Welcome to the Wharfedale Naturalists’ Society
Take a look at our upcoming events…
All Tuesday evening talks are held at ChristChurch, The Grove, Ilkley starting at 7:30pm. Click here to show a map.
Dr George McGavin talk – 8th October
TV Presenter, renowned Entomologist and Explorer, Dr George McGavin will give an inspiring talk entitled ‘What Have Insects Ever Done For Us’ on 8th October at Christchurch commencing at 7-15pm. His BBC TV programmes include ‘Monkey Planet’, the ‘Lost Land…’ series, ‘Oak Tree – Nature’s Greatest Survivor’ and most recently ‘A Year to Save my Life: George McGavin and Melanoma’. His lecture is certain to be both hugely entertaining and relevant and will be especially timely given the concern now being expressed, from data gathered all over the world, about the drastic decline of insects and the severe implication this is likely to have for humanity. Tickets have initially been restricted to WNS members but can now be reserved by non-members for a fee of £12 – alternatively take out a year’s membership for £12-50 and pay just £5 for a ticket.
August newsletter and winter coach outing booking form
Concerns over raw sewage in the River Wharfe
Vice president of the WNS, Karen Shackleton, has raised concerns over raw sewage being discharged into the River Wharfe near the sewage works in Ilkley. Please click here to read more about the story which has already attracted local media interest, and looks set to feature on Look North this coming week. Members of the WNS and local residents are concerned about
the potential impact on aquatic biota which includes the river’s otter population.
Rodley Nature Reserve Flood Alleviation Scheme
Following a consultation late last year on options for the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme and detailed discussions with key stakeholders and residents, the option of Rodley Nature Reserve as a location will no longer be pursued for water storage to reduce flood risk.
Marsh harrier incident on Denton Moor
Many people were saddened to hear about the Marsh harrier incident on Denton Moor where a nest was illegally targeted in an attempt to stop them breeding. RSPB video footage was captured on a hidden camera. Peter Riley wrote a letter on behalf of the Society to NG Bailey who own the moor. If you wish to read the correspondence we have uploaded Peter’s letter and NG Bailey’s response. North Yorkshire Police have been unable to track down the individuals responsible.
New recording form
For those of you that wish to send your sightings directly to the recorders, a new recording form is available to download from here. It lists all the recorders from the Wharfedale Nats and all we request is a separate form is used for each recorder.
Funds for Conservation Projects available
Every year the Wharfedale Nats like to support a number of worthwhile conservation projects in and around the Wharfedale area. For example, the Society has helped towards the costs of servicing equipment used by the Hay Time Project. If you have a conservation project, that would benefit from a small contribution by the Society, please contact our Secretary.
Can you help protect Addingham’s wildlife??
In April 2016 the Addingham Civic Society, in an initiative endorsed by the village Parish Council, formed an environment sub-group to develop a village environment plan.
The reality of climate change is making us all think very carefully about our natural environment and how it could be protected and managed positively.
Our objective is to create a better place for people and wildlife, supporting biodiversity and sustainable development. To do this we want to be evidence-based in our policy/decision making and to involve as many people as possible.
We have already identified some key wildlife issues such as:
- Protect and enhance populations of plants and animals in the village (Actions: conduct an inventory of all populations, assess their status and develop plans to protect and extend species, especially those at risk)
- Limit range of invasive non-native plant and animal species (Actions: conduct studies of population size and distribution, research appropriate actions to take)
- Protect and enhance semi-natural ecosystems in the village (Actions: identify land of high ecological value eg. moorland, woodland and grassland, assess its condition and how it may be improved/extended)
- Encourage wildlife friendly management of village spaces, roadside verges etc. (Action: research local management protocols)
As a member of Wharfedale Nats I know that many members who live in the Addingham area have knowledge and experience of the area and we would like your ideas based on the following questions;
What do you think are Addingham’s wildlife priorities?
What actions should we be taking now?
What other groups should we involve?
To provide information, comment on the above or on any other issue please contact:
Peter Miller (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(mobile: 074155 70589)
Gallows Hill Latest
A message from a recent visitor:
I took a trip down there myself and the following were seen/heard in just over half an hour. Bullfinch, chaffinch, blue/great/ long tailed tits, blackbird, song thrush, mistle thrush, jackdaw, rook, crow, chiff chaff, greater spotted woody, wood pidgeon.
A nice spot. My first visit and I didn’t know where the car park was.
For other “first timers” take the pool road out of Otley. Go past the cemetery on the left. There’s an entrance to the new housing development after about another 200 yards. Turn left into this new development and there is a track on the right that leads down to the Gallows Hill car park. Enjoy!
More information about the site can be found here and, if you wish to become involved, Friends of Gallows Hill run a series of events and work parties throughout the year.
Details of events are available via the Gallows Hill Facebook group: Friends of Gallows Hill
Appeal from our butterfly recorders
Many thanks to Diane Morris and Paul Millard for all their hard work with the butterfly records. Those of you that attended the recorder’s evening will have heard their findings first-hand. In addition to the records you have kindly been sending them, they have appealed for people to report records from sites in Wharfedale which have previously gone unrecorded.
The Wharfedale Naturalists has a butterfly database dating back to 1948 containing over 60,000 records, but despite this there are 21 tetrads in our recording area, comprising over 60 square kilometres, that have no butterfly record at all. In an effort to fill in all the gaps, a list of these tetrads can be downloaded here and if any of these are near where you live or if you fancy a trip out this summer, try and see if you can spot a butterfly in one of our blank squares. If you are successful let them know, they will be pleased to hear from you.
Diane and Paul would like to stress butterfly recording should be a pleasure, and not a chore, so if you’re in doubt about anything on the spreadsheet please let Diane know, using the contact form below, or leave the entry blank.
Please ensure you have filled in the required fields before clicking on send.