Category Archives: Events

Fancy a Fungal foray?

The Langdyke Fungal Foray has become an unmissable annual walkabout.

So there are likely to be plenty of participants for this year’s event on  Sunday,  October 6.

Leader David Cowcill says the journey – through either Southey Woods or Castor Hanglands  – will depend on weather and what delights may be on view.

If you would like to attend then you  will need to meet at Southey Woods Car Park for a 1.30 prompt start. The guided walk is free to members.  Flootwear appropriate to the weather conditions is advised.

Vision for nature event images

Here are just a few images of the main speakers at our great vision for nature event – the culmination of Langdyke’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Photos by Brian Lawrence

Visit to Bainton Heath

There is another opportunity to visit the unique Bainton Heath which is not open to the public.

A guided walk on Sunday, July 21 will give you the chance to see the unique content of this site, which includes a small wood and a large pond.

It is a former landfill site filled entirely with fly ash from northern coal-fired powerstations and the railways in the 1960s.

As a result many species of moss and lichen grow there which are not natural to Cambridgeshire – but are more northerly species.

The landfill area has grown over with dense scrub to the north gradually thinning out to open grassland in the south with some bare patches with lichens growing directly on the fly ash.

It is surrounded on three sides by mature mixed woodland with a good variety of large trees and shrubs.

It is currently the home of National Grid and supports two electricity distribution systems and a sub-station. Ironically, the tall pylons have become a home for wildlife.

As a result it is not open to the public and visits can only be made there for events like this one.

If you would like to take part please meet at the Torpel site at 2pm.  The plan is to drive from there to Bainton in as few cars as possible.

Friday evening at Torpel

A performance of Romeo and Juliet, music, morris dancing and poetry renditions are just some of the highlights of Friday’s Langdyke 20th anniversary celebrations at Torpel Manor Field.

The Lamphouse Theatre Suitcase Shakespeare presentation of Romeo and Juliet is likely to be one of the key highlights of the evening.

Romeo and Juliet

 

The event – the first of two over the weekend- is between 6pm and 9pm on the Torpel site at the edge of Helpston.

The plan is to enjoy a summer’s evening on the site of Roger de Torpel’s Norman manor house with music, drama, poetry and Morris dancing.  Bring a picnic and something to sit on.  We will be providing some drinks in return for donations – beer, wine and soft drinks.

The programme for the evening in the paddock area around the Cabin is subject to change, but will run something like this:

6pm Opening of event  

6-9pm Refreshments and bring your own picnic

6-9pm Langdyke exhibition

6-8pm Arts workshop  (members only) in  the cabin

6-630pm Music with Dave Maylor

630-7pm Morris Dancing

7pm Guided walk of Torpel, tour of meadow

7-720pm Poetry with Kealey Mills and friends

720-750pm Music with Dave Maylor

8- 820pm Poetry with Kealey Mills and friends Cabin area 

820pm- Romeo and Juliet extracts

9pm Close

Please note; Parking is restricted, with some spaces at the Helpston Garden Centre, but access to the field is strictly on foot (or by bike).

If you come by car, you will need to park either at the garden centre or in the village and walk up to the reserve, entering along through the pedestrian gate off King Street.

There are toilets on site.

Saturday at Etton-Maxey

There will be something for all age groups at Saturday’s open day at Etton-Maxey reserve – the second day of this weekend’s activities to make Langdyke’s 20th anniversary.

The event, starting at 2pm and finishing at 5pm has a  a particular focus on family activities.

Attractions  include arts workshops, nature trails, bug hunts, pond-dipping and guided walks and exhibitions of fossils, some of which have been found on the site during earlier gravel extractions. There might even be a dinosaur (but only in mascot form).

Pyramidal orchid, one of many at the Etton-Maxey reserve, photographed by Brian Lawrence

And, of course, there are the many nature attractions on the site including hundreds of orchids.

Tarmac, who are sponsoring the event, will also be on hand to show how the reserve has come about following the company’s work there over the years. They are also bringing along a giant loader machine with prizes for guessing its weight.

 

The weather forecast for the weekend is for high temperatures.  There will be limited supplies of drinks, so you are advised to perhaps bring along some water (no single use plastic bottles please) and sunscreen.  Toilets will be on site.

The site can be reached by driving through Etton village on the main road towards Maxey.  Go past Etton church, over a bridge and then follow the road until you reach the site which will be signposted.

There is parking on site, through the gates off the road between Etton and Maxey (see map for details of the reserve). Please take care when you arrive at the site because there may be children making their way from the parking area.  A 5mph speed limit will be in force.

Finally, as part of our Langdyke Stories project we encourage you all to think of an object that reminds you of our local countryside and particularly the Langdyke reserves and bring this – or a photo of it – along to the Saturday event.  We will be publishing a collection of these images in our 20th anniversary book. Langdyke Stories is funded by the Peterborough Community Fund and organised by Art Pop-Up.

Map drawn by Peter Leverington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timings for Saturday are subject to change, but the plan is:

Bee Orchid, pictured by Brian Lawrence

2pm Opening of event
2-4.30pm Arts workshops in the main marquee
2-3pm Building a bug hotel
2-3.30pm Sweep netting
3.30-5pm Bug hunting
2-3.30pm Pond dipping
2-5pm Bird-identification 230pm and 330pm Guided walks Start from welcome table
4pm Nature treasure hunt from the Wildlife Trust stand
2-5pm Pop up poetry
2-5pm Wildlife Trust display
2-5pm Tarmac display
2-5pm Langdyke Trust display
2-5pm Fossil exhibition
2-5pm Museum of objects exhibition
5pm All events and stands close.

Heritage event in pictures

Langdyke had its own stand at the Peterborough Heritage Festival in the city centre.

The festival is the UK’s largest multi-period city centre living history  festival.

Langdyke volunteers – suppporting Artist in residence Kathryn Parsons – spent two days welcoming people, chatting about the trust and its work.

Here are some of the photos of the event taken by trustee and treasurer Brian Lawrence.

Kathryn Parsons with some of the artwork
David Cowcill welcoming visitors

Glow worms, lichen and Clare

Two fascinating nature reserves feature in Langdyke’s programme of events for July together with a walk in the footsteps of John Clare.

On Friday, July 12 you can join the search for glow worms around the Barnack Hills and Holes.  The reserve provides a great spot for catching a view of the little creatures.

The glow worm is not actually a worm, but a beetle. Males look like typical beetles, but the nightly glow of a female is unmistakeable – lighting up to attract a mate in the darkness of their grassland habitats.

To take part in this event please meet in the car park at the entrance to the reserve off Wittering Road, Barnack at 9pm. It is a good idea to take a torch.

On  July 14  ‘A Walk with John Clare’ will give you the opportunity to stroll along in the footsteps of the poet John Clare and learn about the landscape that featured in his poetry.

John Clare by William Hilton, oil on canvas 1820

This is a unique Langdyke joint event with the John Clare Society and John Clare Cottage and sets off at 1pm on the Sunday afternoon of the John Clare Festival in Helpston.

The five mile guided walk around the Helpston area will be led by Carry Akroyd of the John Clare Society and Langdyke’s David Cowcill.

The programme includes an introduction to Clare’s life and works with readings appropriate to the places he visited and commentary on the countryside he loved.

It includes a cream tea at the John Clare Cottage with the opportunity to undertake an audio tour of the cottage and gardens..

Places are strictly limited and bookings will be made on a first come, first-served basis and the cost per person is £9 – payable on the day. To find out more (including joining instructions) and to book your place, please contact Simon Bysshe by emailing sby121@btinternet.com  or ringing 01733 253164. Sorry: But this event is now fully booked.

On Sunday , July 21 there is another opportunity to visit the unique Bainton Heath (pictured, top) which is not open to the public.

A guided walk will give you the chance to see the unique content of this site, which includes a small wood and a large pond.

It is a former landfill site filled entirely with fly ash from northern coal-fired powerstations and the railways in the 1960s.

As a result many species of moss and lichen grow there which are not natural to Cambridgeshire – but are more northerly species.

The landfill area has grown over with dense scrub to the north gradually thinning out to open grassland in the south with some bare patches with lichens growing directly on the fly ash.

It is surrounded on three sides by mature mixed woodland with a good variety of large trees and shrubs.

It is currently the home of National Grid and supports two electricity distribution systems and a sub-station. Ironically, the tall pylons have become a home for wildlife.

As a result it is not open to the public and visits can only be made there for events like this one.

If you would like to take part please meet at the Torpel site at 2pm.  The plan is to drive from there to Bainton in as few cars as possible.

The bridge at Bainton Heath: Photo by David Cowcill

See us at heritage festival

Langdyke has its own stand at this weekend’s Peterborough Heritage Festival in the city centre on Saturday and Sunday.

The festival is the UK’s largest multi-period city centre living history  festival.

The Langdyke stand  will be in the Vivacity unit in Queensgate opposite the McDonalds entrance and right next to Cathedral Square where the main event is centred.

The theme of the main event this year is’Victorians’ marking 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria.

What’s happening at the LCT stand?

Langdyke volunteers – suppporting Artist in residence Kathryn Parsons – will be welcoming people, chatting about the trust and its work.

On view will be photo boards and information leaflets and flyers designed to encourage people to join the Trust.

Another key aim is to promote the Langdyke Museum of Objects book, due to be published at the annual meeting, full of memories about connections between nature and the people who visit the countryside. People are being encouraged to bring in objects so they can be photographed for the book.

Kathryn is running a drop-in workshop so people can come and add to our community artwork.  Everyone that adds to the artwork will get an invitation to our Saturday June event and if they come to the annual meeting they will get a free copy of the anniversary book.

A couple of poets will also be calling in to to read their poetry that relates to Langdyke countryside/nature

More details about the Peterborough Heritage Festival at https://vivacity.org/heritage/peterborough-heritage-festival-2019/

 

Two big birthday events

Plans for Langdyke’s 20th birthday celebrations later this year are progressing well.

The celebration programme includes a series of events designed to appeal to anyone who has an interest in the countryside around where they live.

And many of the happenings are aimed directly at giving the whole family a chance to enjoy time together in the countryside.

The highlight of the programme is a 20th anniversary weekend of events over the weekend of Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29.

We will be celebrating twenty years of positive local action for nature and heritage at our reserves and in the countryside surrounding them.

On the Friday our celebrations will centre around an evening festival at Torpel Manor Field on the outskirts of Helpston.

Between 6 and 9pm there will be music, poetry and nature and art workshops.  You are encouraged to bring your own picnic and enjoy a summer’s evening (weather permitting!) on a very special site.  The event is free to members with a small charge for non-members.

On the Saturday the fun moves to the Etton Maxey Pits Nature Reserve where between 2pm and 5pm there will be a variety of family events including pond-dipping, bug hunting, art workshops and nature trails. It’s free to members and all children.

More details will be announced soon, so keep watching this site.

What is Langdyke about?

Some observers have commented that Langdyke is an organisation just for bird watchers.  Not so.

The reserves it maintains and events it promotes for members – and non-members – gives everyone the chance to engage with nature in whatever form they want.

Whether it’s a family walk in the countryside, a summer picnic with wildlife, a chance to explore nature close up or the opportunity to burn off some of those calories by joining a countryside working party – there is something on offer for everyone.

Founded in 1999, Langdyke now manages seven nature reserves – a total of 180 acres of land – has more than 300 household members and even its own flock of sheep.

It is a purely voluntary organisation committed to making a difference to the countryside around us all.

Trust chairman Richard Astle, who lives in Helpston, wrote in the recent annual report: “We want to live in an area where nature is at the heart of our lives. Where swifts and swallows are a central feature of our summer evenings, where otters continue to enthral people as they play in the Maxey Cut, where bees and other insects thrive, not decline, and where there are far more, not less, ponds, meadows, wild flowers, hedgerows and trees.”

Although the organisation’s membership is thriving there is always room for more.  Anyone interested in joining can make contact through this website or the Langdyke Facebook page.

There is also the chance to get your hands dirty and make direct contact with nature by joining one of the working parties which meet weekly at Swaddywell and fortnightly at the Etton/Maxey reserves. They involve helping with a variety of tasks (the work isn’t back-breaking), making new friends and having a chat over a cuppa with like-minded people. There are also working events at Castor Hanglands and Barnack Hills and Holes.

You can usually find details of forthcoming working parties on the Langdyke Countryside Trust Facebook page.