Saturday 26 March 2011

Motives for Environmental Care

Today I attended a conference in Leeds organised by WYSOCS (West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies): the Gospel's Green Light: Motives for environmental care - A day conference exploring Christian Environmentalism in theory and practice. It was Held at Oxford Place centre at Leeds. Here are some pictures. It will take a while to write it up. It was excellent. Here we are discussing the lectures over lunch

You can see me showing Rev Peter Harris the Giggleswick Mosses book. Peter Harris spoke about A Rocha . He is founder and President of A Rocha Interantional.  (Giggleswick Church supports A Rocha and had five copies of their latest magazine in their bookstand).

I sold £26 worth of greetings cards..

Mosses-3 of Giggleswick Churchyard

On Thursday 24 March I went round to Giggleswick Church to make an exhibition of the photos I had taken at the Mosses Day on 12th March. You can see it at the front of the church (back of the picture) at the left.

I pinned up the booklet I have made describing 16 of the mosses.
You can see some of the pictures here, where I describe the original day.

Church volunteers were having a spring clean and churchyard maintenance day.. so I joined them for coffee and showed them Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus - Springy Turf Moss

End of Life Issues - The Hospice Movement

Churches Together in Settle and District have organised a series of Talks on Wednesday evenings during Lent. entitled "Facing up to End of Life Issues - Practicalities". The first was held on Wednesday 16 March and was on Legal Issues. We held it in the Primary Room of the Church Hall - and just squeezed a record(?) 48 people in. We had excellent talks by the local solicitor and a consultant at Airedale hospital.

So the following week we held the talk in the church itself. The talk was on the Hospice movement. That was useful because Tom Keating, the speaker from St Gemma's Hospice, had brought some powerpoint slides.
We had scones and coffee both before and after the talk.

Next week  (Wed 30th) the talk is "Care and Support for the Terminally Ill at Home" - Come at 7.15 for scones before the talk at 7.30pm


Wednesday 23 March 2011

Settle Viaduct Land

Underneath Settle viaduct, next to the petrol station is some land that belongs to British Rail. It is partly hidden from the road by a wall, and a path runs through it. There is much litter and broken glass. the soil is very thin but some scrub has started to grow.

For about three years a consortium of voluntary groups led by Marian Armstrong has been asking Network Rail if we could have their permission to clear it up. Permission has finally been arranged and an official came form Network Rail came on Tuesday 22nd March to officially explain the safety precautions we must take.

People came from the Litter Picking Group, The Resources Centre, Churches Together in Settle, Craven Conservation Group, Vibrant Settle, Cultivating Settle, Settle Eco-group, TheW.I,  The Chamber of Trade, and The Town Council.
Neil  Barthorpe, the Network Rail Man gave Marion some gardening gloves to give to the volunteers.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Nardus stricta - Mat Grass

Nardus stricta - a very very rare plant on Headley Heath in Surrey
Grass of the Month for March
(See list of grasses for other months)

Mat grass is a coarse needle-like grass. It is easy to recognise because:

  1. Its blades come off at 90 degrees to the sheaths.
  2. It has thick swollen shiny hard pinkish whitish lower sheaths.
  3. There are often persistent grey-white dead leaves attached to the plant.
  4. It is tufted; Sometimes animals pull out a tuft and then leave it because it is too tough to eat. (Try eating a shoot!!!)
When it does come into flower (in May-June) it has black spikelets attached to one side of the stem. This arrangement is "secund". (from the Latin "secundus" =  following)

When teaching on fields of rough ground near Malham Tarn when I saw mat grass I would say "Oh, a sign of acid soil and of bad management - overgrazing".. But I now wonder... Acid soil, yes.
Certainly the sheep don't like it and so nor do the farmers... If the soil is dominated by mat grass then it is "U5" vegetation.

But in other places it is special. It is very rare in Surrey - above is one of the very few mat grass plants in Surrey, on Headley Heath ..

And in mountains in the Scottish Highlands patches of Mat Grass can indicate snow hollows.. hollows where snow persists for a long time after it has melted in other areas

Snow hollows seen from near summit of Glas Maol

This was June 2010 - but in June 2008
this had been covered with snow - see below.
26 June 2008 - See the snow and the Mat grass on Glas Maol

Monday 14 March 2011

Mosses-2 of Giggleswick Churchyard

There were 10 of us on the mosses day (eleven, if you include the vicar who came in and made us some welcome tea - Thanks Alistair).

Here Mike on the left is showing the group Broom fork-moss (Dicranum scoparium)
Robert is looking at the illustrated worksheet I had made of the 16 mosses I had found earlier.. and the Dicranum was a bonus!

I hope to write more on this page later today.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Peter Owen Jones at CEL national London conference

Rev Peter Owen Jones presenter of BBC's 'How to live a simple life', 'Around the World in 80 Faiths', and 'Extreme Pilgrim', was the keynote speaker at Christian Ecology Link's national conference  - "End of the Age of thorns - Surviving consumerism." held at St John's Church, Waterloo on 5th March.

When we went into the garden to take photos I was able to show him the poster about our Mosses day at Giggleswick church on 12th March.

Centre Rev Peter Owen Jones -
Right - Paul Bodenham - Current chairman of Christian Ecology Link

Peter Owen Jones giving his talk

Peter Owen Jones and pigeon in the garden at St John's Church, Waterloo

Peter Owen Jones and pigeon in the garden at St John's Church, Waterloo

Peter Owen Jones giving his talk