Aidan Neary, the LWT Wildflower Meadow Project Officer was tasked to conduct three Magnificent Meadows events on the same day and asked whether LAG would take on the organisation of the event at Red Hill. We agreed and formed a working party to manage the day. We had the backing of the LWT staff for Health and Safety matters together with the provision of identification materials and a recruiter. The Magnificent Meadows Project (NMP) team supplied some excellent information/worksheets aimed at children. However, this adult and many others were able to glean a lot of useful information from these handouts.
An imponderable factor in the planning of the event was the number of visitors expected. The enthusiastic NMP organiser led me to believe that the as the venture was advertised nationwide in various media it would be a popular event. So the LAG work party estimated between 20 and 200! To this end we arranged for 50 car parking spaces and produced handouts for 100 people as well as having enough helpers on the day to cope with up to 50 visitors at any one time. In the end our team of 11, including Volunteer Reserve Manager Harry Turner and the WT Recruiter, nearly matched the 29 local visitors who turned up during the day.
Nevertheless, those visitors who attended were in awe of the location with its wonderful vistas of the Lincolnshire Wolds, the number of species of flowers and butterflies in the meadow together with the warm welcome that they received; some planned to visit Red Hill again. Volunteer Reserve Manager Harry Turner conducted a couple of guided walks across the meadow. The Yellow rattle and the Common spotted orchids, the Marbled white butterflies and a Common lizard were the highlights for the 4 children from the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Watch Group. There are some superb pictures of the walks, flowers and butterflies taken by Judith, Jane and Recruiter Martin on the LAG Facebook page.
For most of the day the weather was sunny although it was exciting to watch the shower clouds form up over Lincoln Cathedral before they swept through the Wolds to pelt down on the magnificent awning where we able to take shelter. Thanks Rick for the means of keeping us dry.
It was a lot of hard work for a small return and we will need to think very seriously about whether LAG members are able to support such a venture every year. Ray Woodcock