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.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Leaflet part 7: how to write a biodiversity leaflet - Making posters from the leaflet - and testing it at our house-group

Back to Part 1  (Intro).
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

I had been invited to take my draft leaflets to the Planning meeting before Green Christian's Annual Members Meeting in London.
So that they could consider funding it.

I suspected that the planning meeting would be likely to run of time to do the leaflets justice - so I decided to make some posters using my new A3 laminator.

I made four posters, blowing up the columns to almost fit A3.
Two columns from the fronts of the leaflets,
one from the column promoting the "Rainforest Fund"  ..  and
one listing the "ten practical steps to do something"

"People can look at these and think about the topic .. and maybe buy some cards at the annual members meeting" I thought

The experiment was a success in that I learned from it.

 I learned that the only word that could be read from a distance was "Wildlife"
Everything else was a blur from a distance and thus a total waste of print.

No one bought any cards.
(There was too much else going on at the meeting)
I came home, and enlarged the words "Rainforest Fund" on the back of the leaflet.

Really though, the poster needs to be A1 size, not A3 size to be viewed from a distance.
(And my printer is capable of this, with glue and paste, though not my laminator).

Still I do already have a separate poster for the Rainforest Fund


On Wednesday I went to my House group

I had the aim of asking if we could use the leaflets as a basis for discussion
one evening early next year.

However as number were depleted that night,
and there were just four of us
they decided to look at the leaflets there and then,

which was great.

I have incorporated two or three of their suggestions into the leaflet.

Since then I put up three of the posters in our church hall in January.

They look a bit serious. and preachy. (but more readable than just pinning up a couple of triptych leaflets)

Here is Oli the Octopus at Messy church in January giving a sense of scale to the posters.

Back to Part 1  (Intro).
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


Monday 12 January 2015

Water level in the Ribble near Langcliffe

Water level at Locks Wier, Langcliffe site 5086 

Below graph from Shoothill Guage Map of Locks Wier

(When I made this page,  on 12 Jan at 9.30am  the level was 38cm below maximum. (Last week it rose to I think 9 cm below maximum)

Tuesday 6 January 2015

2015- BSBI New Year Plant Hunt - Settle -

Below is the account of my walk on 4 Jan 2015
Wild flowers in flower within site of St John's Methodist Church Spire... and just beyond
Posted on 6 Jan 2015.
 (See also accounts for 2016 Plant Hunt on 1st Jan and 2017 Plant Hunt at Settle on 1st and 2nd Jan)

1. Ivy-leaved Toadflax
The BSBI New Year Pant Hunt challenged people to record as many plants in flower as possible in a 3 hour walk between 1 Jan and 4 Jan.

In the countryside few wild plants are in flower,  I knew weeds were most likely to have flowers, so the best place to search in our area would be inside Settle itself.

2. Groundsel
So on Sunday 4th Jan 2015 after church, I toddled along in my best boots, and Christmas Tree Coat searching for wild flowers. Toddled- my legs would hardly bend after yesterday's exertions.  (Later I exchanged these for more serviceable trainers, purple ski jacket and white woolly hat).

3. Annual Meadow-grass
In fact you could call this first section "Wild flowers in flower within site of St John's Church Spire."

In a year's time this spire will not longer be here - as we are planning to build a new church next to the church hall on the other side of the road. And this church will be replaced by houses. So  hey ho, enjoy the view of the spire whilst it lasts.

1. Ivy-leaved Toadflax on a wall.

2. Groundsel.
You can see St John's Church Spire in the background

Some garden plants -
 I asked permission to go in the garden opposite
3. Annual Meadow Grass

4. False Oat-grass

4. False Oat-grass

5. Lady's-Mantle- Alchemilla mollis

5. Lady's-Mantle- Alchemilla mollis

5.a. Wood Aven- Oh that's only in fruit and does not count.

6. French Crane's-bill again-
with our church spire in the background
6. French Crane's-bill -
This is a garden escape and
may not count (Geranium endressi)

6a - Red Valerian - but it is a garden escape so I won't count it.
5. Lady's-Mantle- Alchemilla mollis
6. French crane's-bill

I walked to the river and a Dipper flew under the bridge.
But no extra wildflowers there. 
I walked along Craven Terrace, now out of sight of the spire

8. Dandelion

7. Common chickweed

9. Petty Spurge

10. Flexuous Bitter-cress

11. Procumbent Pearlwort

Somewhere I passed Welsh Poppy in a garden-- that is a sort of weed.

12. Welsh Poppy.

I called in at Booths briefly and warmed up.

One year a while back I had found seven weeds in flower in the soil of the flower bed in front of the Social Club in January. but the next year they covered it with wood chip. Baah.  I visited it but found nothing new for my walk.

I visited the flower bed beside the road at the entrance to Greenfoot Car park where one month earlier I had seen Geranium sanguinium - Bloody Crane's-bill - in flower - but it was definitely finished now.

However on the way back in some cobbles I found a Speedwell at last. It was Veronica agrestis - Green Speedwell.

13. Green speedwell

13. Green Speedwell

14.Sticky Mouse-ear-chickweed

15. Petty Spurge

15. Petty Spurge near the Coop

16. Shepherd's purse -
I saw quite a few shoots
 but this was the only one in flower 

17. Daisy -  in the Anglican churchyard

18. Ivy

I had seen lots of ivy, but this was the
first still in flower - you can see the anthers.
And framing a good view of the church

17. Daisy. Now a daisy in the lawn of st John's Church

18. Wallflower (The orange flower at the top of the picture)
in St John's churchyard. See I have the spire towering above.
Yes it's a garden plant - but it is only just in flower, and deserves recording. And it is in the BSBI atlas, presumably as naturalised

So with six flowers in the beginning section and three at the end that comes to nine. And nine more just a little further away. Not bad for 4th January.

2017 post script - having seen how Red Valerian is spreading in much of Upper Settle, andit is good for Humming bird Hawkmoths.. I am now counting that as "wild". So the total is 19.