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Watching Out for Nidderdale Wildlife

 

 

The Rivers Nidd, Skell and Washburn tumble through some of the most charismatic landscapes in the Yorkshire Dales and provide a home for an array of wonderful wildlife. This area is the focus of The Wild Watch – a new Yorkshire Wildlife Trust project.

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty recently received a grant of £295,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for The Wild Watch. This visionary new project will involve people running a health check on the wildlife of this important area. It aims to check the ‘health’ of 50 different plants and animals that call Nidderdale home.

Much of Britain’s wildlife has been either lost, or is under threat, for various reasons, including land use and changing climate. The decline of some species is well documented and concerned organisations are taking action to try and reverse the trend. But sometimes, plants and animals start to decline and we only notice when it is too late.

“Many people love Nidderdale for its inspiring landscape and wonderful wildlife”, said Alice Crosby, Wild Watch Project Officer. “But all is not well and we want to take action to help some of the declining species recover. To know where to target our efforts we need help from naturalists, local enthusiasts and residents, so we can build up a picture of what wildlife we have and where it is, a kind of nature audit.”

Alice is planning a series of workshops and events throughout the year to inspire people about Nidderdale’s wildlife and to train people to help with the surveys. “We have had a lot of supportive comments from local naturalists which is a great start”, she said. “I feel that The Wild Watch offers a fantastic opportunity for other people, who have perhaps not done anything like this before but love the area, to get involved too.”

 

 

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RHS Appeal to Transform Grey Front Gardens

 

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is appealing to householders to pull up a paving slab and transform grey front gardens and driveways into usable green spaces.

Millions of people have paved over their front gardens to provide parking space. The down side of this is that it causes localised flooding, misses the opportunity to combat air pollution, and provides a poor environment for birds, bees and other wildlife.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr (Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB) has created a demonstration ‘front garden’, complete with mock house front, to provide people with inspiration and ideas for transforming their front gardens. The garden forms part of the Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’ campaign which aims to encourage people to turn, grey areas into living, planted spaces that can accommodate both cars and plants.

“The statistics on front gardens paint an alarming picture”, said Paul Cook, Harlow Carr’s Curator. “One in three across Britain are completely paved over – that’s five million spaces nationwide that leave no room for plants or wildlife. We’re asking people to re-think their ‘front of house’ and do their bit to reverse this worrying trend.”

For further information, visit www.rhs.org.uk/ggb

 

 

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Dovetailors Take Design Ideas Sky High

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Local furniture makers Dovetailers love the chance to get their creative juices flowing and a new and rather unusual commission for a biplane bench has allowed them to do just that.

They’ve just finished an exciting bespoke design project for a client who is an aeroplane enthusiast and expert. The brief was to design and manufacture two dining table benches in the form of a biplane’s wings.

Dovetailors work closely with clients to ensure that their ideas are brought to life in the best way possible, and this project has been no exception. As well as creating furniture that’s stunning to look at, they also bear in mind durability and style. With seating, comfort and practicality are also considerations.

For this project, they took our initial inspiration from the Sopwith Camel, a British fighter aircraft used in the First World War. As it developed, the design retained the form of the Camel’s wings but the struts were modelled on those of the Pitts Special light aerobatic biplane.

Here, the wing shapes of each biplane bench – which provide the seat and the lower shelf – were made from solid maple. The legs and struts were made from solid sapele, which was also used alongside walnut for the roundel motif.

dovetailors.co.uk

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A Bulb Planting Bonanza at Beningbrough Hall

 

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Beningbrough Hall, a National Trust property between York and Harrogate, is asking visitors to help leave a lasting impression on the garden. Every weekend in September, you can get involved in helping to create the new Ha-ha walk with a bulb planting bonanza.

Creating the new walk is part of a larger garden vision to be implemented by the National Trust, and award winning garden designer Andy Sturgeon has been appointed to develop a ten year plan to evolve the garden.

Beningbrough Hall is celebrating its 300th anniversary and 300,000 bulbs will be planted during the course of the year to mark this milestone. In February, visitors helped to plant around 200,000 snowdrops in the green. The final 100,000 will be planted in September.

 

The Pear Avenue in the Kitchen Garden at Beningbrough Hall, with Monarda "Cambridge Scarlet" (Bergamot), Nepeta (Catmint), Alliums and Alchemilla Mollis (Lady's mantle).

The Pear Avenue in the Kitchen Garden at Beningbrough Hall, with Monarda “Cambridge Scarlet” (Bergamot), Nepeta (Catmint), Alliums and Alchemilla Mollis (Lady’s mantle).

The bulb planting bonanza is suitable for the whole family and gloves will be available for all sizes of hands! The Ha-ha walk will take visitors through a quieter area of the gardens, where the colours change through the year, making the most of the stunning views of Beningbrough’s south parkland through mature trees towards the river.

There will also be art activities, should the weather put a stop to planting, and the restaurant will be serving hot dishes from the Autumn harvest.

The bulb planting bonanza will take place every weekend in September, 10.30am – 5pm. For further information, call 01904 472027 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beningbrough

 

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Green Fingered University Staff & Students Launch Community Garden

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Staff and students at Leeds Trinity University are growing their own fruit and vegetables in a community garden on campus.

Located within the garden of the University’s Enterprise Centre, the plot – which is part of the international Incredible Edible Network – began last month thanks to donations from local businesses and a bit of hands-on gardening from a group of Enterprise users, students and University staff.

Becky Mears from The Travelling Tea Ladies – a seasonal baking business at the Trinity Enterprise Centre – instigated the idea after her work with the Incredible Edible group in Guiseley.

“For my business, it’s so important that I bake with seasonal produce that I’ve picked myself or has been grown locally,” said Becky. “Fruit, vegetables and herbs taste best when they are fresh, in season, and haven’t travelled far – so when I started using an office space at the Enterprise Centre and saw the fantastic garden space outside, it seemed like the perfect place for a community food garden.

“Getting busy outside and seeing things grow is good for your mental wellbeing, and the fact that you then have a free, nutritious source of food is fantastic for health too. As it’s great for the environment too, we’re keen for students and staff to think about where their food comes from, eating seasonally and growing their own food – as well as being involved socially; enjoying being outdoors, picking and cooking delicious, cheap and nutritious meals.”

So far, the team of volunteers have planted herbs, strawberries and chillies, carrots and courgette, tomatoes and broccoli  and blackcurrants.

As part of the monthly planting sessions, The Travelling Tea Ladies have also been baking cakes for the volunteers using produce from the garden – including chocolate mint cupcakes, gooseberry and elderflower muffins, and pistachio and rose cake.

Staff and students at Leeds Trinity are encouraged to contribute to the community garden by planting, watering and picking fruit and vegetables. It is hoped over the next 12 months, more people will join the University’s picking and cooking sessions, and students will take a lead on choosing what to plant for next season.

To get involved with the Incredible Edible garden at Leeds Trinity, like their Facebook page for updates, or contact Phil Williams on 0113 283 7151 or p.williams@leedstrinity.ac.uk.

For more information, visit www.incredibleediblenetwork.org.uk.

 

 

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Broomfield Landscaper Challenge

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The Broomfield Landscaper fundraising challenge was launched recently at York Gate Garden, Adel. The challenge was designed to honour and celebrate the life of Alan Broomfield, a landscaper who lost his battle with cancer last year. His family has been supported by Perennial, a charity that is dedicated to helping horticulturists and their families in times of need.

A group of Alan’s friends and colleagues from Greenspace Solutions, (now GRITIT Ltd), is joining forces to raise money for HortAid, Perennial’s annual appeal. The team hopes to raise £10,000 by completing The Three Peaks, Yorkshire Tough Mudder (Aug), and Yorkshire Marathon (Oct).

“Last year, we lost a close friend and colleague”, said Adam Ralph, Director for GRITIT Grounds Maintenance. “I am determined that this challenge will go some way to honouring his memory. It is our ‘thank you’ to the team at Perennial who have looked after Alan’s family through what has been an incredibly difficult time. It’s reassuring to know that Perennial is there for all those who work in horticulture when things get tough.”

You can support Adam and the team via www.justgiving.com/teams/broomfield-landscaper-challenge

For further information about Perennial and its range of free and confidential services for all horticulturists in times of need, visit www.perennial.org.uk

 

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Community Group Wins Charity Heroes Award

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The Conservation Volunteers’ (TCV) Skelton Grange Environment Centre, has won the TCV Heart of the Community award at this year’s TCV Heroes Awards.

TCV’s Skelton Grange Environment Centre covers ten acres of land including raised vegetable growing gardens, dipping platforms, seating areas and outdoor classrooms. It won the award for its impact on the wider community, including bringing members of the local community together for workshops, seasonal activity days, training and fun events for kids and exploring and maintaining wildlife and the environment.

TCV, a national community volunteering charity, put on the award ceremony to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their thousands of volunteers and employees, as well as celebrate those individuals who have gone above and beyond to create healthy, happy communities for everyone. The ceremony took place at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 27th October, and the awards were presented by TCV’s Chair of Trustees Rita Clifton and President Jonathan Porritt.

“The Skelton Grange staff and volunteer team are delighted to have won the TCV Heart of the Community Award”, said Caroline Crossley, Skelton Grange Operations Leader. “It is great to know that the work we carry out is making a difference to the local community. It was particularly special to collect the award with my colleague Lucy Wheeler, as we have worked together for over twenty years developing Skelton Grange, with our team and local community.

“TCV is a great organisation and we are really lucky to be part of their work to create healthier, happier communities for everyone.”

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Silver Medal for Brewers Yard Garden at Chelsea

Lee Bestall, Gary Verity - Brewers Yard, Chelsea 2015

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Brewers Yard garden has won a silver medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden celebrates the county being home to over 200 micro and independent breweries – more than any anywhere else in the UK.

This year marks Welcome to Yorkshire’s sixth year exhibiting at the famous national flower show, and this year’s silver award continues the tourism agency’s strong annual showing.

‘To be awarded a silver medal at what is without doubt the world’s greatest flower show is an extremely proud moment for everyone,” said Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. “A lot of hard work has gone in to the garden, so to receive this recognition for that hard work is fantastic.’’

Designed by Bestall&Co – based at Renishaw Hall near Sheffield – Brewers Yard tells the story of brewing as it would have been centuries ago, as well as in a more modern era. The garden features an old Yorkshire brewing shed complete with Yorkshire thatch roof, besides elements of a hi-tech microbrewery.

Nicki Chapman presents award - Brewers Yard, Chelsea 2015

“It’s a real thrill to see a piece of my design come to life on a stage as prestigious as this one year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and I’m incredibly proud that the garden has been awarded a silver medal by the judging panel,”  said Lee Bestall, managing director of Bestall&Co. “It’s been a long process between conception and construction, all starting with a visit to Wold Top Brewery last year, so to see it all come together and to have gained this recognition is really special.”

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Brewers Yard garden is in partnership with Wold Top Brewery, run by Tom and Gill Mellor with the brewery located in the Yorkshire Wolds near Driffield.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award at the Chelsea Flower Show is now open, and to vote for Brewers Yard, visit www.yorkshire.com/vote

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Studley Royal Water Garden Shines in the Summer Time

Take in the view from Octagon Tower in the Water Garden, credit Chris Lacey

Well known for its atmospheric 12th century abbey ruins, the National Trust estate of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal is also home to a unique 18th century World Heritage Site garden. Considered to be one of the most spectacular water gardens in England, Studley Royal water gardens are often overlooked by the estate’s visitors, a fact that the Trust would like to remedy this summer with the addition of colourful players and dancers in the gardens.

“Our name sometimes gets shortened affectionately and simply to ‘Fountains’, however that does us a disservice, leaving Studley Royal often overlooked. The water garden is just as worthy of a visit as Fountains abbey itself,” says Visitor Experience Manager, Alexa Morton. “The cascades and canals in the heart of the water garden flow into moon shaped pools set in meticulously-kept lawns, it’s like a scene from an elegant Georgian period drama! Follies and classical statues add the finishing touches, one of which, the rarely-seen Banqueting House, will be open on weekends this summer with talks on selected days. We’ll also be hosting colourful players, dancers and stilt-walkers on weekend afternoons which we’re really excited about, so visitors will feel like they’ve stepped back in time to be entertained by these lively characters.”

"The Aristocrats"

“The Aristocrats”

The changing programme of summer entertainment includes The Aristocrats who will be stilt-walking their way around the gardens parading their Georgian fashions, the High Falutin Trio in character as Lord, Lady and maid of the manor, as well as two lavishly dressed Restoration Ladies bestowing visitors with beauty spots. Spot the difference between stone statues and living ones, and learn a ‘Cotillon’ or a ‘Quadrille’ with the Arbeau Dancers. Children can enjoy traditional garden games, dressing up and learn to play the ‘Game of Graces’ too.

Arbeau Dancers

Arbeau Dancers

There are paths and trails throughout the 800 acre estate, with benches to sit back and admire the views in the gardens and some wonderful picnic spots too. Follow the high ride path to surprise view, discover dramatic vistas from Octagon Tower, and call into Studley tearoom for an afternoon tea or light lunch.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey/

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Skelton Grange Volunteers Undertake Wildlife Project

Skelton Grange Biffa pond

The Conservation Volunteers Green team is carrying out a range of practical tasks to improve the urban nature area for wildlife and for visitors at Skelton Grange Environment Centre.

This work is part of the Skelton Grange Wild Area project (supported by a grant of £16,635 from Biffa Award), which aims to improve the experience of visitors to the wildlife area. Volunteers have already carried out almost 150 days of work – improving access routes, installing new mushroom seats in a woodland classroom, and learning to use traditional scythes to manage the wildflower meadows.

“The work we do with the Green Team will make a real difference to the children who visit the centre, as well as the wildlife that lives here”, explained project officer Toby Roberts. “It’s also been a fantastic opportunity for people to learn new skills – learning to use a scythe has been a real highlight!”

The Green Team volunteer days take place every Friday. The group is open to adult volunteers of any level of experience, and sessions are led by experienced leaders who support and train new volunteers in the skills to improve the site for wildlife and visitors.

For more information, please contact 0113 2430815, skelton@tcv.org.uk, or www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange/volunteering

 

 

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