Thursday, 18 October 2018

LOUTH AREA GROUP OCTOBER CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS


SPEAKER MEETING 26 OCTOBER
We start our programme of speaker meetings at 1930hrs on Friday 26 October in the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. Dr Vin Fleming from the Nature Conservation Committee will tell us about Earthstars, Brittle Gills and Puddockstools. These are not witches who might be around at Halloween; they are the names of fungi that can be found during the Autumn.
The entry fee, including refreshments, remains at £2.50 whilst children are welcome and have free entry.
 
THE INFORMATION COFFEE MORNING SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER
Our annual fund-raising event will take place at the ConocoPhillips Room in Louth between 1000hrs and noon on Saturday 10 November. There will be a chance to buy Wildlife Trust Christmas cards and calendars plus the opportunity to view presentations as well as having a coffee and a chat. LWT Warden James Forrester will have a collection of various woods to be found in Snipe Dales whilst Biff Vernon will show us some of the art work that was on display at the #200Fish exhibition.
There will be a Raffle! However, we do need prizes. If you are kind enough to donate a prize, please bring it along to the LAG indoor meeting on 26 October or let me know onlag2104rww@aol.com and I will arrange to collect it.
 
ASSISTANCE REQUIRED ‘LAPWINGS’ DELIVERY LOUTH
A volunteer is required to deliver 18 copies of the Lapwings magazine three times a year in the Ramsgate/ Eastgate area. Please contact Louise Scott on ryndle38@hotmail.com if you can help.
 
 ‘THE LOST WORDS’ SUCCESS
You may remember that last month I provided information about the splendid, ‘Lost Words’ book that was being delivered to all state schools in Lincolnshire. Three of us were pleased to deliver 18 of these books to schools within the LAG area where they were very well received.
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group

Sunday, 7 October 2018

LOUTH AREA GROUP VISIT TO LWT RESERVE WOODHALL SPA 30 SEPTEMBER


The first day of wintry weather did not deter over 30 people from many sources coming along to be enthralled by LWT Warden Kevin James as he described how the land went from farmland in 1941 to an RAF airfield. The base was the home of many Lancaster bomber squadrons including 617 – the Dambusters. We stood by the recently constructed war memorial which commemorates the 458 men who did not return home. I think that we were all saddened by the loss of life and some people were rather surprised to be reminded that most of these men would have been under 23.

Post-war the airfield eventually became a sand and gravel extraction site and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust bought the premises a few years ago. When the contractors left they took their pumps with them so what appeared to be sandy heathland rapidly became wetland and reed beds.

Kevin and his team of volunteers from the Horncastle Area Group assisted occasionally by contractors have a long and short-term programme to manage the site to make it look ‘natural’. Their efforts have been rewarded as wild fauna and flora slowly populates the area. One long-time, unwelcome insurgent is the Piri-piri burr which is native to New Zealand. It colonises ground very quickly and its burrs become entangled around insects and the feet of birds. The plant came to the airfield on the knapsacks of RNZAF personnel in 1944!

Our enthusiastic guide has a many facetted role. He tends a flock of black Hebridean sheep and a small herd of Lincoln Red cattle. He uses hydraulic engineering knowledge to manage the water levels to control the reeds, as well as having the overall management of this and other sites.

We did see a dozen or so species of birds including Egyptian geese and a tree full of Cormorants.
However, bird watching was not on list on Sunday. Nevertheless, the two large lakes are a haven for wild fowl and passage migrants. I shall be returning in the Winter months to spend some time in the hide. Contact me on lag2014rww@aol.com  if you would like to come along.  Ray Woodcock

Thursday, 20 September 2018

LAG CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS SEPTEMBER 2018


Our Autumn field trip will be to the LWT Reserve Woodhall Spa Airfield on Sunday 30 September where LWT Warden Kevin James will give us a guided tour. We will meet at 1000hrs at the main gates on the B1192 Tattershall Road through Woodhall Spa town. The nearest post code is LN4 4JT and the OS Map reference is TF 206608.
We shall be on site for about 2 hours, there are no loos once you leave Woodhall Spa. For the most part the going is flat along the old main runway where wheel chairs can have a good run.
There will be lots to see so bring your telescopes and binoculars as well as your fauna and flora ID guides.

Work parties will take place from 0930hrs at Rigsby Wood on 14 October and on 28 October at Swinn Wood.

INFORMATION COFFEE MORNING SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER
EARLY WARNING AND SEASONAL SCROUNGING
Our annual fund-raising event will take place at the ConocoPhillips Room in Louth between 1000hrs and noon on Saturday 10 November. There will be a chance to buy Wildlife Trust Christmas cards and calendars plus the opportunity to view displays as well as having a coffee and a chat.
We shall have a Raffle! However, we do need prizes. If you are kind enough to donate a prize, please bring it along to the LAG indoor meeting on 26 October or let me know on lag2104rww@aol.com and I will arrange to collect it.
‘THE LOST WORDS’ – A REMINDER
Since 2010 common countryside words like acorn, wren, kingfisher and conker started to disappear from children's books. Earlier in the year the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust set up 'Crowdfunder' campaign to raise £5,000 to help bring these lost words back to life. In fact, you may well have contributed to the campaign. It was intended to buy every primary, junior and special school in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire a copy of a wonderful book.
SUCCESS AND HELP
You may be aware that the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has been successful in reaching its fundraising target. But, the fundraising target didn't include funds to cover the costs of postage. Now comes the task of delivering the books to the schools!
Members of the Louth Area Group have arranged to deliver books to several schools in the area. However, those listed below still need to be visited. If you have an affinity with any of these schools, you may care to deliver a copy of the book to ‘your school’. Please let me know the name of the school by 25 September on lag2014rww@aol.com and I will let you have more details.

Best wishes
Ray Woodcock                Chairman Louth Area group

Louth Kidgate Primary Academy
North Cockerington Church of England Primary School
Louth Lacey Gardens Junior School
North Somercotes Church of England Primary School
Louth St Bernard's School
North Somercotes, Somercotes Academy
Louth Academy
Fulstow Community Primary School
Louth Cordeaux Academy
Utterby Primary Academy
Grainthorpe Primary School
Legbourne East Wold Church of England Primary School
Grimoldby Primary School
Donnington-on-Bain School
Scamblesby Church of England Primary School


Report on Watch Group Treasure Hunt in Hubbard's Hills 16-9-18




After a short shower early in the afternoon the day became warm and sunny.
Prior to families arriving, the Treasure Hunt clues were laid as a trail through Hubbard's Hills.
They were discreetly tied to trees, bushes, benches etc
Each family was given a sheet of instructions. They were sent off to find each clue and to answer the natural history question at that site. There were twenty clues to find, spread throughout the Hills. All the questions had multi choice answers and ranged from being very simple to more challenging.
When the families had found and completed the questionnaire, they were able to compare their replies with the answer sheet.
Each child (twenty in all) was then able to chose some 'treasure', an animal eraser pencil or a packet of glittery stickers.
All the families seemed to enjoy the Treasure Hunt.
Thanks  are due to Louise who compiled the clues and questions and also hid them in the Hills.




Saturday, 21 July 2018

LAG CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JULY 2018


Louth Area Group Field Trip Sunday 29 July 2018
We meet at LWT Red Hill Reserve car park at 1400hrs on Sunday 29 July for a guided walk around this extensive reserve. Our guide will be LWT Conservation Officer Mark Schofield.
As most of you know the reserve is North east of Goulceby, nearest postcode LN11 9UE with
OS Map Reference TF 264 806.
The ground is very hard, there are some steep paths and a stile to climb – not good for a new knee. Just to cheer you up further the biting bugs love exposed flesh and ticks may crawl up your trouser legs. So, tuck your trousers in your socks and use some insect repellent. 
Jane and I visited the site on Wednesday – it was very dry, but there was colour amongst the long grasses from the Marjoram and Scabious flowers and the views over the Wolds were spectacular.
 
The Summer edition of the LWT Lapwings magazine is on its way to you together with the LAG Newsletter. In the latter I have given a report on the St James’ spire Peregrines. I have more recent news from Geoff Mullet who told me that, ‘As last year, one of the three fledglings was unable to fly – reason unknown. So, it has been taken to the raptor rescue centre in Worksop, where it is being examined by their vet. I received a text from them this morning, but only to confirm that the bird is still unable to fly but has a good appetite! I’ve asked them to let me know if it’s the same ‘angel wing’ problem as the one last year as apparently, it’s hereditary, or if it’s some other problem.
 
Our three hedgehogs have been joined by a much smaller one – is it a new born? We don’t think it is the offspring of the large male who bullies all the others with much snuffling. Last night at 0333hrs we were fascinated to see on the camera the scenario of a hedgehog feeding from a dish with our friendly vixen lapping from the water bowl; both being watched from across the lawn by one of the five cats that regularly pass through the garden.
 
The camera also picks up bats and moths as blurs on the screen. We see the bats around the house in the late evening but not the moths. At the beginning of the month we borrowed a moth trap and were delighted and surprised by the numbers of species present. From the large red Elephant hawk moth to the tiny micro moths. To help us identify some of these creatures we went to a Moth Morning organised by the Spirit of Sutterby group where the North Lincs Moth recorder, Colin Smith, identified 40 species found in 3 moth traps and told us how to identify 32 species of common micro-moths. Luckily for us he provided an identification chart!
 
Please remember to leave water out at night for your nocturnal visitors as well as by day for the birds.
 
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Louth Watch Group Meeting

Louth Watch Group of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

We are holding a joint meeting with the Rimac Watch Group on Sunday July 15th at Crook Bank, near Theddlethorpe.

We will be using push-nets in the sea to find sea creatures such as pipefish, isopods,flatfish, brown shrimps, hermit crabs & sea gooseberries.

The meeting will start at 2pm. and is free

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

It is essential that everyone going in the sea should wear wellies or water shoes to protect against Weever fish stings.

Weever fish bury themselves in the sand with their dorsal fin sticking up. The dorsal fin releases a poison which gives an extremely painful sting to anyone treading on the buried fish and will result in a trip to hospital.

We will meet at Crook Bank car park. Postcode LN12 1NP, MR: TF 489883

I have attached a map with directions to Crook Bank.

We hope to see you then

Avril

Monday, 25 June 2018

LAG VISIT TO GOSLINGS CORNER WOOD 22 JUNE 2018



A GENTLE STROLL AMONG THE ORCHIDS ON A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER’S EVENING




A dozen cars managed to squeeze in to the car park at the edge of Goslings Corner Wood and 23 of us sprayed ourselves with insect repellent whilst we listened to an initial briefing from LWT Warden Damien Carter. We learnt that this wood is one of the smaller Lincolnshire oak/lime woods. The variety of soils in the reserve - ranging from neutral to acidic - produce the variety of flora. (See species list below.)



As we strolled around identifying the wild flowers Damien told us how the site was being managed. A series of coppice plots have been created off the main rides. The oldest plot at the southern end of the main ride was cut in the winter of 1989/90 and the last one in this present series is due to be completed in about 2045. In some areas new tree growth is being encouraged to restrict light reaching the ground to reduce the amount of grass growth. In another area the grass is left to enable the natural development of saplings which in turn will create fresh woodland. In a further area some larger trees are to be felled and coppiced. This work will be carried out by a contractor who also processes the timber for use as firewood and charcoal. A large meadow in the centre is harvested for hay twice a year. Sadly for us, it had just been cut so the wonderful field that had recently been full of yellow Meadow buttercups looked very bare.
The sunshine disappeared as we left the grassy paths and entered the woodland. Consequently, there was an abrupt change in the ground flora. Dog’s mercury was in profusion and we saw many Common spotted orchids. Wetter ground was indicated by Marsh thistles and Water avens.
The only birds that we saw were a couple of Wood pigeons and a Magpie although some people heard a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and Peacocks!
Many thanks to Damien for his guidance and to Volunteer Reserve Warden Eric Sergeant who manages the site on a day to day basis.RW

PLANT LIST
GOSLINGS CORNER WOOD 22 JUNE 2018
LAG 1800-2000hrs
Small leaved lime
Cocksfoot grass
Oak
Foxtail grass
Birch
Rough meadow grass
Field maple
Timothy grass
Hawthorn
Crested dog's tail
Elder
Meadow foxtail
Crab apple
Yorkshire fog
White beam
Rough meadow grass
Hogweed
Wood melick grass
Alder
Rye grass
Meadow buttercup
Red fescue grass
Creeping buttercup
Pendulous sedge
Common vetch
Speedwell
Marsh thistle
Dandelion
Spear thistle
Ribwort plantain
Curled dock
Ramsons
Common sedge
Common spotted orchid
Lesser stitchwort
Water avens
White clover
Broad leaved willow herb
Pignut
Heath spotted orchid
Bramble
Meadow cranesbill
Stinging nettle
Hedge woundwort
Dog's mercury
Bugle
Cleavers
Ragged robin
Common sedge
Creeping-Jenny
Compact rush
Tormentil
Lady's smock
Great tussock sedge 
Prickly ox-tongue
Remote sedge
Yellow rattle
Fen bedstraw
Figwort
Hemp agrimony
Nipplewort
Marsh stitchwort
Marsh thistle
Spear thistle
Yellow vetchling
Ragged robin
Tufted vetch
Bush vetch