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.
New land purchase - new HLF funding
We are delighted to announce that the LOHP has just purchased another piece of land in the valley, with the help of a new Heritage Lottery Fund award and our Riverlink Appeal. The new land, on Fen Road in Thelnetham, shares boundaries with the LOHP's Parkers Piece, and with Thelnetham Middle Fen nature reserve, adding another important piece of the valley fen jigsaw. In addition to the purchase, the HLF grant will enable us to undertake surveys of the site (at present mostly unmanaged plantation woodland and stinging nettles) before finalising a restoration management plan. There will also be funding for volunteer training, more work with local schools and more editions of the News from the Ouse over the next two years.
Winter sunshine rewards walkers
Thirty people (plus six well-behaved dogs) made the most of a rare fine morning on Sunday 5th January by joining our traditional Winter Walk. This year we started at Redgrave and Lopham Fen, guided by Richard Young, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve manager, and walked across the “watershed” from the Waveney to the Little Ouse, taking in the Frith, and on to the Lows in Blo’ Norton.
Annual meeting fills hall!
The Lopham's village hall was packed for our 12th annual meeting on 3rd December. Members and friends enjoyed Dr Nigel Holmes' talk explaining the simple methods he used in the autumn to restore parts of the channel of the river Little Ouse. His examples of the success of similar methods used on other badly-managed river channels were inspiring and hugely encouraging. As ever, the evening was concluded with a wonderful spread of seasonal food and opportunity to catch up with old friends and new news.