Sunday, 19 April 2015

Mammals of Lincolnshire - Chris Manning

Friday 13th March 2015

Chris Manning, the Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union's mammals recorder, gave us a tour of the many species of mammals found in our county.  And there really are quite a few; in order of appearance:

Sperm Whale  (March 2012)
Shrews, Common, Pygmy and Water
Vole, Field and Bank
Rat, Brown and Black
Mouse, Wood, Yellow Necked (only one record!), House, Harvest, Hazel-Dormouse (reintroduced 2002 Chambers Wood)
Water Vole
Brown Hare
Red Fox
Pine Martin (extinct 100 years ago but was in Chambers Wood)
Deer, Chinese Water, Muntjac, Red, Roe, Sika, Fallow
Seal, Grey, Common, Hooded.

Chris talked about each species in turn, focussing particularly on their Lincolnshire distributions and, for the non-natives, their introduction histories. He stressed how there were many gaps in our records and explained the work of the Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union in recording species and how members of the public could play a valuable role in improving the records by sending their sightings in to the LNU. 

We've lost a few mammals from Lincolnshire, the pine martin only relatively recently.  There are plans to help the pine martins spread from their Scottish populations, southwards.  See the Pine Martin Recovery Project.

Reintroduction of the Lynx to Britain is a more ambitious plan, but with the growing deer populations there are good reasons to think this once native mammal might well fit comfortably within our ecosystem again.  See the Lynx UK Trust for the plans to reintroduce this cat to Britain after an absence of perhaps over a thousand years.

In the Q&A discussion at the end of the evening Chris Manning suggested such reintroduction might well be feasible. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015


Annual General Meeting of the Louth Area Group of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
10th April 2015, Conoco-Phillps Room, Louth.

Present: 35 members
Apologies: Ken James, Margaret Boston.

Minutes of the last AGM were proposed for acceptance by Avril, seconded by Jane and carried, nem. con.

Chairman’s Report:

Ray Woodcock, chairman, gave his report as a PowerPoint presentation. Firstly he set out his parameters by defining the vast area of the LAG from the coast to the Wolds and by noting the objectives of the LAG as defined by its constitution. He was not able to ascertain exactly how many of the 26,000 LWT members were in the LAG area. However, the Lapwings magazine and the LAG Members’ newsletters are delivered to 1111 members in 608 households.
Ray felt that there was no means of interactive communication with these members and after discussion the committee agreed that, ‘Communication with and the involvement of LAG members’ should be the theme for the year and for future years. To achieve this a website and blog have been created, a specific to LAG email address has been set up and the newsletter has become the Member’s Newsletter. LAG members have responded by using these means to inform one other of their activities as volunteers whilst 80 or so members are now listed by email thus enabling instant contact when help such as seed gathering at Red Hill is required.
The Chairman explained how the committee functions and outlined the tasks of the committee members. He was very proud to be part of such a hard working team and stressed that decisions were joint decisions and that sometimes he was out-voted!
The last year’s monthly meetings were reviewed with accompanying pictures. The average attendance had been 32. The October 2014 coffee morning in Louth had clashed with too many other events and was not well attended. Nevertheless Ray was pleased to have the opportunity to meet LAG members there who were not able to attend the Friday evening meetings. The format for 2015 Coffee morning  is under review. 
The future programme is arranged almost until the 2017 AGM. Unfortunately the costs for the hire of the ConocoPhillips Room have jumped from £15 to £45 per session. (During the discussion about how to deal with this rise during the Members Input  following the AGM it was agreed to increase the entrance fee as an interim measure from £1.50 to £2.50 with effect from October 2015.)
Ray concluded by thanking the committee, all the LAG volunteers, those who helped with the refreshments as well as those members who attended the meetings and finally he promised not to give such a lengthy report next year! 

Treasurer’s Report

Brian Cooper, Treasurer, presented the accounts.
The main items of income were: £237meeting entrance fees; £215 coffee morning and about £200 from collections, donations and a raffle.
Principle expenditures were £110 room hire and £125 speaker’s fees.  £400 was transferred to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust headquarters, in line with the group’s constitutional remit to support the work of the Trust.

That the accounts be accepted was proposed by Sue, seconded by Richard, carried nem. con.
That Charlie Hickman continues to be our examiner of accounts was proposed by Brian, seconded by Derek, carried nem. con.

Election of Committee members

Each of the outgoing Committee members was nominated for re-election and there being no nominations for new member, the outgoing Committee was re-elected en bloc. 

The new Committee thus comprises:
Chairman and Publicity: Ray Woodcock
Secretary and Website Manager: Biff Vernon
Treasurer & Safety Officer: Brian Cooper
Programme Secretary and Lapwings Distribution : Avril Huke
Newsletter Editor: Sally Taylor
LWT Council Representative: Colin Byatt
Other members: Ruth Gatenby, Louise Scott and Janet Woodward

It was pointed out that any member who wants to take a more active role in running the Group is welcome to volunteer to join the Committee.

A discussion was held regarding the increased room hire charge from £15 to £45.  Increasing the meeting entrance charge to £2.50 or £3 was suggested and it was resolved that the charge should be raised, at least in the first instance, to £2.50.

The idea of sponsorship or asking ConocoPhillips for a grant was mooted and will be investigated.

Members discussed recent observations, with birds of prey featuring; kites, and buzzards over the Wolds and peregrines settling, possibly to nest, on the spire of St. James’ church.

As part of the Wolds Walking Festival we will have a stall at Welton-le-Wold quarry on 16th May.  Helpers welcome.

Don’t forget your Springwatch sightings.  You can take part in The Big Spring Watch at

A raffle was held; some members shared their photographs of local wildlife; the meeting concluded with cheese and wine.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Peregrines on St James Tower Again.

There are signs that the peregrines that visit St. James' Church might breed this year. Following a flurry of activity by the pair, 4 of us carried gravel, nest tray and mini-camera up to the tower last week. There is a TV screen in the church near the coffee shop where any activity can be monitored. The birds were seen on Thursday shuffling around in the tray, but yesterday, they weren't visible at all around the church – the first time they have been missing for a couple of weeks.
The tower will be closed for the next couple of weeks while we see how the birds progress. The church say they will lose some income from tower visits if eggs are laid, as the tower will then have to remain closed until any youngsters fledge in July. However, if the birds do nest, the coffee shop takings will soar, as they did at St. Wulfram's in Grantham when they had a nest there.
Geoff Mullet

Here's some film from the camera

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Annual General Meeting

Our next meeting will be our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING at 7.300 pm on Friday 10 April at the ConocoPhillips Room in Louth.

Five members have kindly sent in copies of photographs. We shall spend about half an hour looking at their pictures. Then it is time to mingle over a glass of wine or fruit juice whilst trying to balance a plate of bread and cheese.

We could do with a couple more people on the committee. Contact me for details.

Last month Chris Manning reminded us of the importance of knowing what species are around us in the county asked us to report sightings of wildlife to the Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union at

On Friday BBC 2 SPRING WATCH came from the re-opened RSPB Reserve at Bempton Cliffs. Viewers were asked to record 5 ‘Signs of Spring’ and report them in order that scientific data may be obtained about such matters as climate change and species distribution. Go to BBC two Springwatch to learn how to record your sightings of the first Oak leaf, the first Hawthorn flowers, the first 7 Spot ladybird, the first Swallow and the first Orange tip butterfly.

Work parties: If you are a verge warden, a voluntary reserve manager or are involved in any place where willing hands are needed; perhaps to clear scrub, remove litter or collect seeds. Let me know on and I will pass the word by email to 80 or so people; some may be able to help.

Does anyone fancy a day at Welton le Wolds Quarry on Saturday 16 May helping me to run an information stall for the LWT?
I have loads of frog spawn in my tiny pond. If you want some, let me know – bring your own jam jar!
Great tits and Blue tits are nesting in the garden. I saw two Long-tailed tit fledglings in the garden last evening. I have heard a Chiffchaff. It is light when I wake up in the morning. Whoopee, Spring is here!

Enjoy your Easter Eggs

Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group LWT  4/4/15

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