Dawn on 3rd May
Dawn on 3rd May saw an intrepid bunch of early-risers, led by the BTO's Prof Rob Fuller, enjoying the bird song on the Blo'Norton and Thelnetham Fens. Blackcap, garden warbler, whitethroat, chiffchaff, willow warbler, reed warbler, hobby, swift, cuckoo and barn owl were among the birds heard and seen. Calm weather, beautiful light and a finale of breakfast rolls, scones, pastries and hot drinks provided by Margaret Malley and Rosemary Jones made it a perfect morning - with the added bonus of Rosemary's homemade marmalades and blackcurrant jam!
Eighteen volunteers cleared cut sallow on Broomscot Common, on a beautiful bright February Sunday. Task leader Reg Langston said 'a bonfire kept us warm, in spite of the cold wind, and Laura's rock cakes provided very welcome sustenance during our tea break!' Some of the sallow scrub on the wettest parts of the Common have been cut down to allow more light to reach the wetland plants growing under the remaining sallows.
Walking in the New Year
The ever-popular winter walk took place this year on Sunday 4th January. More than 60 walkers enjoyed the bright sunshine and sparkling frost. The route took us through Thelnetham and Hinderclay Fens, finishing at The White Horse pub. The lucky few at the front glimpsed a kingfisher on the river, and the whole group had a preview of New Fen, the latest site to be added to the Project area. Public access to this site will be opened in 2016.
Another excellent annual talk
Another excellent annual talk, this year from Professor Allan Downie on ash die-back disease and other new threats to our native trees, was the highlight of the LOHP members' evening and AGM on 4th December. Prof. Downie heads field-leading research on the disease at the JIC, Norwich. LOHP trustee Pete Fox gave members a brief summary of our own work to monitor the impact of the disease in the valley and appealed for more volunteers to help next sumer. The meeting was also an opportunity to say farewell and thank you to long-serving trustees Norman Groves, who has helped steer through our land purchases. The trustees presented him with one of Arthur Rivett's lovely photographs of Webbs Fen, one of the sites he help to buy. We all wish Norman and Anne well every happiness in their move to Sheffield. As ever, the evening finished with much seasonal food and drink, and a chance to catch up with friends.