Thursday 17 October 2019

Rainforest Fund Coffee Morning Tue 5 Nov 2019 - All welcome

Thank you to all who supported our 2019 Rainforest Fund Coffee Morning at St John's 10am-noon
We made, rounding things off: £125 from the coffee and £45 from the cards - total £170
The picture is a little "atmospheric" due to using the camera
which was very cold straight away in a warm room.

If we can raise £100 that will buy 1 acre of Rainforest in South America through World Land Trust.. (A local Trust run by the local people then manages the land as forest, rather than cutting it down)

How much is 1 acre?
1 acre = Settle Market place incl. Town Hall and Shambles
1 acre = Whitefriars car park plus garage

£100 = The cost of two pairs of trainers - or one pair if you get expensive ones. (How is one acre that cheap?!!)

(Orang utan rainforest in Borneo costs much more
than this)

If we could raise £200 it would be great.

Saturday 5 October 2019

Prayer Flags on the Climate & Species Extinction Emergency

There is a climate emergency.

On the 20th September people in Settle put up Climate Flags in Settle Market Place to mark the Global Climate Strike.. and answering the question "how do you feel about Climate Change (and Species Extinctions.). 

They are now on display in St John's Church Hall. I will be sending most of them to London to be used on the Faith Bridge at Extinction Rebellion from Monday 7th.

On Sunday 22nd at St John's Settle in our Morning Service we had a Christening. In the Service we made prayer flags, with prayers thinking about how the world will be for the baby when he grows up - indeed in 90 years time.

Rev Tim Broughton used the idea with the group he meets at Settle College and they made some more.

On the 20th September people in Settle put up Climate Flags in Settle Market Place to mark the Global Climate Strike.. and answering the question "how do you feel about Climate Change (and Species extinctions.)

On Sunday 22nd at St John's Settle in our Morning Service we had a Christening. In the Service we made prayer flags, with prayers thinking about how the world will be for the baby when he grows up - indeed in 90 years time.

Here are pictures of some of the flags


Email me if you would like some higher resolution pictures..

If you are going to make flags yourself I would recommend using a permanent marker pen and having something waterproof to rest on underneath it. Fewer large words make them more readable...

See this website for flag making instructions

This is the text in the Craven Herald

Judith Allinson of Langcliffe writes:

Big Events were held around the world and in Leeds and London on Friday 20 September - so we were pleased that Settle had its very own event too.

I set up a table early in the morning (well 11am) (on the cobbles on the north side of the Market Place beside the closed bank and sign "Edward Elgar often came here")  with the equipment to make flags. Prayer flags - or campaign flags according to text. The flags are just over 20 by 20cm in dimension and made out of cloth of plain colour, mostly obtained from our three charity shops (SCAD, AGEUK and Swimming Pool). People responded to the question "How do you feel about climate Change" by choosing a colour and writing on the flag with a permanent marker.  We pegged them onto string to display them.

A friend of mine is involved with a group called "Christian Climate Action" and will be helping at Extinction Rebellion Events in London in October. One of the bridges they hope to block will by organised by groups from different faiths - called the Faiths Bridge, and they are asking for such "Prayer flags" to be sent there.

At 1pm a group of people arrived for our "official climate strike" time between 1pm and 2pm. (See photo)
I stood on a chair and explained about the flags, and asked individual people to make themselves known.
Sarah Wiltshire stood up and told people about ACE Settle (email   Action on Climate Emergency Settle and District)
Andy Brown our Green Councillor and Green Parliamentary Candidate stood up and told us about the need for a climate strike, and about all the activity that had been taking place in Skipton earlier that morning. Lots of school children including the Montessori school had been in Skipton, and some children singing and others making speeches.

After the Settle "big crowd" left at 2pm I stayed on with the help of two more people, encouraging more people to write flags. It was really good hearing individual people's ideas as they filled in the flags. One friend arrived who had been at the Leeds Strike earlier that day. She said there were thousands of people there. At 3.45 pm a  few school children wrote flags

The flags are now displayed on the wall in St John's Methodist Church Hall, where over 250 hall weekly users will see them.

On Sunday 22 Sept, our minister Revd Tim Broughton used the idea in the christening service at St Johns Methodist Church, Settle, enabling the congregation with all the guests and children to write down their prayers on them.

It was meaningful that we were promising to look after this baby boy Toby Allen - and thinking what will the world be like for him in 90 years time?
And how can we try and reduce climate change and species loss.

Tim Broughton played a short video fronted by David Attenborough, saying how much quicker climate change is taking place than he had expected. It included a clip of Mike Berners-Lee who had talked to us in this very room in May about points covered in his book "There is no planet B".

Tuesday 1 October 2019

YNU - Leeds University MSc Field Skills Training Day at St Chads, Leeds 2019: Lichens, Spiders, Seaweeds, Snails - AND FUNGI

Forty eager students arrive at Leeds for the first day of their  MSc Ecology course

. to be introduced to natural history by real live naturalists..

in St Chad's Parish Centre, Leeds - 25 Sept 2019 

(See also 2018 event and 2016 event) 
Walks in the churchyard and nearby will reveal hidden surprises

A team of members of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union, each a specialist or enthusiast in their own topic, have arrived with books,  specimens, toothbrushes and experience as necessary

- prepared to lead a group of four students out into the wilds in the near environs of Leeds and show them the secrets of their wildlife group.
This group will be looking at insects, including bees.  Last year  this group and videoed a bees nest.

This is the fourth year I have led a group looking at lichens, and I am joined by Eva, Mark, Tamsyn and Nicole.

The tree outside St Chad's provides seven species for us to find.

Today, with all the recent rain,
 the Xanthoria parietina looks green rather than yellow.  After this we will go and look in the Churchyard.

Near the foot of the tree is a circular patch of Lecanora muralis. now in the photo I also see Xanthoria ucrainica (yellow) and Phaeophyscia orbicularis

The cement blocks at the roundabout provide a variety of Caloplacas and Lecanora dispersa

On the lawn in the church grounds we find a big brownish waxcap - Any suggestions?  Hygrocybe irrigata?  It did not look orange enough for the meadow waxcap or pink enough for the ballerina (which I did find later) 

This gravestone with Porpidia tuberculosa is getting overgrown with vegetation.

Porpidia tuberculosa - Here's the same tombstone in 2016

Meanwhile Geoff Oxford is out searching for Spiders. The members of his group each have a Colgate Electric sonic toothbrush - these vibrate with the same frequency as a fly's wings.. so spiders come out expecting to catch a fly.

Inside, each group had a session with the North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre learning how natural history records can be collected and shared. Clare and Mark still gong strong!

The seaweeds group is looking at fresh seaweeds brought in from the East Coast

We finish at 4pm 

The day after next the students will go to Malham Tarn Field Centre for a couple of days. A good way to start their course.

I hope some will consider joining, or at least finding out more about, the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union.

The church has won awards for its nature conservation activities.
I call in to see the new vicar.

I am delighted when she offers to show me a Collared Earthstar. (See end of blogpost)
I have not seen one before.

We go round the churchyard. She shows me to an almost scarlet Orange Peel Fungus 

How come I had walked past it with my four students?

Perhaps it just looked like confetti sprinkled amongst the artificial flowers on the grave. 

Dancing through the grass are three Ballerinas

I find a ripe fig on the ground beside the fig tree

Bolbitius vitelliinus - The Yellow Fieldcap now known as Bolbitius titubans

Weeping Widow - Lacrymaria lacrymabunda

Weeping Widow - Lacrymaria lacrymabunda

Weeping Widow - Lacrymaria lacrymabunda

And finally -- the collared Earthstar

Why not have a look in your local churchyard?

Find out if their is a fungus group near you.
Here is the website of the Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group