Thursday 2 June 2016

Wild June 2106 - Day 2

2nd June: Resurfacing the road in Craven.

Well, watching them is an outside activity. And without roads we would find it much harder to access parts of the countryside. So well done to the men doing this hard work.

They "taped over the drain cover. then once the 
road tarrers had gone they peeled of the tape and revealed the cover,

Wild June 2016 - Day 1

Day 1 of Do Something Wild every day in June finds me at Selside helping people from Manchester University carry out research..
1st June - wearing ski jacket, heavy waterproof jacket and leggings under thick trousers
Look at the angle of the grass stems. showed that that night the next morning the apparent temperature was less than 0 degrees due to the wind chill factor.

One of the functions of the experiment is to investigate the effect of drought on vegetation and soils.

Wild-flowers of Malham Tarn talk - 1 June

Almost 400 species of wildflower can be found on Malham Tarn Estate:- 

Out of a total of about 1600-2000 species in Britain, depending on whether you split species such as dandelions, hawkweeds, brambles etc). 

So we have 1/5 to /1/4 the British flora at Malham Tarn.

Malham Tarn - perched over 1000ft above sea level, on the backbone of England, at the water divide 
between the Ribble (going the the west coast), and 
the Aire and the Wharfe going to the East Coast.

J (red waistcoat) showing leaflet after talk
I have made an illustrated leaflet (10 sides apart from front and back cover) showing the wildflowers in bloom in June near the board walk at Malham Tarn Fen, and my talk would include some pictures from these.

Malham Tarn area is an SSSI and a National Nature Reserve and a Ramsar Site and a SAC (Special Area of Conservation  = Site of European importance). I would be able to show people in Settle some of its features.

I would also be able to use the presentation at the long weekend course I am running at Malham Tarn Field Centre on "Wild Flowers" - starting  Fri 3 June.

This is the third year I have held a "Wild flowers talk" at St John's Church Hall, Settle - with the joint aim of
a) raising money for the Rainforest Fund
b) sharing knowledge and enthusiasm about local wildlife and wild places.

The rest of this post is about how the talk went (not the content of the talk)

I did not know how many people to expect. Due to other commitments I had not had time to publicise it in the local paper; Also it clashed with an outdoor Craven Conservation Group Meeting, so one or two people who might have come would be going to that.
But it was featured in the Flowers of the Dales Booklet, and I had put up posters in the usual best places in Settle. And emailed friends on my "Events around Settle" list.

So I turned up at 6.30 with all the equipment and boxes and loaded them into the Large Meeting Room.  I was thinking, "I wonder, if no-one comes, then perhaps I can invite the Line Dancers meeting in the large hall (7.30pm on Wednesdays - excellent fun, exercise and "Trucking" type music)  - to come and watch a short show in their Tea break."

But I was really pleased with how the whole evening went: - So thank you everyone who came:-

1. Two people (on holiday) came very early - which was encouraging - I knew it would run.. there would be people!!

2. In the end there were 14 people.- The was a great size because it meant we were a small enough group for everyone to be introduced to each other, and learn each others names and to have lively conversations amongst each other over coffee afterwards... But big enough to raise a little profit for the rainforest.

Three sets of two people on holiday, including one university student studying conservation.
Two (newish) tutors from Malham Tarn Field Centre
 Four sets of friends/contacts who had learned of it through my "Events around Settle" News email, or through my telling them.

Everyone had been to the Tarn before - in two cases on Field Courses 20 and 50 years ago.

I am grateful to:
1. The Flowers of the Dales booklet and publicity for giving me the incentive to run the talk at all
2. Settle Tourist Office (which is how one set of people found out)
3. The people at St John's who maintain the building, rooms, and facilities enabling me to hold the talk. 
4. The fact that the Digital Projector worked straight off.
5. Modern technology.. meaning that when I emailed the friend the day before to ask if I could borrow the digital projector .. only to discover  that - whoo oh  - she was in Cyprus..  that she told me how to access a key and get the projector from her house.

I sold several of my rainforest cards.  I also sold two copies of "Wildflowers on the Edge", at cost price, having just ordered five copies for the wild flowers course I am teaching at Pateley Bridge.

And we raised (after expenses for hall, tea etc) £50 - which can save half an acre of rainforest!!  Thank you all.

Here is the poster advertising the event:-