Saturday, 22 February 2020

LWT LOUTH AREA GROUP CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS FEBRUARY 2020

Our 28 February meeting will be ‘WILDLIFE SPECTACLES’, some fantastic scenes by STEVE LOVELL, wildlife photographer and nature guide. We begin at 7.30pm at the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. Entry, including refreshments £2.50. Children free.

Our Annual General Meeting will be on 24 April when there will be cake! There is a need for at least a couple of you to volunteer to join the committee. The tasks are not onerous, we hold 3 meetings a year to discuss and plan the programme for the following year. The only commitment is to help to run the indoor meetings; most of you attend these so it would only be a matter of arriving before the 7.30 pm start time.
In the past people stayed on the committee for a long time; no-one expects you to do a 27 year stint! I set myself 5 years and will be leaving after 6 years. If you are prepared to consider a year to see ’how it goes’, you will be most welcome. Please contact me for any further details on rwwsec3lo@aol.com

WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN?
I am sure that we are all delighted with longer days and no snow – yet! Two hedgehogs have come back after a 3 week break whilst the night camera is picking up moths in flight. I have heard a greenfinch and a great tit singing for nearly a week and of course the snowdrops, aconites and daffodils are in bloom.
On 7 February Jane and went to have a look at the LWT Huttoft Bank Pit hide. The sun was shining, and it was a great pleasure to sit drinking our coffee out of the wind. A few mallards and moorhens were dodging in and out of the reeds when a flurry of activity caught our attention. A wisp of 8 snipe circled and settled on a reed patch about 3 metres from the hide whilst a further dozen snipe continued to circle and then settled elsewhere. Wow!

Best wishes
Ray Woodcock
Chairman Louth Area Group, LWT

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Report on Louth Watch Meeting Sunday 16th February


The Louth Watch leaders were pleased that three children braved the wind and rain from storm Dennis to attend their meeting in Spout Yard,  Louth on Sunday afternoon February 16th.
The children mounted all the pressed flowers that had been collected the previous June from the meadow at LRAC, Kenwick. They added their own drawings, folklore and other information about the  plants. The results will be added to the Watch collection.
They still had time to each make a  mobile, depicting the life cycle of a dandelion. They made and planted seeds in paper potters as well as writing their names in cress seeds. They also had time to try the 'Name the Flower' game.
Overall it was a very busy, enjoyable meeting.






Friday, 7 February 2020

WATCH group

At our next meeting on Sunday 16th February
we will be mounting our own flower collection, picked in the meadow at Kenwick LRAC last June.
We will be adding interesting facts and illustrations, so would like everybody to contribute. 
The specimens will become part of the special Watch collection.
There will also be lots of  art and craft activities to enjoy.
Don't forget to let us know about any birds, animals and flowers that you may have spotted recently.
We will be meeting in Spout Yard Gallery in Louth starting at 2pm until about 4pm.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Report on Louth Watch Meeting 19-1-20

Louth Watch group met at Spout Yard Park to find out more about compost.

As children arrived they were able to chose to fill in a word search, colouring or crossword.
We started the meeting asking if the children had seen any interesting wildlife and reminded them about the Big Garden Birdwatch.

We then moved outside into the park area where James Pocklington told us about the value of compost and demonstrated how to make a Rotbot. He used a 2 litre plastic bottle with the top cut off and a few drainage holes in the bottom. He showed us how to build up layers of shredded paper, vegetable pieces, small twigs and fruit scraps in the bottle. After a few weeks seeds could be planted on the resulting compost.

Before going inside we located and examined the Spout Yard compost bins. Indoors the children enjoyed exploring the piles of compost that James had brought in, from different sources. They searched for minibeasts and examined and identified them under digital microscopes, other microscopes and magnifiers. They were excited to find worms, woodlice, centipedes, beetle larvae, ants and snails.

The children then made and took home some very good plasticine models of the minibeasts they had found. They were also given a rotbot bottle to fill at home and some seeds to sow in the resulting compost.

Overall it was a very enjoyable and educational afternoon.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

LWT LOUTH AREA GROUP CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JANUARY 2020

LWT LOUTH AREA GROUP CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS JANUARY 2020
A ‘Happy New Year’ to you all and a Happy 50th Birthday to the Louth Group.
Our first meeting of 2020 will be given by the dynamic Tammy Smalley, Head of LWT Conservation. Her topic will be ‘The Sea and Me’ at 7.30pm on Friday 31 January at the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth. Entry, including refreshments is £2.50; children have free entry
INFORMATION
I wonder whether we shall have any cold weather to balance out the wet months of late 2019. We already have Primroses and Snowdrops in the garden whilst at least one hedgehog turns up very night for its Spike and sultanas. We have also seen the return of the Common gull with a deformed leg for the third year in succession.
DONNA NOOK
The Pink-footed geese and Brent geese are still providing dawn and dusk flockings on the coast but nearly all the seals have left Donna Nook. There were 2,186 pups born this year which is an increase of 5.4% on 2019. Not all these creatures survive; it is estimated that 20% of pups do not live for longer than a year.
The busiest and possibly smelliest day at Donna Nook was 6 December when there were 466 bulls, 997 cows and 2135 pups to be seen. The seals have a very busy time whilst they are on the marshes. The cows give birth and suckle the pups who grow rapidly and turn from cream to grey before heading out to sea. The huge bulls roar and fight for the attention of the cows who are often still suckling their pups. They mate – quite a spectacle – they have no modesty and some visitors claim to be offended by this behaviour within a few feet of the boundary fence.
They soon start to leave, so the beach is virtually empty by late December when the seals return to the sea and start to feed again and when the stoical volunteer seal wardens and LWT staff have time for a rest.
RSPB BIRDWATCH
Please remember to take part in the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch scheduled for 25 and 26 January. Report forms will be in the national press as well as being on the RSPB website.
Best wishes
Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group, LWT

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

LWT LOUTH AREA GROUP - CHAIRMAN’S JOTTINGS NOVEMBER 2019




THE NANCY LOFT MEMORIAL LECTURE 2019

The speaker at our meeting at 0730pm on Friday 29 November at the Nichol Hill Methodist Church, Louth will be Helen Gamble who will be talking about ‘The Lincolnshire Wolds - its wildlife, landscapes and geology.
The meeting is open to all with an entrance fee of £2.50; children are welcome and are not charged.
Helen is the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service Project Officer who provides advice and, where appropriate, helps to deliver grant aid to farmers, landowners and community groups on works to implement landscape, wildlife and access improvements within the Wolds and is the contact for Sustainable Development Funds and Small Grants Scheme.
 
DONNA NOOK
The seals are back in force at Donna Nook. The most recent count, reported last Saturday, showed that there were 362 Bulls, 1254 Cows and 872 pups. These figures will continue to increase.
The volunteers who direct and inform the visitors have had a cold and wet time so far. They do a great job and see some fascinating sights including that of a Pomarine skua feeding on the seal placentas. If you intend to visit, try to go on weekdays when there are fewer visitors.
The paths to the North of the main car park at Donna Nook are always worth a visit. You will see ducks, geese and waders flying and settling on the lagoons and if you walk quietly you may see Roe deer moving through the dunes. 
Best wishes

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Galapagos viewed from Louth

Our 2019-20 season of talks began on Friday 25th October with an account of a trip to South America by Roger Briggs. After a quick look at Peru and the Inca Trail, we learnt much about the Galapagos Islands, their geography and wildlife, with numerous photos and some videos of the unique fauna and flora of this extraordinary archipelago.

For further reading, there's a good introduction to the islands on Wikipedia and the best introduction to the wildlife is to be found at the Galapagos Conservation Trust website

Of course the most fascinating account is that written by Charles Darwin in his The Voyage of the Beagle.  Here is  CHAPTER XVII — GALAPAGOS ARCHIPELAGO


Finches, drawn by Charles Darwin

Next month's meeting is the Nancy Loft Memorial Lecture. On Friday 29th November Helen Gamble of the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service will talk to us about some hills a good deal closer to home than the Galapagos Islands.

Next year we celebrate 50 years of the Louth Area Group of the Wildlife Trust. Would you like to share a memorable wildlife related experience form the last half century?