Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lichens for Beginners Workshop in Horton-in-Ribblesdale Churchyard

All welcome at the Beginners Lichens workshop 28 March: Horton in Ribblesdale. 10am-12.30pm
For details and to book contact  Judith Allinson - Cost: £15 (Children £3.00) - Concessions available.

We will spend a period indoors learning about the structure of lichens, have a cup of tea, and then have a walk around the churchyard. We will use the "Guide to the Top Twenty Lichens in Horton churchyard" prepared by Judith, and participants will keep a copy of the guide. Hand lenses will be provided. Please bring warm clothes at this time of year.

I have just been preparing display boards - and will leave two copies of the trail leaflet for people to come and follow the trail themselves after 28th March

If you would
Your life enrichen,
Then study Lichen
If you prefer
Hikin' and bikin,
Then study Lichen

Both pronunciations are correct - but most people say the latter - liken.

Here's Horton in Ribblesdale churchyard, on a sunny day..

Lichen number 1 is on the porch wall. 

Can you see it here? The bright orange one.
I decided to call it "Limestone orange lichen"
 in the absence of any other English name "

Its Latin name is Caloplaca flavescens.
It is a crustose lichen. The edge of the lichen has narrow, pleated lobes
and this feature is referred to as "placodioid". (Click on the picture to see a larger picture

You'll recognise it again at the stile at the east.

These pictures were taken at a similar event at Horton last autumn

Here we are looking at the boundary wall in the north.
You can see we are holding the
"Guide to the Top Twenty lichens of Horton churchyard"
 that I had prepared

Come and see the display and try out the Trail. (28 March - Easter 2015)

There will also be a Lichens for beginners course on 20 June at Ingleton churchyard

See more posts on Lichens  on this website here

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Support the Coffee Morning for the Rainforest Fund - Tue 3 March at Settle

We're holding our "First Tuesday of the Month Charity Coffee Morning" in aid of the Rainforest Fund at St John's Methodist Church, Settle on Tuesday 3rd March. 
At a time 
  • when there are only 5 northern white rhinos left in the whole world
  • The extinction rate of animals is 1000 to 10,1000 the natural rate
  • Forest is being felled and burned to grow palm oil, soya and cattle so that species such as orangutans have nowhere to live
  • Population sizes of wild animals have halved in the last 40 years

Do support it if you live near Settle.

Help us raise £100 to save an acre of endangered habitat

Delicious scones and home made cakes.
Beautiful greetings cards for just £1-50 and £1-00
Friendly welcoming atmosphere

Here's a picture from 2014 when (including sale of cards) we raised £120.

Click to see 2012 Coffee Morning

and 2010 Coffee Morning

and 2009 - See we are animal friendly

And our first one in 2008 -

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Rural Church in Place - Bishop of Worcester, Ripon Cathedral, Craven and Methodist connections

A possibly wild primrose amongst the snowdrops
below Ripon Cathedral

Background note: Settle is in the newly formed Anglican Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, which is divided into five areas. Settle is in the Ripon Area -- map.  Ripon Benthis 45 miles from Settle (38 miles the hilly route). Last week the Ripon Area put the Churches Together in Bentham Climate Change Lent Lunches on the front part of their website, and it also announced the important speakers at St Oswalds, Thornton in Lonsdale during Sundays of Lent at 9.30am.

Bishop John Inge

On the  evening 26  Feb I was at Ripon and I went to the first of the St Wilfred's Lectures at Ripon Cathedral in the  series  "Rural Life and Living: Challenges and Opportunities" It was given  by  Bishop John Inge of Worcester and his talk was entitled "The  Rural  Church  in  Place".   He  has  written  a  book called "A Christian Theology of Place".

My  idea  of "a sense of place" is..
"What rocks is the church built of?
What  flowers/lichens  grow  in  the  churchyard?.  (or in the cracks  in the pavement  if    there  is  no  churchyard)".
"What  are  the buildings/houses/people/dialect  like  surrounding  the  church and are there green hills in the background or skyscrapers?"

Well   it   wasn't   about  that..  But it was about many other topics including  about  people's uprootedness because they keep moving; And that we ought to use our churches for many things.  I will list a few good quotes lower down. You can read the short official report here

In  question time, Rev Ian Greenhalgh, vicar at Austwick and Claham, and Area Dean for the Bowland and Ewcross Deaneries, said how his four churches were kept  open  during  the  daytime. And how people enjoyed visiting the churches and the cemeteries.

My hand shot up.

And  as  the chairman had simultaneously been asking if there were any women who  would  like to ask questions, he gave me the chance to speak, and the microphone was fetched.

"If  you  come to Horton in Ribblesdale Church on the last Saturday of March I am  running  a  lichens workshop there." I said breathlessly. (O why do I talk  so  fast!)  And I brought out and held up my laminated lichens guide to Horton Churchyard... "And  I'm  doing  a  similar  workshop  on 20th June  in Ingleton  Churchyard  - They have  a  beautiful  book about the wildlfowers  of  Ingleton  churchyard.  And I've led a session on mosses at Giggleswick"   Come  out to our churchyards in the west of the diocese ans see our mosses and lichens."

Well people got the gist ..
And  now  I  shall  have  to  make sure there are some spare guides in Horton Church.

We  sang  Happy Birthday to the bishop, as his birthday was quite close and then ate his birthday cake with cups of tea afterwards. I gave him copies of the Biodiversity / Saving Wildlife/ Rainforest Leaflet. I also asked  the Dean if I could put up a few on the table beside the notice board, and he said "Yes"

Some notes made during the talk:

Scriptures  take  place seriously. "In my father's house there are many
mansions.. I am going to prepare a place for you"

Churches  stand  as  a  witness and can help those who are rootless to
find their place.

Someone  made  a  quote - we can look at a glass or we can see through
it to the world beyond.   Similarly   we   can  look  at  churches or see through them to
"heaven" beyond.

Churches  are expensive to keep - We get less money form the government than  any  other western country to look after our churches. There are 16,000  Anglican  Churches in Britain and 12,000 are listed buildings. 45%  of all listed buildings are places of worship. 925 million pounds are needed for their upkeep over the next 5 years.

Just as Christ's commandments to people are: Love  God  and  Love  your  neighbour,
so  this  should be applied to churches.  Many  churches  are  very  good  at  the first, and organise
services,  and  make  the place pious, but not always very good at the second.

The  churches  should  see  how they could serve the community more. The bishop quoted  one  church that  has  a village shop, several that have food banks.  Stannington  near  Morpeth has an IT centre. There has been a suggestion that churches should supply WIFI. We should think more about adaptation than preservation.

In many villages the church is the only community facility.


"Should   we  be  thinking  of sharing churches?" Asked Chairman of the York and Hull Methodist District, Stephen Burgess.

Revd Graham Carter gave the vote of thanks. He is former Chair of the Darlington District and was President of Methodist Conference in 2006. He wondered if we did sometimes fail to show people the glory beyond the church.. He said we should open our churches more to the community and let them come and treat it as their own.

When the Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson, was introducing Bishop John at the beginning, he showed us the newly published "Growing God's Kingdom - a First Response to the Cathedral Consultation"

I liked the aspirations in the "Engaging with the issues and needs of the world."section:
  Developing and implementing a strategy for social justice  Reducing the impact our work has on God’s earth by reducing our carbon footprint.  To be known as a Cathedral that can speak with integrity on rural issues

In the "Promoting our Spiritual and Built Heritage" section there is an aspiration:  Developing the Cathedral as a Centre for Pilgrimage. I wonder if more interst could be given the wildlife around the Cathedral. As people have to come to the Cathedral from 60 miles, and more, away in the Diocese Area, getting to the cathedral is a pilgrimage in itself.  map. Perhaps more could be made of the wonderful walk in Ripon all along the River Skell. And Hurray for the Pilgrimage on Boxing Day to Fountains Abbey

Not so native Cyclamen - but very pretty.
I wonder if they come from Greece or maybe Turkey..

Children feeding t'ducks beside the  River Skell below the Cathedral

Lichens and Wild-flower events at Ingleton Church on 20 June 2015

Ingleton is a brilliant area for wildflowers because of the limestone, and to some extent because of the height above sea level.

Here are three fantastic events in Ingleton Church and Churchyard.
  1. In the morning you will be welcome to come to the Lichens Workshop - It is specially designed for beginners -

  2. and in the early evening to a walk round the churchyard to look at the wild flowers at 5.45 and see Doris Cairn's delightfully illustrated book on this theme

  3. followed by an illustrated talk on the special flowers of the Ingleton area at 6.30pm.
(In the afternoon you may wish to go to Ribblehead where there are activities for grownups and children in the Nature reserve with a mini-Bio-Blitz)..

Some of Doris's Pictures will be on view on Freday 19th June at 6.30-8.30pm at the "Meet the artist" Wine and Cheese Viewing at The Waterfalls Walk Cafe

I hope to see you at some of events 1 to 3 !!!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

London, biodiversity and the Olympic Swimming Pool

I had booked to go to London to a talk "The bible and biodiversity" on Wed 21 January, and for once had obtained cheap rail tickets. This is my adventure to London. As well as my toothbrush, in my rucksack I had my fins as I hope to visit the Olympic Swimming Pool "on the way home"

You can read the report I made about the talk for Green Christian here  and more important see the videos of the speakers here:
Dave Bookless    ...   Daid Nussboaum (WWF)      ....   Simon Stuart  (IUCN) 

I left home in good time to walk the 1.5 miles to the station. I saw my first field-fares for the year in a hawthorn tree. I would have missed seeing them if I had been driving.

I looked back over the railway bridge over the Settle-Carlisle Line.
 The train I would be catching would be coming down here in half an hour.

At Langcliffe I passed the house from where some
good friends of mine were literally moving. Langcliffe will miss them.

Shortly after this a passing car - the Bayes from Horton - stopped and 

gave me a lift to Setttle (Thank you!) .

At Settle as the train arrives.
At Leeds I almost bought a book about using cartoons in presentations. but decided to get it later. 

At London I visited Westminster Cathedral (Catholic) for the first time, and looked at all the little chapels within the cathedral. I bought a cup of tea and cake.

Then I walked to Westminster Central Hall (Methodist) "It's closed now said a man at the entrance. People were pouring out - it had been used for an Education Conference that day.

I crossed the road to Westminster Abbey.. in time to go to evening prayer at 5pm. A privelege.
After the prayers I gave two of the priests copies of the "Saving Wildlife and biodiversity" leaflet.

Outside Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

I wallked to the talk which was half a mile away, Here is some of the audience

Here are the three speakers - Simon Stuart, David Bookless and David Nussbaum
I hope they are going to put a video of the evening on the Jubilee Centre Website. eventually.

David Bookless gave highlights form his paper "The Bible and Biodiversity"
You can read the paper here

David Nussbaum. David N picked up on several points in David B's talk. e.g  he loved "The image of God" as a "job description" - it is in Genesis that we read that God created Man in his image - but what is God's image? -  the image of God relates to our relationship with other creatures.
He also said that more could be made of the story of Noah. If God had just wanted to save humans, he could have asked Noah to build a big rowing boat for a few people - but instead he told Noah to build an ark. 

Simon Stuart of IUCN.
He pointed out that of the 11 species of animal mentioned in the end of Job,
 7 or them were now extinct in that part of the world.

Brian Cuthbertson

Brain Cuthbertson told us of the plan to carry out professional / detailed wildlife surveys of all the graveyards in London

Afterwards I met the A Rocha Director of Conservation,

I went to stay at St Paul's Youth Hostel - It is in the old St Paul's Choir School. I have been there before. I like it it has more character than some of the newer ones built in central London

After I had booked in,  I left my bag I went for a walk along the Millennium Bridge outside.
I ate some "Middle Eastern salad" that I had 
bought cheap the day before at the end of its sell by date. It was delicious. 

Gulls on the Millennium Bridge, London

View of the Shard
 In the morning I went to the 7.30am morning prayers at St Pauls.

St Pauls

Under the conifer tree was
 a man feeding the grey squirrels

I had good exercise walking the big distances at the Olympic site, to the swimming pool.

The Olympic Swimming Pool at Stratford

View of display of model buses from the Swimming Pool 

There was lots of Purple Moor-grass that had been planted in tubs.
The Swimming Pool is behind.

I enjoyed travelling on the new tube. (Reflection in window).
I enjoyed watching all the people on the train-
but you can't really photograph them and then put them on the internet..

Walking the length of the train at King's Cross platform 1.  Lots of exercise!
And so the train back to Leeds and then Settle.