Wednesday 7 June 2023

06 June 2023 - Embsay - Churches count on Nature - 30 Days Wild

 St Mary's Church Embsay had organised the firs survey day today- Tuesday 6 June and asked me to go ad help. At 9.30  thirty children from year 3 arrived. Each group of 4 plus a teacher or adult helper were given a 1m quadrat and two clipboards and forms to fill in - one for themselves, one for the church to keep. 

They were to record  Flowers, Grasses, Fungi, "Insects and other invertebrates", Birds, and though no space was provided, also lichens and mosses.

Liz Roodhouse who organised it asked us all as a practice, to stand apart from each other then told us to be silent for two minutes and listen to find out what we could hear.

I heard  the wind, a distant car, rook, woodpigeon, a jcakdaw,  some twittering (later we saw swallows) and a regular huff, huff, huff, huff, huff and could not work out what bird it was.

Later I realised - It was the Embsay Steam engine!!!

Then we split into the seven groups. Again when she rang the bell we stood still and silent for two minutes and listened. This time I also heard Collared dove (United, United) and Greenfinch (Greeeeeeeen)

I was a floater and was supposed to visit all seven groups, but only got round to  5 of them. We were busy examining this insect:- 


When a cry of "biscuits" went out and all the children longed to go back to base.

So we did. Each group reported back a little of what they had found.

Had their biscuits 

and walked back to school.

Liz and the volunteers and I walked round the back of the church. And did some quadrats ourselves.

We found this big spider running across the grass

Liz got out a book and we decided it was a Hunting spider, carrying its egg sack

Several adults arrived in the afternoon and made quadrat records. Two of them were organising their own churchyards to be more wildlife friendly.
We recorded over ten species of grass: Rough Meadow-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Cocksfoot, False Oat-grass, Meadow Foxtail, Red Fescue, Yorkshire Fog, Creeping Soft-grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Rye-grass, and (not in flower) Common Bent.

They had a selection of FSC fold out picture keys, including a newish one on mosses I had not seen before. ) By Martin Godfrey and Sharron Pilkington. They had chosen an excellent selection to put in the leaflet, which were very suitable for this churchyard.

Schistidium crassipilum

Homalothecium lutescens

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