Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Settle Walk for Creation - Castleberg - Evening 1 Sept

1st September is a Day to Pray for Creation - and two walks were held in Settle. (See first walk in the afternoon)
For the second one we assembled at 5.45pm at Holy Ascension church, ready for the walk to Castleberg. There were four of us but the fourth person never arrived as they went to a different meeting point. Here you see two of us - plus a Flower-pot Shepherd




Shepherd (Settle Flower Pot Festival), Judith and Revd Hilary Young.
Photographed by the third member: Revd Stephen Dawson


We spent ten minutes here just sitting and looking around. 

We thought of biodiversity in the churchyard
our efforts to help it-- the bird feeder sponsored by Althea;
the efforts to have an area of longer grassland
the debate about whether to use weed killer on some of the grave areas;
the time factor involved in working out greener solutions - which often take a lot of extra time

we admired the wilder area on the adjacent railway banking

 We thought about the climate - 
The wet summer we are having is making it harder for some farmers to harvest their grass. Our climate may not be hot this year but Stephen's brother who had just been to the Mediterranean reported enduring 32 degree temperatures, and that the 34 degree temperatures in Spain were harming the crops.

With our lush cool damp summer it is hard for people in England to understand that this year 2015 world wide is the hottest year ever recorded: - quote from 29 Aug 2015 Independent:
It is rare for climate experts to make such a bold prediction so soon in the year, but they believe that a surge in ocean temperatures in particular now makes it almost inevitable that 2015 will turn out to be the hottest year globally since instruments were first used to gather readings more than 130 years ago.
We thought about waste and recycling.




We climbed up to the flagpole at Castleberg Crag,, where we met two young cyclists.






What a view
Just left of the centre on the horizon is a mast - Waddington Fell - see below for telephoto picture of the same

Waddington Fell/Newton Fell Mast 15 miles away



Fruit of Wild Arum (or Lords and Ladies)






Looking over Settle 


We walked down the gentle route. I was pleased to find Woodruff



This post has a special alga on it called Prasiola crispa.
We look at it using our handlenses

How many people have been on a walk on 1 September and enjoyed looking at Prasiola?
It reminded me of the first time  found some on a mosses course at Preston Montford in 2013



This is what it looks like under a handlens





Prasiola crispa: This is what it looks like under a microscope
Here it is under higher power.

And so we came down to earth in Settle

Settle Walk for Creation - afternoon 1 Sept 2015 - via Settle Hydro

Two walks for Creation were held on 1 Sept 2015 organised by Churches Together in Settle and District.
Here are pictures of the afternoon walk. We met at Holy Ascension Church. (You can see the evening walk here)


Althea, Judith, Derek and a Shepherd (from Settle Flower Pot Festival) assemble, and discuss facets of what we see  -.


 Judith said to Althea "Pick a number between 1 and 245. The number of paragraphs in Laudato Si... "   (The Pope's encyclical about Care of the environment). Althea Picked no 8. so we read that. It was about Patriach Bartholomew (Orthodox Church Leader). who said that.. harming nature is a sin.

Next month Kathleen Kinder of Settle will be giving the first of her monthly talks on the history of the tree Abrahamic Faiths.  Kathleen is a fan of a theologian, Margaret Barker, and Margaret Barker has hlped lead some  conferences organised by Patriarch Bartholomew  about Care of the Environment..
so there is a sort of link with Settle.

The big thunderstorm at 1.45pm may have put some people off from coming. 

As we set off we notice the wildlife area.
Judith recently added some yellow rattle seeds-
perhaps the long grass should be cut again?

We pause in the shelter of the lychgate to let a shower pass

As we pass the back of St John's Methodist Church, Althea says "Take a photo, it won't be there next year"

I enjoy looking at the Lilies and Evening Primrose in someone's garden

We arrive at Settle Hydro - It is not running today because the water level is too low
(in spite of the thunder shower at 1.45pm.
Steve Amphlett has sent us a message saying:

"The big news from Settle Hydro is that we have recently invested £26,000 in a new Variable Speed Control System which promises to increase our generation by at least 50%. The money we receive for the additional power will transform the finances for the company from a position where we are just breaking even to one where we will be making a reasonable surplus that can be used to fund initiatives in the Settle Area. "
You can see a video I took of the Archimedes Screw being installed here, six years ago



Althea enjoys looking at the view at the Settle Hydro

We continue across the bridge over the Ribble into Giggleswick

and beside the Ribble

At Queens Rock/Kings Mill we look up to the hills over Settle.
You can see the flagpole on the right. That is where the walk is tonight.

The sun comes out.

See the flagpole up on the right. that is where we would be walking to in the evening.

Crossing the Ribble back into Settle

Looking down at the river

Althea and I have tea at Lay of the Land Garden Centre


The next blog post will be about the evening walk.

 (You can see the evening walk here)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Aye Gill Pike - CCG-VC65 Botanical Surveying

Mike Canaway organised a botanical surveying day for the VC 65 botanical surveyors and Craven Conservation  Group - He described it as a good place for Polytrichum strictum hummocks,  Rushes, Blanket bog and good views.

It lived up to his description.



The group assemble on 19 August on the A 684 two miles east of Sedbergh


We bypass some bog pimpernel (not in our scheduled grid tetrad) and walk up and up and up and up
and up and up and up
and up and up and up
Mike shows us some Polytrichum strictum (as if we can't see five hundred thousand other hummocks ourselves)
It mostly seems to be growing with Sphagnum capillifolium ( a Red Bogmoss).

He pointed out that it is rare and declining in much of England - but there is plenty in the Pennines, the Lake District and Wales and Scotland

Beside a wall I get side-tracked into Leafy Liversorts:
 Lophozia ventricosa.. ..have to look the others up) .. and then I find a new plant for our list:
A baby Mountain Ash tree:





Potential Sorbus aucuparia
 At lunch, held on a stony ridge, (flags/gritsone) I amuse myself by photographing a lichen.. though I now think it is only  a Parmelia saxatilis that happens to be fruiting.







But the summit is reached and what splendid views!

With binoculars, or with a digital zoom camera we could see the white radar station on Dunn Fell - distant peak on the right and Cross Fell  on the left





To celebrate I play my tin whistle - but the wind is louder than the whistle




We look up Garsdale to Garsdale Head and Dandry Mire viaduct.

That's the same picture in wide angle.. taken from a bog pool.




Pat and Helen admire the view
And I photo the lichens on the cairn behind them. Lecanora handelii - see close up below
I think it is Lecanora handelii because the soralia (powdery areas) are at the edges of the squamules/areoles, not in the middle of them.



More on Lichens: Pseudevernia furfuracea was also growing on the cairn.

In the Sphagnum near the summit we saw quite a lot of Lichnomphalia ericetroum ( umbellifera ) This is a little white toadstool with a depressed cap.  L umbellifera grows from dark green lichen granules up to .25mm diameter.

There were patches of Cladonia uncialis and Cladonia portentosa
on drier bits of peat.


As far as higher plants go, we must have doubled our score during the last hour as we returned, skirting a little lower than the summit and joyfully running to patches of Marsh Thistle

On the way down it started raining. We stop to look at a Drinker Moth that has just laid some eggs.




It was on a grass stalk, but it crawled onto my hand and
I left it on some heather.. probably shouldn't have done
as I went home and read that the
caterpillars eat grasses, not heather.


We arrived home safely, in the pouring rain, pleased to have been out walking in the sun in the morning


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Leaflet part 8: how to write a biodiversity leaflet - asking people to print their own



Back to Part 2: A leaflet that people will pick up
Back to Part 3: A leaflet that people will READ
Back to Part 4: A leaflet so that people will ACT
Back to Part 5: It's now divided into TWO leaflets
Back to Part 6: A better template - more space and fewer font sizes
Back to Part 7: Making posters from the leaflet and testing it out at our House group



Leaflet part 8: how to write a biodiversity leaflet - asking people to print their own


It is now mid August 2015.

September 1st is an important day for many reasons:

Start of Creation time (Creation Time: 1 Sept - Second Sunday in October)
The Pope has just declared it is should be for Catholics a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 
There is a "Pray and Fast for the Climate" Movement encouraging churches to have fasts or services or both on the 1st of each month leading up to the COP21 talks on climates in Paris this December.

This was an incentive for me to get the leaflet used.
I send news emails on behalf of Green Christian to its members once or twice a month, so this upcoming 1st Sept seemed a good opportunity. So last night off the email went, some  with the pdf leaflet attached, and some where it was given as a link: -inviting members for their comments.    http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/wildlife-leaflet-1-triptych.pdf     

Here is the current page with the downloadable leaflets: 

This morning I received a comment from one person: (Thank you Sheila)
"I like the Wildlife and Biodiversity leaflet but when I printed out the triptych I found that I lost some of the text on the left-hand side (both pages) so I can't really make use of it in this form."

May people have ink jet printers that insist on having a left hand or top margin.  Will this prevent lots of people from printing triptych leaflets?

Monday, 17 August 2015

1st Sept: Settle Walks for Creation


The Pope has declared 1 Sept as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. So let's join with others round the world to be thankful for our wonderful world and to learn to appreciate it more.

And for those of us who are not Catholics there are lots of other reasons to celebrate Care of our world - not least because "The world is loaned to us - we look after it for future generations - "

Indeed we are joining in with other people in the  Peoples Pilgrimages around the world as people take part in pilgrimages leading up to the UN COP21 talks on climate Change in Paris in December


And if you go outside you will find reasons to celebrate.  Even in a city you may find a tree or a patch of waste ground with Plants growing through the pavement. Can you give names to those plants?

If you live near Settle, come on both walks. (If you are a visitor come early so you can enjoy going round Settle Market place in the morning and have coffee at St John's Methodist Church, or Settle Parish Church, or the Friends Meeting House where you can buy Tradecraft Goods. Then have lunch at the Parish Church.

The first walk starting at 2pm is very gentle - and is wheelchair accessible..(indeed, I hope Althea will be a co-leader) . but we'll visit several eco-sites including the Parish Church garden beside the Settle Carlisle Railway,  the famous Settle Hydro "Reverse Archimedes Screw", a pleasant walk beside the River Ribble, via Queens Rock to Lay of the Land (Settle Garden Centre).


The second, starting at 5.45 pm requires strong shoes. We will walk up Castleberg.. from where you can see nearly all the world... Well Settle anyway, and Waddington/Newton Moor Mast:
We'll make sure those who want to return to Settle by 7.15 can do so to attend any evening meetings that may be on.

See the walk we did on 23 July

Hope you can come

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Walk for Creation - July 2015 - Settle

Click on the poster on the right for details of the upcoming walks on 1st September 2015 
Below is an account of our walk on 23 July

On 23 July Churches Together in Settle held a "Walk for Creation".  

We stopped at three points en route and held a period of silence looking at the view, then discussed various aspects of what we saw:- with relation to 
1. Biodiversity
2. Climate change 
3. Waste 
4. Justice 
5. Peace 
6. God, Jesus, or relationships between people
(The leaders' preparation sheet can be downloaded here)


We met at Limestone View and the first "stop" was their garden. I was delighted to see the vibrant "Wildflower mix" that had been sown there




For the second and third stops we split into a "Long walk" and a "Short walk" group

The Long walk group walked along Watery Lane where the following were in flower:


Meadowsweet




Silverweed


Meadow Crane's-bill ..supporting a bee


The Shorter walk group carried spare chairs with us and stopped at the Allotments




We discussed waste and recycling,  wildlife and the beauty of nature and God's love.


Example of recycling


More examples of recycling - can you spot them?




The short walk group then stopped at a bench
at the old peoples bungalows above Limestone View



We held the plenary session at the Cafe at Limestone View




We hope to hold another on 1st September, starting at Holy Ascension Church. Maybe one in the afternoon, visiting Settle's Archimedes Screw turbine, and one in the evening - more strenuous up Castleberg and but this is not fixed yet.. Look out for details.