Category Archives: South

Work party invites

Volunteers are needed to help out at three work parties in the Castor area.

The first is on Monday February 3  at Marholm Field Bank, near Castor.
Organiser Mike Horse said: “This is a rare opportunity to come along  when we will be teaming up with Highways England.
“The good work that we did there in 2018 and 2019 needs to have a bit of ‘tweaking’ done, as some of the invasive scrub has now re-emerged, and needs to be taken out.
“There are also small patches of grassland emerging within the wonderful wild flower meadow which we need to cut down and take out before they smother the wildflowers. Naturally we will have to take great care because with all this relatively mild weather we’re having lately the rosettes of the many orchids that flourish here are starting to develop.”
Meet at 10am until 3:30pm (or for as long as you are free). Tea and Coffee provided but please bring along a packed lunch if you can stay all day. Sturdy footwear and weather appropriate clothing is advised, and please bring along your gardening gloves. Email me at mikehorne@langdyke.org.uk if you’re not sure of the details of where to park and meet up.

 

Langdyke is lending a helping hand with the teams from Natural England on Tuesday February 18 at Castor Hanglands National Nature Reserve, where we will be tacking invasive scrub in the Ailsworth Heath area.

It will be a 10am start until 3:30pm. Please use the entrance to Castor Hanglands off the Helpston Road, which is through the double black metal gates and then drive for 400 metres until you reach the NE compound, where the cars will be parked.

Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather, and either wellington boots or walking boots as it may well still be quite wet and muddy. Tea and coffee will be provided, but please bring along some of your favourite homemade sandwiches and two large pieces of cake if you are able to stay with us  all day.’

On Wednesday February 26 , again at Castor Hanglands NNR to support the ‘Back from the Brink’ Butterfly Conservation team.
This work party is  aimed at improving the habitats for many of the butterflies found at the Hanglands
Please use the entrance to Castor Hanglands off the Helpston Road, which is through the double black metal gates and then drive for 400 metres until you reach the NE compound, where the cars will be parked. 10am start until 3:30pm.
Please email mikehorne@langdyke.org.uk if you would like further directions.
Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather, and either wellington boots or walking boots as it may well still be quite wet and muddy. Tea and coffee will be provided, but please bring along a packed lunch if you are able to stay all day.
Don’t forget that there are always work parties going on at our Swaddywell and Etton/Maxey reserves weekly and fortnightly. We would absolutely love it if you found a couple of hours one day to come along and lend a hand.
We’re a friendly bunch, and always finish the session with tea and coffee and cake. If you think it’s something that you could do, please email editor@langdyke.org.uk for further details.

 

 

 

 

Hanglands event called off

Poor weather means this event has been cancelled.

There’s a chance for you to be involved in a project which will bring one of nature’s most beautiful butterflies back from virtual extinction in this country.

The Rockingham Forest ‘Back from the Brink’ project has seen the Chequered Skipper take to the wing in England for the first time in more than 40 years.

Now there are plans to hopefully re-introduce the butterfly back into Castor Hanglands this summer, where the last specimens were seen on the wing in 1973.

Langdyke is looking for volunteers to help with the preparation for this to happen.

There will be a working party on Tuesday, March 12 at Castor Hanglands – designed to help the ‘Back from the Brink’ project team prepare for the reintroduction.

The aim is to start to create suitable conditions for the Chequered Skipper to be re-introduced and thrive.

The work party will be at the Hanglands from 10am until 3.30pm that day.

Anyone wanting to volunteer is advised to make sure they are wearing the appropriate clothing for the weather, sturdy footwear and a pair of gardening gloves. A packed lunch is also advised.

Langdyke trustee Mike Horne is the person to contact if you need more information. You can email him at mikehorne@langdyke.org.uk

Langdyke’s annual meeting last year heard from Roots of Rockingham project officer Susannah O’Riordan about the work that had taken place at Rockingham.

It all started in Belgium, where – after being granted the necessary licence, a team managed to find and collect just a few dozen of the butterflies, and then carefully transported them back to this country.

In May of last year 42 adult Chequered Skipper butterflies were released into Rockingham Forest, and flew in England for the first time in – appropriately enough, 42 years. TV personality and Conservation expert Chris Packham was on hand to witness the reintroduction.

After that a dedicated band of volunteers were on site every day following the release to monitor the behaviour of the butterflies, looking at how far they moved from the release points and seeing if they could observe any egg-laying behaviour.

Only time will tell whether the project is a success and whether similar success can be gained at the Hanglands.

How to get there:

Meet at the Natural England compound in the Hanglands, off Helpston Road. Drive through the double black metal gates and down the track around 400 metres and you will see the wooden buildings in front of you

Chris Packham interview

Chris Packham

TV wildlife expert Chris Packham was at the Rockingham Forest launch. You can watch one of the interviews he gave here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie-eHKPVpsA

 

About Rockingham Forest

Rockingham Forest is a collection of ancient woodlands that once formed William the Conqueror’s favourite hunting forest. It is situated in North East Northamptonshire between Stamford and Kettering.

Happy Birthday – to us!

Pic: Pond Dipping at Swaddywell Pit NR

It is going to be a big year for the Langdyke Countryside Trust in 2019 with special events to celebrate our 20th birthday.

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 in June next year.

Over the weekend of June 28-29  we will be celebrating twenty years of positive local action for nature and heritage across all of our reserves.

More details will be announced in the New Year, so keep watching this site.

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 six 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.

Full details of all of our 2019 events can be found on the website here: