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


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
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.
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.
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