Welcome to the Wharfedale Naturalists’ Society

birdy

Take a look at our upcoming events…
December 13 Tuesday Evening Meetings – ‘Wildlife of Scilly’
Tim Melling
Another treat from one of our most popular speakers, interval with Tea/Coffee
January 10 Tuesdays Evening Meetings – ‘A Year in the Life of Rodley Nature Reserve’
Peter and Barbara Murphy
A welcome update for this very successful local reserve
January 14 (Sat) Special Events – Winter Walk round Fewston Reservoir
Meet 9.15am Swinsty Moor Car Park SE 187537
Leaders: Peter and Anne Riley – 01943 862916
January 24 Tuesdays Evening Meetings – ‘Natural History at Menston Primary School’
Iain Jones, Headmaster
‘New Projects and Developments at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’
Ros Lilley
February 14 Tuesdays Evening Meetings – ‘A Trip to Russia and the Caucasus Mountains’
‘The Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado’
Alan Schofield
Another tour de force from member Alan
February 28 Tuesdays Evening Meetings – ‘Pennine Adders, Reptiles and Amphibians’
David Alred
Super photos and lots of information from member David

The full programme is available here.

All Tuesday evening talks are held at ChristChurch, The Grove, Ilkley starting at 7:30pm. Click here to show a map.


Wildlife of Scilly, Tuesday 13th December


Wharfedale Naturalists last meeting of 2016 will take place at 7-30pm on Tuesday 13th December at Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley and will feature Tim Melling, Senior Conservation Officer for the RSPB and renowned photographer, talking on the ‘Wildlife of Scilly’. Visitors are welcome (£2-50 entrance) and annual membership at £12-50 is available at the door. For more details visit the website or contact Peter Riley, President, on 01943 862916.


Yorkshire Dales book offer

book
For those of you who may shop in Ilkley, ‘Just Books’ have a half price offer on this fantastic Yorkshire Dales book by John Lee. It is packed full of information and definitely worth a look. It usually sells for £35.

Part of the New Naturalist series of books, the natural history of the Dales is covered in great detail by Professor John Lee, an ecologist long familiar with the landscape. The book pulls together information on an area which has been comprehensively catalogued by universities such as Lancaster, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, York and Durham for a century.


Photo Competition – Water in the Uplands

mff
Moors for the Future are pleased to announce this year’s photo competition, the theme of which is Water in the Uplands. Visit their website to find out how you could win a HD Bird Box Camera System worth £99 or a Nikon Coolpix waterproof digital camera worth £130.

The deadline for entires is 31st December. Good luck!


Big Butterfly Count 2016

Big Butterfly Count
The Big Butterfly Count results are in and have been causing confusion amongst conservationists. Despite conditions which would usually see butterflies thrive, 2016 was a poor year for many species and most people saw less butterflies than ever before. Gatekeeper, Comma and Small Copper butterflies experienced their worst year since the project began with counts down by 40%, 46% and 30% respectively compared to 2015. The Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock also experienced drops of 47% and 42%, their second worst year recorded. The full results are listed in the table below:

    Abundance % change from 2015
1 Large White 62890 2
2 Small White 61955 15
3 Meadow Brown 57281 1
4 Gatekeeper 47597 -40
5 Ringlet 26968 32
6 Red Admiral 26568 70
7 Peacock 18508 -42
8 Green-veined White 16879 58
9 Small Tortoiseshell 12335 -47
10 Speckled Wood 10271 12
11 Marbled White 9461 58
12 Six-spot Burnet 8417 20
13 Large Skipper 8182 -2
14 Comma 7514 -46
15 Common Blue 5938 -55
16 Painted Lady 4246 -23
17 Holly Blue 3969 -48
18 Brimstone 3629 -20
19 Small Copper 2286 -30
20 Silver Y 1244 -12

For more information and an interactive map of the 2016 results please click here.


Current Newsletter, 2016

August news 2016_Page_1
You can download the current Newsletter and the Winter Coach Trip booking form below:
August Newsletter
Winter Coach Trip booking form


Funds for Conservation Projects available

bee bsl
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:

  1. 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)
  2. Limit range of invasive non-native plant and animal species (Actions: conduct studies of population size and distribution, research appropriate actions to take)
  3. 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)
  4. 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: pjmiller511@gmail.com)
(mobile: 074155 70589)


Members Survey

survey
In an effort to keep improving, the Wharfedale Naturalists would be grateful if you could take a minute of your time to fill in our online questionnaire. It consists of 10 questions on what you would like to get out of the society and would give us some valuable feedback. Many thanks!


Gallows Hill Latest

 

The evening walk at Gallows Hill, on the 24th May, reportedly went well with plenty of bat activity. The current programme of events, from the Friends of Gallows Hill, is available here. Most of these dates have now passed, but a new programme is currently being put together and will be published when it is made available.

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!

logo_gh
More information about the site can be found here and, if you wish to become involved, a group of volunteers meet at 2pm, on the first Saturday of every month, at the Gallows Hill car park.

Gallows Hill now have their own website: http://www.gallowshill.org.uk/.


Big Garden Birdwatch 2016 Results

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The results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2016 have been released with a total bird count of over eight million. The House sparrow was found to be the most recorded bird in the UK again although the Starling was the most commonly seen in Northern Ireland. Around four House sparrows were seen in each person’s garden. The results are as follows:

Top 10 UK overall

  • House sparrow
  • Starling
  • Blue tit
  • Blackbird
  • Woodpigeon
  • Goldfinch
  • Chaffinch
  • Great tit
  • Robin
  • Long-tailed tit

Top 5 by country

England
  • House sparrow
  • Blue tit
  • Starling
  • Blackbird
  • Woodpigeon
Northern Ireland
  • Starling
  • House sparrow
  • Chaffinch
  • Blue tit
  • Blackbird
Scotland
  • House sparrow
  • Chaffinch
  • Starling
  • Blackbird
  • Blue tit
Wales
  • House sparrow
  • Blue tit
  • Starling
  • Chaffinch
  • Blackbird

The Chaffinch ranked higher in Scotland than anywhere else and the Blue tit appeared in 82% of people’s gardens in Wales. It is thought January’s mild weather led to higher counts of smaller birds, such as long-tailed tits and coal tits, since more were able to survive the winter. The long-tailed tit was a new entry for 2016 – in at 10th position. The blackbird was the most widespread garden bird appearing in 88% of people’s gardens but numbers have still been declining since the first Birdwatch in 1979.


Yorkshire Mammal Group November Newsletter

Yorkshire Mammal Group
The Yorkshire Mammal Group’s November Newsletter is available here. It lists their upcoming talks and other events for the month. If you haven’t done already you can also visit their website which has a calendar of events for 2016 here.


Appeal from our butterfly recorders

Skipper
Many thanks to Diane Morris and Paul Millard for all their hard work with the butterfly records for 2015. 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.

Missing Tetrads

Missing Tetrads 1 – 21

The current butterfly recording form can be downloaded here along with some useful notes here. If you wish to print out a form and fill it in by hand, a suitable template is available here.

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.

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