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Home Explore WildTees July 2018

WildTees July 2018

Published by sashton, 2018-08-22 05:21:24

Description: The latest News from Tees Valley Wildlife Trust

Keywords: Wildlife,Environment,Conservation,Volunteering,Plants


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Is that 1 your W Sterna plastic? W W paradisaea . T ‘cause (Arctic Tern); E E one of many S W I knowanimals I it’s notaffected L D by plastic L I mine!on their F E beaches. . OpbflHyeragoeeasoueltcpri!hc R G

02WelcomeW Content design & editing: DANIEL van den ToornPwWewlcRwom.teetoethsiswisisOludeoliffWeild.oTeregTs. EI L Images: D Dear Reader, Photography as credited. All uncredited photos permitted for use by Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.CTINGE Now that the summer is in full swing, you might be reaching more oftenWILDLIMT for the single use plastic drinks bottle to satiate your thirst on a hot day. Printed by: EvoPrint & Design Ltd. Or perhaps it is the plastic drinking straw in your cocktail or the tray Front cover: of strawberries and pot of cream to get in the mood for Wimbledon. ARCTIC TERN So much plastic that enters our lives is still not easy to recycle and still Photo: DANIEL VAN DEN TOORNE there are millions of tonnes of the stuff ending up in landfill, strewn Back cover: through hedgerows and floating out at sea. This is not the world we Reasons to Join the TrustS want, but it is the one we’ve created in the name of convenience and, All editorial and adver- tising enquiries to the often, we leave the responsibility for solving the problem with others. Tees Valley Wildlife Trust at the address below. In an effort to make ourselves more aware and more responsible, we The views expressed byFE FORI the contributors to this at the Trust have consulted with our friends at Plastic Free Coastlines magazine are not neces- to identify how we can do more. They identified that we already score sarily those of the editor or the Council of theA very well, but we can do more: We are in the process of going paper- Wildlife Trust. © Tees Valley Wildlife less on all our purchase order and invoicing (saving on paper and toner Trust, 2018.G cartridges), we shall no longer use plastic liners in our waste bins and we are asking our staff and apprentices to choose 3 personal plasticA actions and to promote them on social media. Will you join us?Z Please encourage your local businesses to do the same. Ask your res- taurants and cafe’s to use paper straws, ask your supermarkets to offer Contributors:THE FUNatural World UK / CAROLYN GRANTHIER [MARSKE LITTER ACTION] / ANDY COOPER [TVRIGS] / EMMA PRICE [TVWT paper bags for fruit and veg instead of plastic, if your own bin is mostly filled with dry waste, think about using paper liners instead of plasticN ones. At a time when many are watching the World Cup, perhaps we can also be more like Senegal and Japan and clear up litter when weE see it, rather than leaving it for someone else. Daniel van den Toorn, Editor VOLUNTEER AND LOCAL ARTIST] / SUE ANTROBUS [TEES VALLEY WILD GREEN PLACES MANAGER, TVWT] / RACHEL MURTAGH [TEES VALLEY NATURE PARTNERSHIP MANAGER, TVWT] / Kate Bartram [East Cleveland Heritage Officer, TVWT] / Daniel van den Toorn [Reserves Manager, TVWT] WILD TEES is published by: Tel: 01287 636382 C Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, Margrove Heritage Centre, E-mail: [email protected] Margrove Park, Boosbeck, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 3BZ. Registered charity number: 511068

/EN0T3SGO WILD IN YOUR W GARDEN - a look at theA BEAST RAVAGES W work our volunteers REDCAR - We take a W have done on a privatelook at the remainsofE 04garden in extinct habitat that 15LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE - Linthorpewas revealed by the . Cemetery has become a wildlife haven andBeast from the East.G 08place of peace for the T bereaved. 16HOW BRITISH IS E YOUR BBQ? - With the summer in full swing,NATURAL WORLD -E we take a look at howMY FIRST NIGHTJAR to keep our BBQ’s I 10clean and green.- Following one report- 18WILL YOU HELP US TURN THE TIDE ONer’s thrilling experienceS PLASTIC? - Take a look at Marske and Saltburnof finding this ellusive as they become PlasticR 12FreeBeaches.bird. W 20TEES NATURE – LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS CON-I FERNCE 2018 - Read about the highlightsBIG BOOST FOR BARNLU 14 22fromthisyear.OWLS - Introducing aD fantastic new project to help protect these L beautiful birds in East Cleveland. I F WHO HAD MORE FINUNE - KIDS TODAY OR TIME GONE BY? c- uMbsar-. ske and Saltburn and beavers get to the heart of the question. O R G VOLUNTEER SPOT- LIGHT - Volunteer and artist, Emma Price, tells us why she loves paint-CONT/ ing from real life.

04W inGoIL your garden!DTE Trust us with yourES Garden Make-overGM Our Reserves Manager, Dan od forbid that I should and, as it turned out, the Trust had van den Toorn, finds out what ever give myself (or our vol- been thinking for a while aboutA it’s like to make a nature reserve unteers) an easy life, but I just whether we could find innovative out of a private garden. couldn’t turn down the opportu- new ways to add to grants fromG nity to have a go at a TV style external funders with earned garden design and make-over. income from trade or services.A Wildlife gardening was on our At the end of 2017, during our list of potential opportunities andZ Christmas volunteer celebration, it seemed like the universe was Judith Hills (mother of volunteer prepared to give us a nudge in theI Pippa Hills, who was featured right direction. in issue 20 of this magazine)N approached me and asked if we Judith explained that her house took commissions. I was intrigued renovations had come at the costE We had the oppor- tunity to take on the whole garden and redesign it from scratch. Daunted, yes! Put off? Never!

05 WAs you can see from the comparison photos (below left, facing page), a remarkable transformation Woccurred over the 14 days that saw the project through to completion. The space is now something Judith Wand her family can enjoy all year round. Not only does it offer a wealth of options to local wildlife, but it .also has many options for family and friends to entertain and relax and watch the garden grow. T Eof her garden, which was now from our regular reserves teams, Epretty bare. A blank canvas, you stepped up to the mark and Smight say. She was very keen to offered to get stuck in. I can hon- Wget the Trust involved and did not estly say I would have been lost Imind that we would be using her without them. They brought expe- Lgarden to test our skills in the art rience from their past lives as D(and science) of garden design. engineers, craftsmen and men of L industry, that really helped get my ITypically, I couldn’t help getting ideas off the ground (...well, on the Fcarried away and designed a ground, but you get the drift). Escheme that looked simple enough .on paper, but was far from simple I had suggested nine days to bring Owhen it came to getting our hands the garden to completion and, in Rdirty. Despite this, a willing and that time, would have to clear out Gvery skilled group of volunteers the existing garden structures and Insect hotel

06 From start to finish theW unwanted shrubbery, excavate project, which will be reinvested staff and volunteers the main features by machine, into the ongoing work on ourI dig footings by hand, install nature reserves. But perhaps from the wildlife trust garden sleepers for the hard more valuable was the opportu- ensured that this was aL landscaping, dig a pond and nity to prove what we’re capable very creative and totally finally re-dress the garden of; leaving us only to consolidate collaborative process thatD before the best bit (and our main all the lessons learned, look at far exceeded my expec- purpose) of putting in all the what we can do better and more tations. My garden has wildlife friendly plants, shrubs, efficiently and decide, after all, been transformed from a bulbs and trees. An underesti- whether it is something we can bland and boring space to a fascinating com-T mate as it turned out, but well see ourselves doing more of in bination of oak steps worth the extra effort I think. the future.E We have learned a lot through My thanks go out to the volun- and seating; planting for trees, shrubs, flow- ers, ferns and fruit andE this process and, while there teers involved in the project, most homes for birds, insects were times I wished we had notably Richard Gibbons, SteveS started with an easier brief, I Thompson, Kev McQueeney, and pond life. am very proud of the end result. and Dave Sleightholme, without This is perhaps the hardest whom none of this would have An important part of the thing I and our volunteers have been possible. Thank you also process was the positive and friendly attitudeM attempted (certainly in my ten to our apprentices and staff who of all of those involved, years at the Trust), but now the pitched in when I most neededA garden stands as a testament to them. A big thank you, lastly, to with a willingness to lis- ten, bring new ideas and what we can achieve. Judith Hills for having enoughG faith and spirit of adventure to make changes through- Was it profitable? Well, yes. We let us try our hand at this new out. They really can beA made a modest profit on the venture. trusted to produce a very personal wildlife garden and I am proud to be theZ first to benefit from theirI vision, skills and hard work.N Judith HillsE We undertook the whole process, from initial designs, through quantity surveys and costing, to the final plant- ing and installation of a bug hotel made by volunteers.

07 W W W . T E E S W I L D L I F E . O R G

08 While I get so much Our Tees enjoyment from watching W Valley Wild wildlife on our many nature Green Places reserves, one of my favourite places in I Manager, Middlesbrough is Linthorpe Cemetery. Sue L Antrobus, In spring, the snowdrops and crocuses are shows us followed by carpets of wild primroses and D the light at banks of violets. As leaves of the mature the heart of trees unfurl, the cemetery becomes alive Linthorpe with bird song. By summertime, the ceme- Cemetery. tery is a sea of green - you can’t see or hear T the busy roads and it’s easy to forget you are in the heart of a busy town. On sunny E days speckled wood butterflies flit along the dappled shade of the pathways. But of all, E I think perhaps my favourite time there is autumn. S Linthorpe Cemetery is owned and managed M by Middlesbrough Council’s Bereavement Services and, despite being an open cem- A etery (still accepting burials and cremations), it was formally declared by the local author- G ity as a Local Nature Reserve in 2003. At the time, I was employed by Middlesbrough A Council to oversee this process through English Nature’s Wildspace grant scheme. Z The ecological significance of Linthorpe Cemetery is its large size and urban location I in an area of little semi-natural greenspace. It is the largest area of mature tree cover N in urban Middlesbrough, providing valuable wildlife habitats. E On my first visit to the Cemetery back in 2002, I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised that it had been selected for Local Nature Reserve status; it was winter and all I could see was an area of over mature horse chestnuts and closely mown grass - not my idea of a nature reserve. But I soon learnt its value from the Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve. A local natural- ist Peter Grainger had kept a record of birds

09visiting the cemetery since 1975. This data highlights branches removed. Two of these trees, this year, W Wthe importance of the cemetery for breeding and provided a nesting site for a pair of greater spot- W .winter roosting birds in urban Middlesbrough, both ted woodpecker and members of the Friends group T Eresident and seasonal visitors. Regular songbirds were lucky enough to see the chicks emerge from E Sinclude nuthatch, greenfinch, dunnock and siskin. their nesting hole. W IGreater spotted woodpecker regularly nest and L Doccasionally tawny owls have bred. More recently, Always seeking to improve the cemetery for wild- Lrecords of butterfly sightings have been collated by life the Friends group have worked with the Wildlifethe Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve, Trust to put up two owl boxes this year and an ave-with 16 species recorded, including the holly blue! nue of flowering cherry has been planted in the newer part of the cemetery. Members of the FriendsSeventeen years on and working for the Tees Valley group have also been regular participants in trainingWildlife Trust, I still have a close connection with the workshops that the Tees Valley Wild Green Placescemetery through the Tees Valley Wild Green Places has run. These have ranged from learning aboutProject, funded through the Heritage Lottery. The bees and ladybirds, detecting bats, and surveyingFriends of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve are mammals, to ones on first aid and volunteer recruit-one of the green space volunteer groups to whom I ment. As a result the Friends group has added to,provide training and support. and developed, their skills to enable them to care for the site more completely. In addition they nowThe Tees Valley Wildlife Trust owns and manages run bat evenings, carry out butterfly surveys and runa suite of nature reserves to conserve wildlife and wildlife events.provide places where people can discover and learnabout wildlife, but Middlesbrough Council faces anadditional challenge with managing the cemetery asa nature reserve, as they also have to ensure it is arespected site for the bereaved.In 2003, I wrote an ecological management plan Ifor how to improve the wildlife habitats within the Fcemetery and I am pleased to say that the Council, Eassisted and encouraged by the Friends group, have .done an excellent job in carrying out and extending Othe plan. R GNow, ivy is allowed to grow on trees, providing roost-ing sites for bats. As a result, the holly blue butterfly(whose caterpillars feed on holly and ivy) is thriving.In some sections of the cemetery the grass has been Now, when I visit the cemetery, I feel proud of allleft long. These areas are alive with insects, which the work that Middlesbrough Council and the Friendsprovide food for birds, bats and small mammals. of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve, as well asClumps of bramble are maintained which provide Middlesbrough Environment City and the Wildlifecover for hedgehogs, foxes and the occasional roe Trust, have done. I consider one of the main reasonsdeer. Best of all, old or diseased trees which once for the success of this space has been the true part-would have been felled on health and safety grounds, nership that was developed and maintained betweennow have been left standing, with only dangerous these groups. Long may it continue!

10 ?BBQyourTW HOWBRITISHILisDEES Our Reserves Manager, Dan The good old British BBQ - one of our van den Toorn, asks if there’s a favourite summer traditions (and perhaps one that chimes with our ancient need to get back to dark side to charcoal? nature by cooking and eating in the outdoors) - now has the potential to become another article on the listM ttboimin3llnbi.2oeoe8nsfr 1ho1efmcftoialrlreioesnst Sources: of things we humans do to destroy the planet. AndAEveryI wood, Eurostat - EU trade since 1988 by CN8 [DS-016890], YouGov Plc. it’s not just the carbon release from burning woodG that’s the problem!AZ A 2015 WWF survey has found that the UK public’s understanding of what charcoal is and where it comesN Year! from, is often misguided - 33% either didn’t know or wrongly identified the source as anything from minedE hohEefanmcsfgotitalloroalreint1noesal3dnsytl coal to volcanic rock and only 42% were aware that it might not be from sustainable forest sources, therefore contributing to deforestation. The staggering statistic identified by the WWF, and now forming the basis of pressure from the group to tighten industry standards and government regulations, is this: 3.28 billion tonnes of timber is needed to make the amount of charcoal imported into the EU EVERY YEAR! That’s equivalent to 11 million hectares of forest EVERY YEAR! To give this some perspective, the total forested area of England is only 13 million hectares. The UK is the third largest market (by value) in the EU for imported charcoal, after France and Germany.

11So, Charcoal or Gas? W Studies rarely show a clear win- W ner. Making and burning charcoal W does release large amounts of . CO2 and particulates into the T atmosphere (less so when using E the Retort method, which recir- E culates waste gases back through the heating process to boost the burn and having the effect of reducing the particulates).Interestingly, all of this is possible because of a legal You could say that the amount Sloophole that exempts charcoal from 2012 regula- released is only what was stored Wtion ensuring UK timber products are from legally in the trees as they grew, but Ilogged timber. This has allowed much of the char- perhaps more important in this Lcoal we import (93.4%) to come from countries with argument is the potential for Da high likelihood of large amounts of illegal deforesta- beneficial management regimes, Ltion (descending by volume: Namibia, South Africa, such as replanting or sustainably IParaguay, Nigeria and China). coppicing the wood, a process F that will reclaim CO2 in theThe UK public is typically too trusting of their retail- future. Proper woodland man-ers, routinely expecting that they will be the arbiters agement also has the knock-onof our ethical conscience. This is not always (I would benefit of a healthy environmentsay, often) the case and now, more than ever, we for other wild flora and fauna, asneed to put more pressure on retailers to source their well as for our own health andcharcoal (and the full gambit of other products and wellbeing.packaging) from sustainable and environmentallyresponsible sources. Gas, on the other hand, is much E cleaner to burn. But while it .Until then, the responsibility remains with us to buy releases far less CO2, it is a non- Oproducts that are sustainable. Currently only 7.6% renewable fossil fuel and the Rof our charcoal is from UK production, but if you processes by which it is derived Gwant to buy your charcoal responsibly, please look from the Earth’s resourcesout for British lumpwood charcoal made from cop- comes at a much higher cost topiced trees in managed woodlands. You can find one the planet.example of these, called ‘HomeGrown’ (produced byBioRegional) in Sainsbury’s at £7 a bag - while moreexpensive, they burn for longer, meaning you use less.Other brands are available and you might even find alocal supplier.

12W Will You Help Us Turn the Tide IL on Plastic?D Plastic Free Coastlines is a national on board as one of our Plastic Free Allies to helpT campaign run by Surfers Against Sewage, us maintain that status. This means that Tees Valley which volunteers from Marske Litter Action, Wildlife Trust is attempting to go single-use plasticE Keeping it Clean at Saltburn and Friends of Redcar, free as an organisation and encourages its members are working to achieve in Redcar and Cleveland. to do the same.E Plastic Free Coastlines aims to encourage everyone The status has been achieved by working with local to do what they can to stop using single-use plastic groups, organisations and businesses to identify andS and help prevent it from getting in to the sea, where change their single-use plastic habit. We have been it poses a risk to the environment, wildlife and the overwhelmed by the interest in the campaign and human food chain. here are some of the highlights of the campaign soM The great news is that Marske and Saltburn have far: been awarded Plastic Free Coastlines status, and we We have established a steering group of local peopleA are delighted that Tees Valley Wildlife Trust has come and Councillors who are meeting every 6 months toG Carolyn Granthier at Marske Litter Action, tells us about theA great progress being made to make the local coastline a plasticZ free zone.INE

direct the work. Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Photo: Beach litter © Rob13 Noble (cc-by-sa/2.0)has pledged to remove single-use plastic from their Wpremises and functions as soon as existing stocksrun out and has agreed an action plan to achieve this. WSaltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Councilhas also pledged their support for the campaign. WLocal businesses have pledged to remove at least3 single-use plastic items and replace with more .sustainable alternatives. In Marske these are TheWynd Fruitiers, The Wynd Cafe and Rose & Potter, Tand in Saltburn Real Meals, Rapps, Grazers, TheSea View and Camfields. Saltburn Learning Campus your cold drinks instead of throw away plastic ones, Ehas taken part in the Plastic Free Schools Project, take a fabric bag with you when you go shopping,The Student Voice group at Outwood Academy use a bar of soap instead of liquid soap or shower EBydales, the School Council at Errington Primary gel, buy loose fruit and veg instead of pre-packed.and the Eco Council at Westgarth Primary School Join our Facebook group ‘Plastic Free Coastlines Sare all working to reduce single-use plastic in their Redcar and Cleveland’ for more ideas. Challengeschools, and to clear litter from their school grounds your friends and family to see who can make the Wand the beach. The North York Moors National Park most changes and share your achievements withAuthority are also working with us to help spread us on Twitter @PlasticFreeRC to help us spread the Ithe message. Community groups including In Bloom word about alternatives to single-use Marske and Saltburn are also on board as well And if you want to help remove plastics and other Las the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts groups in Marske, litter from the beach please do a #2minutebeach- Dwho have been doing beach cleans and talking about clean next time you visit the beach or join one of thesingle-use plastic. groups who regularly organise beach cleans alongSo, what about you? As an individual or family, what our coastline. There is Keeping it Clean at Saltburn Lcan you do to help? Can you make some small on the first Saturday of the month, Friends of Redcarchanges to remove single-use plastic from your daily on the first Sunday of the month, and Marske Litter Ilife? How about using a refillable water bottle instead Action once a month on a Saturday (varies eachof buying a single-use plastic bottle every time you month). Find more information on Facebook or Fwant a drink of water, get a reusable coffee cup if you Twitter or email: [email protected] a coffee on the go, buy some metal straws for and we will help you get in touch with these groups. E . O R G

14 Rachel Murtagh, Tees Valley Nature section - ‘Natural Growth’ to help us understandTEES NATURE – LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS CONFERENCE 2018 the meaning of ‘natural capital’. Partnership Manager, tells us what made this Following lunch, we had some short presenta-TW years conference so inspiring. tions for some quick-fire inspiration from the h e T e e s Va l l e y N at u r e North York Moors National Park, Environment Agency & Natural England, Northumbrian WaterI Partnership teamed up again with Rangers and Christine Mundy of the Hogweed Action Group. Your Tees Catchment Partnership to Edward Kunonga, the Director of Public HealthL host another successful conference this South Tees, introduced our final section and gave an enthusiastic speech on the impor- year. We held it at the Trinity Centre in North tance of nature to our health and wellbeing. The workshops that followed on Social Prescribing,D Ormesby and over 100 people attended the Middlesbrough Men’s Shed, Sport England South Tees Pilot Tees and the Clervaux Trust, all day, which included a mix of presentations, inspired us further. workshops, networking, yummy food and All in all, the partnerships are going from strength to strength, involving more people even a spot of spinning! and raising our profiles to a new a varied audi- ence, which ultimately will strengthen the voiceT of nature and put it further up the economic, health and political agenda. All the presenta- The three part, multi-workshop, format of tions from the day can be found on our website: last year was repeated to give a dynamic ference-2018. Volunteers, members and staff, from any of the partnership organisations, are and informative day. Jeremy Garside, Chief welcome to attend for free, so we hope to see some of you next year at conference 2019.E Executive of the Wildlife Trust, introduced the How could you first section on Natural Assets. We were all in improve on last year’s conference?S agreement that this inspiring and thought-pro- -With this one! Well done TVNP! voking talk helped set the tone for a great day ahead. Everyone then had a choice of attend- ing one of four workshops, including the Trust’sM very own Sarah Barry, with ‘What Bat is That’; the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal SciencesA talking about estuary edge habitat creation; the Environment Agency and Tees Rivers TrustG talked about the natural flood defence schemes around Lustrum Beck; rather synergisticallyA another workshop leader Martin Allen, whose talk on ancient grasslands was both entertainingZ and knowledgeable, had to dash off to oversee the diggers at Six Fields, as they created theI water dependant habitat as part of the Lustrum Beck scheme.N This year’s conference comes in the sameE year the UK government published its 25 Year Environment Plan. Although the plastics issue has had most of the publicity, the plan includes lots of other aims and goals too. Through the plan, the government intends to set ‘gold stand- ards in protecting and growing natural capital – leading the world in using this approach as a tool in decision-making’. Lucky for us we had Bruce Howard, from the Ecosystems Knowledge Network, introducing our second

A Beast Ravages Redcar 15 WAndy Cooper, Tees Valley WRIGS group, tells us about a Wseldom seen remnant of ourecological past. . TPhot credit: John Waring E EAvisit in March by the so-called in this case, it remains scientifically uninvestigated S ‘Beast from the East’ reworked and holds valuable clues to Cleveland’s deeper past. W sand and shingle along our coast leaving, Iaround Redcar, a patchwork of rarely-exposed Marske too saw a dramatic change in beach profile, L Dgeological features. The submerged forest with usually obscured areas of boulder clay toward L I(formally designated the Peat and Forest Bed) low tide revealed. Roughly due north of St. Germain’s F Ereceived much publicity around the middle of Church, an area of sand several hundred metres long . OMarch prompting a flood of visitors including a has been washed away revealing boulders and cob- R Glocal TV news crew. bles. Amongst specimens recognised were many fragments of Permian aeolian sandstone (image C)Much sand was removed by tides to leave a broad deposited within a desert which occupied the districtexposure of black peat and tree remains between almost 300 million years ago, and today is exposedDundas Terrace and the Coatham Hotel. Seen in in County Durham. Most of the largest boulderssection in the photo below, you can see in-situ tree were of blue-grey Carboniferous Limestone from thestumps standing in a thin peat underlain by organi- Pennines, veined with white calcite and containingcally-enriched grey clay passing gradually into red fossil corals, shellfish and segments of sea-lily stems.boulder clay. The peat appears to thicken westwardof the vertical pier, where one fallen trunk could bereadily identified as a birch due to its virtually pristinebark - astonishing when a contemporaneous sectionnear Hartlepool can be dated to around 5500 BC!Re-exposure of this feature poses the usual dilemmasfor geoconservationists. Of course it’s great that thelocal population can understand a little more of thedistrict’s geological past, but the downside is that thisfragile remnant is exposed to increased natural ero-sion, footfall and the removal of samples - in one case(anecdotally) using a wallpaper scraper. We wouldask visitors not to take samples of such deposits as,

16PEOPLE & WILDLIFE W I L D T E first MyEMSNightjarAFForarntkheGBarBdCn’esr,Sfiencudrinitgy Correspondent a nightjar in Britain last year was a thrilling experienceGA Z INDAVID TIPLING/2020VISIONE

17 20 species of dragonfly as W I t’s warm. Unusually well as lizards, newts and warm, even for a the occasional rarity like last W summer night in July. year’s pectoral sandpiper Above the peat bogs, that was eventually driven heathland and pine copses of Thursley Common a full o by a swooping Merlin. W moon has risen, casting a ghostly glow over this On local advice, I turn delightful Surrey nature right, still wheeling over the reserve just o the A3. Frank Gardner boardwalk and heading for . is on Instagram a clump of Scots pines. This T The last of the day visitors at frankgardner_ seems like a good time to have returned to their cars nature. His latest check what I’m supposed and by 9.30pm I have the novel, Ultimatum, to be listening out for. I is out now. place to myself, leaving me take out my phone, open alone to pursue a lifelong up my Collins Bird Guide E ambition: to see a nightjar in the wild app and type in ‘European nightjar’ in Britain. These curious, nocturnal, (as opposed to the related Nubian, highly camouflaged birds have long Egyptian and Red-necked species E fascinated me and historically, they that occur on the Continent). I click have attracted legends. One of these on the audio button and up comes is that they feed from the teats of the churring. I memorise it and S sleeping goats, earning them the old switch o the phone. English nickname of ‘goatsucker’. And it continues. From somewhere, They also have an unmistakable out there in the darkness, the W signature call, known as a ‘churring’, a churring has started up. Yes! I’m in strange, low vibrating sound that I’m luck. As quietly as possible, I make my way by moonlight towards the I I keep very pine trees. The noise is loud now; L still and it seems to reverberate all around D scan the me, electrifying the night-time night sky atmosphere. I keep very still and L scan the night sky where the pine branches lie against the deep purple sky and the silver moon. Suddenly there is a clapping sound followed told can still be heard on summer by the swish of beating wings. There, nights like this across the heathlands silhouetted just yards from where I of Britain. am, a pair of nightjar rears up into the I The wooden planks of the air, chasing moths with their sharp, boardwalk creak and groan as I pointed wings, before vanishing o trundle across it in my wheelchair. into the night. F Thursley Common is a National And yet the churring continues. Nature Reserve comprising 325 I scan the branches and then I hectares of peat bog and woodland see it, halfway up a tree, perfectly E with winding trails and nearly a mile silhouetted against the summer of raised boardwalk to take you over moon. I raise my camera for a chance the otherwise impassible marshes. shot but immediately it’s up and o . . By day I have had great views of Yet I’m overwhelmed by a sense of stonechats here, perching on isolated triumph: I have seen my first British branches. The reserve harbours over nightjar! DAVID TIPLING/2020VISIONOExperience it for yourself R GThe Wildlife Trusts manage Heath (Notts); Cors Bodgynydd (N Manymany heathland nature reserves Wales); and GreenhamCommon & Wildlife Truststhat are home to the haunting Snelsmore Common (Berks). run nightjarnightjar: Chobham Common and events and haveWisley and Ockham Commons Arrive before dusk on a warm, wheelchairand Chatley Heath (Surrey); dry evening in June or July and accessibleHigher Hyde Heath (Dorset); find a spot with open skies. Keep nature reserves.Roydon Common anGdsdGjryimgdsstvoyng your ears open: you’ll hear the wing ■ Find out more:Warren (Norfolk); sSdtyravwgybdegrsrvysHdvill clapping and churring before you see them! sdugsdvdsv

18 Big boost W I Kate Bartram, our East With their heart L Cleveland Heritage Officer, shaped faces, car- D amel back and wings, introduces us to her new and pure white underparts, the T project to help barn owls in barn owl is a distinctive and E much loved countryside bird. E our area. This owl, which has proven so S successful at living alongside humans, has undergone a signifi- M cant population decline since last A century. Agricultural intensifica- G tion, habitat loss, susceptibility A to traffic and loss of traditional Z nesting habitat in hedgerow I trees and traditional barns have N all affected the barn owl’s long E term survival.Photo, main image: Andy Rouse/2020VISION Inset: Geoff The Tees Valley Wildlife Trust is Myers, British Trust for Ornithology licensed handler, with owlet. about to begin a new project to support the barn owl population in East Cleveland. The Nest Box Network Project is supported by funding from Northumbrian Water’s ‘Branch Out’ fund and National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. A big advantage for barn owl con- servation is that they readily and

t for barn owls 19 W W Wsuccessfully take to artificial nest boxes. The pro- and it’s great to see there will be opportunities for . Tject aims to work with land and property owners the local community to get involved“. E Eto establish a network of natural and artificial S Wnest boxes across the area. The network will be In addition the project will collect information on I Lbased on existing nest sites and the erection of barn owl diet and changes in relative abundance D Lnew barn owl boxes to help boost the barn owl of different prey species, such as mice, voles I Fpopulation. All the nesting sites will be moni- and shrews, through the analysis of the contents E .tored annually by licensed volunteers to establish of owl pellets. This analysis may also help our O Roccupancy rates. Owlets will be ringed to sup- understanding of the regional distribution of the Gport barn owl population studies. The information rarely seen harvest mouse.on the barn owl monitoring results will be sharedamong participating land and property owners Public activities in the form of walks, talks andso they can see how their individual efforts are engagement with young people in the creationsupporting the wider population. of a barn owl mosaic is another element to the project.Our aim is to generate the most detailed pictureof barn owls in the Tees Valley. By working with If you are a land or property owner in Eastlicensed volunteers and landowners a landscape Cleveland and have barn owls nesting (or a nestview of barn owl breeding and habitat use will box) on your property and would like to supportemerge for the very first time. The creation of a this project, the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust wenest box network and long term monitoring will would love to hear from you.enable us to help ensure barn owls survive andthrive for future generations. For more information on the project, please con- tact me at: [email protected] or at theStuart Pudney, Conservation and Land Manager Tees Valley Wildlife Trust details in the front offor Northumbrian Water: “We are delighted to this able to support this Nest Box Network Projectthrough our Branch Out scheme. This is a fan-tastic and worthwhile project that will help tosupport the population of barn owls in the area

20W Who had I more FUN: TL his is the question we posed to cubs and beavers D from Marske and Saltburn as part of our Where The Wild Things Were Project. This project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Northumbrian Water’s Branch Out scheme, has been recording and mapping people’s experiences T and recollections of wildlife and using these to explore changes and guide future conservation and restoration. Part of this has E been interviewing the older generation of East Cleveland to capture memories of the last generation of truly free roaming E children and their tales of wildlife and wild living. We wanted to explore what children today thought about their grandparents S and great grandparents’ childhoods and to reflect on how times have changed. Kate Bartram, our East ClevelandM Heritage Officer, has some stories of childhood in days gone by.AG KidsAIZ todayN or inE times gone by?

21 WThe cubs and beavers were asked to interview their style sweets were also popular discussion items. W Wguests about lots of different aspects of their child- They really liked the idea of being able to go out all . Thoods using a series of interview cards and various day without adults. Stories that concerned our mod- E Eprops including purses of pre-decimal coins, cata- ern adventurers were things like the 8 years without S Wpults, ladybird wildlife books, potatoes, photographs sweets for war era children; taking wild animals for I Land birds’ nests. Some of the grandparents brought pets and collecting bird’s eggs; the fact that there D Lphotos from their own childhoods and favourite pos- were only two channels on the tv, if any tv at all; I Fsessions, such as early beano annuals and skipping having to do household chores; and most heinous of E .ropes, to add to the discussions. all - no technology and no fast food outlets. A world O R without KFC , MacDonalds or pizza - oh, the horror! GAt the conclusion of these lively sessions, duringwhich the cubs and beavers showed some really The children were asked at the end of each sessiongood listening skills, we asked them to write down to vote using stones as to whether they preferredsomething that they found really interesting about their childhoods now or if they would rather have thetheir grandparents’ childhoods. The children were childhoods of their grandparents. In most cases thequite fascinated by the old games that used to be votes were very close, but in contrast all the adultsplayed such as kick a tin and relievo and especially unanimously voted for their own childhoods overthe building of go-karts or bogeys. They liked the anything they see modern kids enjoying.idea of building dens in the woods, of lighting firesand playing on Tarzan (Tarzie) swings. Stories of As children today have their freedom curtailed,how their grandparents got into trouble were popu- there is a growing disconnection between peoplelar, especially stories of stealing apples and potatoes, and the natural world. This is a matter of consider-going swimming without parents and breaking win- able concern, which the Trust believes will, unlessdows. Pre decimal money, winter activities and old it is addressed, result in severe long term conse- quences for social and individual well-being and for the environment. We would like to thank all the beaver and cubs groups for taking part and the support of their leaders, as well as our volunteers Judith, Jacky and Rosalyn, who gave their time to help. A special thanks to all the guests that came along and shared their memo- ries with us - these sessions have been one of the highlights of the project!

22IW s ta r t e d v o l u n t e e r - colours accurate, as photographs ultramarine (deep blue) and paleI ing with Tees Valley (especially if they’re printed) often cadmium yellow. Using a small Wildlife Trust two years appear different to how the eye range of colours keeps the paintingL ago and since then I’ve learned perceives them. Plants are also harmonious and makes it easier to a lot about our region’s wildlife. good subjects because they are remember how you achieved vari-D There is life out there that I didn’t very cooperative and can’t run or ous colours (for future reference Iknow existed and I have begun to fly away. It’s not always possible make a note of the colours used atrecord it, either in photographs to paint from life, however, and the bottom of the painting). or drawings and paintings. I’ve in these cases I try to take lotsT always enjoyed painting, but of good quality, close-up photo- I then drew a very light outline have mostly stuck to animals graphs, from various angles and onto watercolour paper. The pen-E and landscapes. Drawing plants distances so that I can work from cil drawing is a guideline only and is a new experience and I have these at home. you don’t have to draw in every detail at this stage. I usually use aE found it very rewarding. The northern marsh orchid, illus- sloped drawing board to work on,S Drawing something requires your trated here, was one of many but if I’m outdoors I prop the padfull concentration, paying attention growing on Portrack Marsh nature on my knees. You should alwaysto all the small details; it’s a great reserve. I was out volunteering angle the paper towards you, way of escaping from the stresses with a group from the Tees Valley otherwise the paint pools on theM of everyday life, whilst improving Wildlife Trust when we came surface and your drawing can be your knowledge of natural history. across them. It wasn’t possible to distorted by perspective as the topA Once you’ve drawn something, paint them there and then, so I took of your work is further away from you’ll be much better at identifying some photographs and when I got your eyes than the bottom.G it again in the wild! The sketches home, with details of the flowersand paintings are my record of still fresh in my memory, I decided I began painting the palest shadesA local wildlife, and I can look back to commit them to paper. first, adjusting the saturation of thethrough them, remembering what colours by adding water, ratherZ I saw, and where, and recalling the I started by doing some pencil than any white colour. With water- changing seasons that bring differ- sketches, familiarising myself with colour you always paint light toI ent plants in and out of season. the overall shape of the plant and dark, as you can darken the col- the details on the flowers. Then I ours as you go; it’s much harderN I prefer to draw from life, as this experimented with paint till I had a to lighten them once they’ve dried. lets you study the small details good colour match and opting for aE that may not be visible on a pho- limited palette of opera rose (pink), When I had filled in the overalltograph. It also helps keep the quinacridone magenta, French shape with the pale colours, I letVolunteer Spot

23 Wit dry. Then, with stronger mixes - by simply expressing yourself in identification and mine is ‘Wild Wof opera rose and quinacridone a way that gives you joy! Flowers of Britain and Ireland’ Wmagenta, I painted around the by Blamey, Fitter & Fitter. Of .edge of each flower, adding a If you want to learn more about course Tees Valley Wildlife Trust Tdrop of clear water which helped painting flowers, there are plenty runs many learning activities on Ethe colour flow and leaves the of good art books available and wildflower identification, which I Ecentre pale. I then added a touch lots of free online tutorials. Two would highly recommend. Sof yellow to the centres. Once this books that I love are ‘Exploring Wlayer was dry I added a touch of Flowers in Watercolour’ by Iultramarine to the mix and painted Siriol Sherlock and ‘Botany for Lthe darkest areas, shadows and the Artist’ by Sarah Simblet. A Dthe visible flower stems. I finished good field guide is invaluable for Lby using my finest brush and Iundiluted magenta to paint the Fmarkings inside the flowers. E .I used mixes of ultramarine and Volunteer and artist Opale cadmium yellow to paint Emma Price takes us Rthe leaves and stems. I didn’t through her process Gpaint these in as much detail as and tells us why shethe flowers as I wanted to keepthe viewer’s focus on the bright loves painting fromand mottled blooms. The detailed real-life.close-up of a flower head wasadded later to hide two accidentalsplodges of paint (our secret!).I hope this article may inspire youto have a go at some drawing orpainting yourself. Don’t worry ifyou feel you can’t draw as eve-ryone has to start somewhere- some of the best artists were toldthey couldn’t draw and they suc-ceeded in the same way you canotlight

24 Your Wild Life.W Your Wildlife Trusts.I Wildlife Trusts around the UK are making amazing things happen onL land and at sea, for wildlife and for people. We couldn’t do it without the support of our members and volunteers. Here’s what we achievedD with your help in the past year…our impactT800,000EWe help care for... We are supported by... over &members over239,000 45,000E2,300Shectares of land including There are volunteers more Wildlife Trust nature nature reserves reserves than there We brought are branches of beavers backM McDonalds in to the UK the UK!A MillionsG of visits are made to our nature reserves every year, and we have We adviseA 116 4,000 visitor and education landowners across the UK on managing their landZ centres for wildlifeIN We worked We engage over around the 270,000 young peopleE coast to save through schools, colleges our seas and groups we run 240 Wildlife Watch groups Over 14,000which inspire ` children 500,000 people attending our walks, talks and eventsThese statistics cover the period April 1 2016 - March 31 2017

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