so look out for the coming announcements.

In the next few weeks we will also be creating a Wet flush with the help of a local farmer ( Pete Wilson ) but alas we need the rest of the Meadow to dry out so we can get the tractor up there. Keep an eye out for announcements as this will probably be a weekend task.

The volunteers are desperately looking for funding to buy a 4×4 the type we need is a good old fashioned work horse, the one that meets our need is not the cheapest of options but it is the most appropriate for our varied needs a Discovery commercial

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More grass back

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Thank you all for coming out and giving an extra day on the Meadow. This large plot of bramble was just a small plot a few years ago but has gradually expanded taking out two paths. We will rake this off and ready it to be reintegrated into the flower meadow as a wet flush

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