Wednesday, 7 October 2020


I've never seen a bullfinch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, in my garden (I've lived here 33 years). They may be common in other places but I've have hardly ever seen one, and I'm pretty rubbish at bird identification anyway. I assumed bullfinches look like these. But of course those are just the brightly coloured males. So when two birds turned up, one with distinct markings and the other rather drab, I thought at first they were a male and female of I knew not what. And then I realised. This was no pair but a mother and child, a female and juvenile bullfinch. There are pictures showing the difference on the BTO website. And lots of other information

Anyway here are my ones, photographed through my kitchen window. They were eating honetsuckle berries and got through about half a dozen each, which I thought quite an achievement considering their relative sizes, before flying off to a neaby hawthorn to have a go at the berries there.
Biff Vernon

Friday, 10 April 2020

Good morning fellow Louth Area Group members

I hope that you are all keeping well. Despite the frustration of not being able to visit our wonderful Lincolnshire countryside Jane and I have been enjoying the sunny days in the garden. The dawn chorus lasts nearly all day with great tits, chaffinches and blackbirds claiming their territories. We shall miss the ‘Cowslips of Coronation Meadow’ display this year but we have wildflowers and butterflies galore in our drive and garden.


As you are aware all LWT activities that involve personal contact have been postponed until a future date. The LAG AGM was scheduled for 24 April 2020. Rather than plan another date for the Autumn the committee made a case to the LWT for conducting the 2020 AGM by email. This was approved by Paul Learoyd, CEO of the LWT, on 3 March 2020. This move will enable the new committee to become operational early in May.

To date nominations for the 2020/2021 committee are Chairman Biff Vernon, Secretary Jan Boyd, Treasurer Rod Baddon together with Louise Scott, Judith John and Chris Henderson.

The LAG Constitution paragraph 4 tells us that the AGM is held for the election of committee members, for the receipt and consideration of the Chairman’s report and for the receipt and consideration the Financial statement. You will receive AGM documents for consideration and decision by email on 24 April.

In an email to all Area Group committee members on 9 April the CEO asked that group members be given 14 days warning of any changes to the group’s AGM arrangements. Consequently, I am sending this notification by email to the 75 members of the Group who have provided me with their email addresses. It will also be published on the LAG Facebook page and on the blog that forms part of our website. If you are a LAG member and not on my list and you would like to take part in this unprecedented AGM, please contact me on

You may like to know that only 25 members attended the 2019 AGM which was reported in the 2019 Summer Newsletter. Let me know if you would like a copy of the Minutes of that meeting, a copy of the LWT LAG Constitution or if you would like to be nominated as a committee member.


Part of the proceedings at the April 2020 meeting was to have been a short presentation about the Group since 1970 followed by cake and coffee. I have attached a summary of the history of the group. I fear that you will have to provide your own cake and coffee.

Keep safe and keep in touch

Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group LWT 10 April 2020

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Hello fellow LAG members

The peregrines are nesting on the church spire; occasionally we see them overhead particularly when they are being mobbed by raucous gulls. Our first cowslip flower blossomed on 16 March whilst the verges of our drive have a ground covering of self-seeded violets, wild arum, ivy-leaved speedwell and sticky willy. Small tortoiseshell. peacock, comma and brimstone butterflies are fluttering around looking for pollen. The three hedgehogs that appear each night on the trail camera are busy feeding and feuding. 
It was decided to ask LWT to send the LAG copies of Spring Lapwings magazines out by post. As the LWT HQ at Horncastle has now closed, it may be some time before we see the Spring 2020 edition.
Although we are all house bound and garden bound there is still plenty to see. Take a close look at the garden birds. Is it a dunnock or a sparrow? Try to identify the insects on the emerging spring flowers.  How many species of bee did you see? 
If you are not on Ray's email list and would like further information about the group's activities including a Spring quiz, please contact him on
Keep safe
Ray Woodcock  Chairman Louth Area Group LWT

Watch Group
With schools and Watch Groups closing, it has been suggested that some parents might like to log on to the this from the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, to find ideas for wildlife activities for children.
Best Wishes


Saturday, 14 March 2020


The COVID-19 Virus is affecting our lives in so many ways and we must take measures to keep it under control. Consequently, the LAG committee members have decided to cancel the 27 March speaker meeting. Please will you inform other members who might attend a LAG meeting of this decision. We will decide the fate of the 24 April AGM and meeting in due course.
On a happier note, three hedgehogs were fighting in our garden last evening whilst a Greenfinch sings its one note song from the top of a fir tree most mornings.
Do take care.
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Monday, 2 March 2020

Watch meeting Sunday March 15th

Details of our next meeting:-
We hope that you will join us for our popular Treasure Hunt in Hubbard's Hills on Sunday March 15th. 
Use your skills to find and solve our nature clues and win some Treasure.
We will meet near Hubbard's Hills cafe at  2pm , LN11 0QW.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free.
We hope to see you there.
Best Wishes


Saturday, 29 February 2020

Wildlife Spectacles - Steve Lovell

Friday 28th February 2020

Steve Lovell has spent the last couple of decades photographing British wildlife and leading guided tours to see the spectacles on offer not far from our own backyards. From the Lincolnshire Wash to the Scottish Isles, we were treated to pictures of the enormous range of wildlife available to watch for those with the patience. And with each photo came a little piece of information that made one sit up and realise how much there still is to learn.

From seals in the Welland to reindeer in the Cairngorms, from a hundred thousand starlings to a black winged stilt, from Irish hares on Mull to Chinese water-deer in Norfolk, the richness of British fauna cannot be overstated.

With frogs spawning in February is Steve's garden pond to white mountain hares with no snow to hide on, climate change poses multiple challenges for our wildlife. Of immediate and urgent concern is the deliberate persecution of wildlife. Steve talked about still legal hare culls in Scotland, illegal hare coursing in Lincolnshire and equally illegal but covertly condoned killing of raptors on grouse moors.

Steve's take home message was to stay close to home; that to enjoy wildlife spectacles there is no need to fly to foreign lands; there is enough on and around the British Isles to last a lifetime.

Black winged Stilt from Guardian article

Find out more about what Steve Lovell can offer from his website.

The Sea and Me - talk be Tammy Smalley

Friday 31st January 2020

Tammy Smalley, Head of Conservation at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, gave us a talk entitled The Sea and Me. She told her autobiographical story of growing up near Skegness, steeped in the local environment of coastal Lincolnshire with the sea a dominant influence, how she came to learn so much about the complexity and variety of wildlife beneath the waves and took her knowledge to Whitehall to argue the case for better protection of the marine environment.

We were treated to a dazzling sequence of pictures of some of the less well-known creatures in our neighbourhood, the Sabellaria reefs, honeycomb worms, brittle stars, sea slugs and many more.

Tammy emphasised the importance of government policy, getting the new agricultural agreements right, for habitats on land and at sea for wildlife and for global heating mitigation. She emphasised the important examples of lowland peat lands and saltmarsh, more valuable than forest, for carbon sequestration, and the need to protect unique but largely unknown habitats such as the Silver Pit, a deep area of the North Sea to the south of the Dogger Bank once a deep lake, thousands of years ago when sea level was lower and much of the North Sea was dry land.

For anyone who missed this talk, you missed a treat. Tammy's self deprecating humour and wit are the perfect counterfoil for the seriousness of her science-backed message to those in positions of power and influence.