Tuesday 30 April 2013

Twenty Top Tips for Successful Publicity Posters

Whether organising a fund raising event for the Rainforest, or an educational event - or even a regular meeting - you need publicity. Here are 20 top tips I use when making publicity posters, especially ones for our local Speakers Club

  • Does your club need more members?
  • Do you want to enrich people’s lives in your area by enabling them to become better speakers?
  • Do you want people to come to a specific event?

- then make
– and display ......- Posters!

1. Make sure the title has ONLY ONE (to FOUR) key words and print the Title – 


So big -
that you can read the title from the other side of the road

(Beware of  erratic driving in Craven, as I drive slowly peering through the window, trying to read my own posters as I go past )

However beautiful,
or professional,
or witty,
the poster is,
however refined you may be yourself,
however expensive the paper it is printed on:
.... it is a complete and utter waste of photocopying paper and shoe-leather to pin up the poster if the writing is too small to read at a distance.

2. Use small case letters not capitals -

It has been proved that small case letters can be read much more easily than capital letters.

3. Make additional small posters:- four per sheet -

As a benefit of the title being big, then small posters can be made, four per sheet, as hand-outs to give people. Give them to people. Put them up on boards where there is no space for an A4 poster

4. The lead in time is long -

Several people have come to our club saying “I saw the poster six months ago and have only just got round to joining.” Or, “I saw the poster last year, but I am getting married now, so I need to practise my speech.”

So whilst putting up posters in, say August, ready for a September start, may seem sensible at first sight, it is much more important to have posters up ALL YEAR.

If you want new people in September, start putting posters up in March!

5. Include the dates of several meetings:- this gives a longer shelf life -

If the poster just has the date of next week’s meeting, it will get taken down after 8 days.

If it has no date, it may stay up longer but it is not fair on other people who come to put up notices and don’t know which ones to take down.  When I am at a jam packed notice board, jig-sawing posters, and  juggling space, to put up Craven Speakers Club posters, I find such dateless posters jar.

6. Add a contact telephone number and website address

People can then jot them down and ask for more details later. And include the ASC website!!!

7. I list our neighbouring speakers clubs at the bottom of the poster.

Who knows if  this has ever worked? (Do tell me neighbouring clubs...) But it is good to support each other. Craven is a touristy area that attracts people from elsewhere

8. Fulfill people's needs

a) Make people see their need .....
b) Show how Speakers Club fulfils their need  - and -
c) Make it sound fun. Meetings are fun!

9. Add something cheerful

A small cartoon or smiley man – to cheer everyone up who sees the poster

10. Top Locations:-

For us, Skipton and Settle Railway Stations & local supermarkets have been good – but keep experimenting

11-15. Remember other ideas important for any printed publication:-

11) Use only one, or at the most two fonts;
12) Get your poster proof read several times before mass printing it;
13) Less is more. Try and cut down the number of words.
14) White space round words emphasises them;
15) With permission use your club or the ASC logo

16. Encourage members of your club to put up the posters - most important!!

Be enthusiastic and persistent. Don’t get discouraged when they forget to put them up; try again next week. If you have gone to the trouble of producing the posters, it is the least they can do to find a few places to display or leave them.

And (my personal advice, though it may be not the same as an average evaluator -) if you are searching for a good way to finsish off a topic speech with a bang, why not (regardless of the initial topic) let it be a call to action – to display posters about your club?

17. ...Space for number 17 

 (Have you a suggestion?)

18 ....Space for number 18

19 ....Space for number 19

20. A new tip I have just learned.. which makes the posters look much more organised (even if they aren't) :- Divide the writing into three blocks with white space in between the blocks.

Does that echo "Make sure a speech has three parts ... and make sure there is space (i.e. pauses in the speech) ? :)

Let me know how you get on - Have you more suggestions about good posters? – have you got a good poster design to show me and let us use for Craven, especially if it includes a jolly cartoon character? Email me at webeditor@craven-speakers.org.uk

Good Luck. And remember to make the title Big

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Faith and Environment Conference at Lancaster 20 April 2013

A day conference in Lancaster - just 26 miles away by train (and 3 to the station) from where I live!

So I went to the railway station ...

To get to Lancaster means a 7 o'clock start from Giggleswick Station. The hoar frost sparkles on the platform .. and steams from the black creosote covered fencing.

Sheep en route looking up to the train
There are great views from the window. I say hello to a sheep below.

We are supposed to bring food to share at lunchtime that has low food miles..

 I have not had time to organise anything. The train arrives in Lancaster by 7.50am

Once in Lancaster I have an hour and a half to fill in..

I discover the Growing with Grace (Clapham)  organic vegetable stall- Great.-

GwG is 6 miles from where I live and  23 miles from  Lancaster. I choose assorted salad leaves, including purslane, grown  at Clapham, to take to the bring and share meal.


I walk to the  conference at Lancaster Methodist Church, (Past a new species of grass I have never found before -see end of post) at Scotforth Road, Lancaster, LA1 4TE
Here is a picture of the globe placed in front of the church for the conference

Here is the first speaker. 

I am glad he gives a reference to CEL, amongst other Christian organisations, as active in concern for the Environment. And note the CEL poster on the post (top right) that Gordon the organiser has put up.
They have done up the church nicely (about 10 years ago)

His job is to set the ecological scene and he does it excellently.  He is clear to follow and has good slides - I just wish he had been given three times as long (for the same amount of material).. or maybe that I had videoed the talk..

He quotes from the Bible, from Numbers.- They knew the importance of soil in early times: God asked Moses to send men to explore the land beyond the Negev desert. They had to find out the following:
Numbers 13 v 20 Is the soil rich or poor? Does the land have trees or not? Do your best to bring back some fruit from the land.

Soil is important to us now!. Our view of the world has not changed - the problems have just got bigger.

David has graphs of many things and they all had the same shape between Moses time 1000s year ago and now - the "hockey stick" shaped curve or exponential curve (This is a good post I just found now)

e.g. production of paper; water use;

The key driver is population.

In 1999 the world population was 6 billion.
10 years later it was 7 billion. 
In another 10 years it will be 8 billion.

He explains the effect of adding 1 billion people - if one just considered each person as using 1 60W lamp bulb 4 hours a day -- and it comes to a huge amount.

He said he would just talk about 3 limits to sustainability:
1. Biodiversity
2. Nitrogen Pollution
3. Climate Change.

Only 3% of the vertebrate biomass on land is now made up of Wild Animal (Smil, 1992).

Hmmm... did you know that?

 The other 97% is humans and their farm animals and pets. And one third of that biomass is made of humans, the other 2/3 is cow, sheep etc..

Miss Lamb/Sheep - did you know that..
I must admit I can't see
many wild animals in the field..

Habitat loss accelerates extinction.

Nitrogen Pollution

In 1913 The Harber process or Harbe Bosch process was developed so that we could produce ammonia and hence nitrogen fertilizers from nitrogen gas in the air. 
Since then food production and nitrogen fertilizer production has gone up (almost exponentially)
(Wikipedia:  Fertilizer generated from ammonia produced by the Haber process is estimated to be responsible for sustaining one-third of the Earth's population.[6] It is estimated that half of the protein within human beings is made of nitrogen that was originally fixed by this process; the remainder was produced by nitrogen fixing bacteria and archaea.[7])

We are very lucky, I suppose  that 100 years ago someone (Herr Bosch and friends) found out how to do this.. otherwise we could not have reached 7 billion.  We ought to be celebrating this..

However there are big problems with nitrogen fertilizer pollution. For example when the Mississippi empties its water in to the gulf of Mexico there is a hypoxic zone an area where the "sea is dead" because of lack of oxygen. the marine life has been destroyed or altered.

File:Mississippi River basin.jpg

Climate Change

CO2 and methane are a drivers for climate change. Although CO2 itself only gives 9-26% of the heating effect, it is increasing the concentration  of other gases which have big heating effects. CO2 inicreases the temperature which increases the water vapour which increases the temperature...

I have just followed the link given on this picture and can see where the graph came form :


There has not been a global temperature rise in the last few years. This could be because of "global cooling" - due to the  large quantities of smoke being produced by the industry of China. He showed as a graph which had a dip in 1880s due to smog caused by pollution, then a dip just after the war when industries got going again. Both dips were followed by a sharp rise in temperatures, ones the smog was reduced. 
(So the suggestion to "Let's cause some more global dimming bay having lots more industrial pollution/ smoke is not helpful, because after the pollution stops the temperature shoots up even more).

He mentioned that the Sulphur dioxide pollution that used to be bad has now reduced over the last 30 years and that soil pH has increased by about 1 unit in many places.

He mentioned the idea of Planetary Boundaries as proposed by a group in Sweden:  Everything is getting worse except ozone depletion. 

He talked about the current interest in Ecosystem Services 
some people think Nature can only be valued if a money cost is put on it. but there are different types of value systems.: Subjective economies; Absolute revealed Truth; Labour value. Energy Value .

We need to "Think globally and act locally".
Scientists with faith need to speak up. 
It can be difficult at times. He says that Bill McKibben has been quoted as being one of the 100 top most influential people in the world.


The second speaker is Stuart Walker 
he broadens the discussion by examining the impact of human behaviour and consumerism on sustainability. He talks about the Quadruple Bottom line of Sustainability. This involves (sort of ) Venn diagrams of three circles : 1. Pracitcal   2. Social and 3. Spritual (Personal Meaning) with Economic Means linking them.


Conversation with Franny Armstrong, producer of the film: "The Age of Stupid" 
- this film had been shown the previous evening.

Mark Rotherham of Lancaster interviews Franny Armstrong.
(Mark had made a short video about Operation Noah for Christian Ecology Link several years ago)

She describs how the characters they had chosen to interview for "The Age of Stupid" turned out to have much more interesting stories / lives than if the film producers had written the script.

She had said she is an atheist.
She isasked what motivated her to make the film. She said "I would hate to get to then end of life and not do what I would want to fight for. I think the continuation of the human species is worth fighting for.
We are so lucky to be alive". (In the sense of the chance of our parent meeting, then the chance of 1 sperm meeting one particular egg and getting fertilized)

She had organised the 10:10 campaign after the film. What was she going to do next?  At the moment she is very much enjoying looking after her new baby.

She is pessimistic about humankind's ability and chances of solving the climate change problem. 
She says, as it turned out all the main characters in the film are religious. 

Mark Dowd
had to leave fairly promptly after his talk to get on his bicycle to go into Lancaster to catch the train - I think it is great to see practical examples.

In his talk he said "We have to address three myths:
1 That Religion and Climate change have nothing to do with each other
2. Displacement Activity
3. "It's all too big"

2. Displacement Activity
Think of the person who makes a song and dance about recycling.. and then goes on holiday by plane to America or New Zealand.

He challenged us to think of our own displacement activities... So much of our activity is activity to keep where we are because we are not comfortable in our own skin... Restlessness has an energy pollution cost.
He suggested that obsession with scandal is a displacement activity.

John Smith
talked about the work of ARC (Alliance of Religion and Conservation). then he chaired a talk with three people on a panel - (CofE, Buddhist and Quaker- The fourth member (Moslem) had not been able to come because of health reasons)

Here is a photo of the speakers and (most of) the panel    

Below are some of the posters and leaflets I put out and up in the display area.
Click in the small picture on the right to see a larger version

Two extra bonuses (boni?)

Growing by some railings 100m south of the church was a NEW GRASS - for me - Ceratochloa carinata- California brome (I think)
IT comes from N America - California) but grows wild in a few places!
(Not sure whether I should be happy about species from outside coming in - they can be invasive.. but it is great for me to to have a new "tick") - Here is the distribution map from the NBN gateway.
Ceratochloa carinata (I think)

The second was that due to railworks, part of the trip back was by bus and there were excellent views over the hedges en route over the mid Lune valley.. 

..... But I wonder what the carbon foot print of my journey was -
(Oh it was 5.4 kg  train (4.4k) and 5 (1kg) miles car - 
and I bought a little table lamp to which I planned to attach an LED bulb - the better to look at my grasses with -  - is that another 20 kg carbon equivalent?)

To put it in context - to live an environmentally sustainable life, we should all use no more than an average of  6 kg carbon footprint a day - and the greenest of green people growing organic food etc use 2kg a day on food an probably 1kg a day cooking it.

I must admit with these figures it is sometimes hard to work out whether books are talking about carbon footprint or carbon dioxide equivalent footprint - (1 kg Carbon is equivalent to 3.66kg CO2)

Is this a distraction activity?

And think of the maybe 40% of the world's people who now -through the world use of the internet - can - read this blog and not be able to afford the 26 mile train ticket!

What an amazing wonderful world we live in.

Morning view from the train

Monday 22 April 2013

Easter Day Dawn and Sunday Service - 31 March 2013 Settle - and heron on Ribble

Easter sunday 31 March 2013. Dawn Service at 5.30am

This year we sang to taped music - but Keith is still there!

Breakfast at the Friends' Meeting House

Althea and I then had three hours to fill in till the service at 10.30 at S tJohn's -
so we went for a walk by the Ribble

Heron stretches his/her neck

See Giggleswick School Chapel in the distance - then below using telephoto zoom

Same place, view along the footpath by the Ribble

Decorating the cross at St John's

Searching for Easter eggs outside the church during the sermon

Found one

Best Easter bonnets

Happy Easter Everyone. and Happy 2013.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Ten Secrets of a Bryophytes and Lichens trip to Longridge Fell on April 2013 with the NWNU

and a link to photos of what we saw

This post will tell you about a fun day when lots was achieved in open fresh air surroundings with good company.. Read on.... perhaps you will feel inspired to come on another trip. http://www.northwesternnaturalistsunion.org.uk/

Reading the map before setting off. Sun! Warmth!
1. Longridge Fell, near Clitheroe, is the most southerly  'fell' in Britain (The other high points further south, such as Pendle Hill are are called Hills not Fells).

We parked at Grid Ref  SD664396, Vice County 60.  See route at http://gb.mapometer.com/walking/route_2997152.html 3.63 km (well almost 3 miles with  deviations to find plants) 114 m of ascent., to 310m above sea level.   5 hours for 3 miles.

Longridge Fell Woodland
- we only covered the bottom left corner
2. The habitat is:-
Conifer plantation with clearings, 
Felled conifer plantation, 
Willow and occasional oak beside the track, 
Millstone grit wall, 
and a little wet heath/rush area. 
(The morning was sunny, there was a light shower at lunch time and at 3.30 it started raining more seriously. We were above the Ribble Valley - to the east we could see Pendle, to the west flat lands and shiny white refelection of poly tunnels, and plastic sheeting over young crops. The buds were not yet breaking on deciduous trees - this is about only the third warm(ish) day this spring. We must have walked about 3 miles altogether)

3. We found some COLURA!! (This is a VERY RARE Liverwort - well it was rare about 20 years ago -
As this is the fourth time I have seen it might not be THAT rare any more .. But it may be a new vice couty record. Every time I have been with people who find it we get excited - so I hope you dear reader are excited too.)
Colura calyptrifolia  (Calypra means hood) 
(It is the green clump in the middle. the whole clump is about 5mm across). 
The blue grey discs are part of a lichen called Normandina pulchella 
They look like ascocarps but they are in fact squamules

4. We found Cryphaea growing on a couple of trees- this is not rare but it is very distinctive.
Its primary shoots are tightly appressed to the bark. The secondary shoots are the conspicuous ones,  growing  in parallel with each other and sticking out from the tree branch. The capsules grow on what look like tiny tertiary shoots sticking out from the side.

Cryphaea heteromalla - Lateral Cryphaea

Dimerella lutea - these ascocarps are 2mm across.
5. We found two uncommon lichens: Dimerella lutea and Normandina pulchella (see picture above with Colura) both of which may be new Vice County records.

6. I learned (or revised) several new lichens, especially types of "Parmelia" - "big grey foliose lichens." (Several of the Parmelias have now changed their genus name)

7. The conversation kept repeating itself "This would not have been here 10 years ago".

When we found a plant that  20  years ago would have been very rare here (due to sulphur dioxide pollution/ acid rain) - one of the members would quip "We find that in the centre of Blackpool or we find that behind the gasworks in.. in south Lancashire").. 
So I felt happy to think that that, while, till now my repertoire of "big grey foliose lichens" (for the past 30 years) had consisted predominantly of four species  (P. saxatile, P sulcata, Hypogymnia physodes and  occasionally Hypogymnia tuberosa)  this was not due to my lack of observation - but due to the absence of other species due to acid rain in the past.

9. I found some Klebsormidium crenulatum. ( aka Nuisance alga / green filamentous alga / nitrogen compound loving alga)
Klebsormidium crenulatum
 I probably find it now every time a visit a place with millstone grit walls - but I will record it none the less. This indicates nitrogen oxide /nitrogen compound pollution - This is a reason why some lichens are appearing and taking the place of others.
10. I had a very enjoyable day in good company of participants of the NorthWest Naturalists Union Bryophytes and Lichen Section group http://www.northwesternnaturalistsunion.org.uk/. 50% of whom seemed to be called. Mike. Thank to all

Look at that lichen

Tuesday 9 April 2013

What is the Rainforest Fund Project - at Settle?

What is the Rainforest Fund?

The Rainforest Fund raises money towards protecting rainforest and other irreplaceable habitats -
It was started on 1 Jan 2008 - at St John's Methodist Church Settle, North Yorkshire, and was initially called St John's Methodist Church Rainforest fund but later that year it changed its name to The Rainforest Fund Project.

This is a good thing because other groups in Settle have now raised money for this fund.

The money raised goes to one of three charities (though it could on occasions be used for a charity with a similar purpose): World Land Trust, Cool Earth and A Rocha Ghana.

The aim of the fund is:
  1. To raise money for this vital cause (saving the world's biodiversity and important habitats)
  2. To demonstrate it is a Christian Responsibility to care for God's World
  3. To demonstrate it is a Christian Responsibility to care for the world which is on loan to us from future generations

In 2011 the National Organisation Christian Ecology Link set up a similar project : The Christian Ecology Link Rainforest fund Project - called 100 Churches - by which it is aiming to encourage 100 churches each to give at leas £100 to save  habitat of biodiversity importance. You can see which churches have taken part here
If your church has raised money recently for a project which is saving habitat of biodiversity importance please let CEL know and they can add your church to that list.

This blog has diversified to include topics of nature conservation interest and topics related to St John's Church and the Church Hall - but as with Ecology - many things are interrelated.

Frullania dilatata - Dilated Scalewort in Ingleton churchyard

Only two liverworts have been found (so far) in the churchyard, and this has only been seen in one place - on this tree. (The other liverwort, Lophocolea bidentata, grows on the ground next to the west side of the west tower, and in several other places - )

The Frullania dilatata is reddish brown and is just below the black arrow

This is a close up of the plant on the ash tree above.

Upper drawing: Shoot from above

Lower drawing: Shoot from below. See the 
helmet shaped lobes on the underside of the leaves

Here is a piece of the same Frullania dilatata under the microscope
This is distinguished from other species of Frullania because the helmet shaped lobes are as wide as they are long (whereas other species the helmet shaped lobes (or lobules) are narrower than they are long).

You can read more about Frullania in the:-
BBS Field Guide:- Frullania dilatata

 See more mosses pages in this blog

Monday 8 April 2013

Klebsormidium crenulatum - near Helwith Bridge

This wall is above the road from Helwith Bridge to Wharf and Austwick. The ridge of rock near the skyline is greywacke - a sort of metamorphosed sandstone.
I think this must be its most south-westerly occurrence.
The green alga on the stones in the wall is Klebsormidium crenualatum.   
Taken on 2nd Feb 2013