Category Archives: Events

Harriet our next guest

Wildlife artist Harriet Mead is to be Langdyke’s next online guest as part of the popular fortnightly  In conversation with … series.

Harriet Mead – Photo: Brian Lawrence

Harriet – who is the President of the Society of Wildlife Artist – is famous for her work using animals and birds as her subjects.

She will be chatting online with Langdyke chair Richard Astle next Wednesday, July 29 at 5pm using the Zoom conferencing system. You can find details of how to log on are at the bottom of this story.

She says on her website: “Animals and birds are the inspiration for my work.  From an early age I developed a keen interest in wildlife due to the influence of my late father, Chris Mead, who was a well known author and broadcaster.

“His passion for birds and nearly forty years of research, and latterly publicity for the British Trust for Ornithology gave me an appreciation of the natural beauty of birds and animals.

“From an early age I was encouraged to observe British wildlife and was fortunate to have cats, dogs and horses to watch, draw and enjoy.  I have used personal experience and observation to provide the subject matter for my work and have traveled to various places around the world, including Asia and Africa.”

Harriet uses steel to create her sculptures because she says it enables her to capture the movement of the subject and balance the pieces in a way that would be impossible using a more traditional material.

She adds: “I try very hard to capture the essence of the animal without sentimentality and use the steel in a sympathetic way to outline the strength and muscle structure of the subject.  I want to capture something of the quiet presence of an animal and not necessarily the drama.  I use scrap steel as the rust creates a wonderful organic surface sympathetic to the subject.”

Most of her larger work is made using sheet steel with scrap pieces incorporated for details.  These sculptures are often life sized and are sometimes mistaken for bronzes or even the real thing.

You can join the online conversation by clocking on this link: or copying the following into your browser

You do not need to download any software and the session will not be open until just before 5pm on Wednesday.

A dragonfly sculpture by Harriet Mead
Photo: Brian Lawrence

Time Team expert is guest

A leading member of the hugely popular Time Team archaeology programme  is our next online guest speaker.

A conversation with Francis Pryor will take place on Wednesday, July 15 at 5pm using the Zoom conferencing platform.

Francis will no doubt be asked about his work as the lead archaeologist on the ‘dig’ at the site of what is now Langdyke’s Etton Maxey Pits nature reserve.

His work has seen him excavate several major sites, mostly in the Fens.

As he explains in a blog on his website: “I’ve tried to bring archaeology to a wider audience, with a number of books, radio and television programmes, of which Time Team is the best known.”

When not writing or digging, Francis is also a sheep farmer and keen gardener. He has a farm in the area.

His love of the Fens – together with his work excavating sites across the area – is the subject of a recent book The Fens – Discovering England’s Ancient Depths.

He is an expert in the Bronze and Iron Ages in Britain , his most famous discovery being the Flag Fen site on the outskirts of Peterborough.

He was awarded an MBE in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to tourism.

To join the online conversation with Francis you can click here or paste this into your browser

You do not need to download any new software.  Please note that the link will not work until the session starts at 5pm on July 15.

Annual meeting is online




The Langdyke annual meeting – postponed earlier this year because of the Coronavirus lockdown – is to be held as an online event on Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm.

Access to the meeting will be via the Zoom conferencing system.  The link for the meeting, which is only open to members,  is here:

All members have to do to attend is click on the link. You do not need to download any software.  Please note the link will not be active until 5pm on the day of the meeting.

If you have not seen the annual review for 2019 you can download a copy from the website here 

In the meantime, Treasurer Brian Lawrence has an important message about business at the meeting in relation to the election and re-election of Trustees.

  • He writes:

    “Under the new scheme of governance set up when the Langdyke Countryside Trust became a registered charity there is a Board of Trustees, responsible for managing the Trust, including deciding what the Trust should be doing and how it should spend the money it raises. Although there can be up to twelve trustees on the Board, we currently have three vacancies for new trustees. Trustees are elected by the whole membership at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and serve, initially, for a three year period. They are eligible to seek re-election by the AGM at the end of their period in office. At the forthcoming AGM three trustees will be retiring, although two have agreed to seek re-election. However, we are looking to strengthen the representation of members on the Board of Trustees and are therefore looking for volunteers to step forward to serve as trustees.”What is involved in being a Trustee?
    All trustees sit on the Main Board of the Trust which meets six times throughout the year, normally every other month. Trustees also normally sit on one of the two programme committees, Conservation or People and Communities, or they sit on one of the Area Groups which cover the four areas in which the Trust works. These normally meet in the intervening months. The Main Board is the major decision making body for the trust setting the direction and objectives  as well as its policies, major procedures and budget for the programme committees and area groups to work to.  The most important functions of Trustees is to help set the direction of work and the objectives of the Trust. This is done through setting management plans, policies and by approving an annual budget to indicate how the resources of the Trust will be used in the forthcoming year. However, as Langdyke Countryside Trust has no staff and is run entirely by volunteers, trustees do get involved with the day-to day activities of the Trust. These could involve helping to arrange working parties on Trust reserves, organising events, such as meetings, or walks and other similar activities.
    If you would like further details about the duties and obligations of a Trust please see the excellent publication ‘The Essential Trustee” on the Charity Commission’s website here Who is eligible to be a Trustee?
    You must be a member of the Trust, with your subscription lfully paid at the time of the AGM, and you must be least 18 years old to be a trustee of  Langdyke Countryside Trust. You must also be interested in the objectives and work of the Trust. You must be properly appointed following the procedures. You must not act as a trustee if you are disqualified, unless authorised to do so by a waiver from the Charity Commission. The reasons for disqualification are: 
    • being bankrupt (undischarged) or having an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) 
    • having an unspent conviction for certain offences (including any that involve dishonesty or deception) 
    • being on the sex offenders’ register.

    If you have any doubt about your eligibility you can contact Brian Lawrence (Hon. Treasurer) or read the notes on automatic disqualification guidance for charities, published on the Charity Commission’s website, which explains the disqualification rules in more detail. 
    if you would like to volunteer to become a Trustee you will need to get your completed nomination form to Brian Lawrence (email : by Monday July 20If you would like to consider becoming a trustee, you can discuss it further with either the Chair of the trust, Richard Astle, at or the Treasurer, Brian Lawrence, at, who will  answer any queries and explain the nomination procedure.

Kathryn’s art goes online

You can savour the beauty of Langdyke’s reserves as part of an online art exhibition over the next few weekends.

The Trust’s artist in residence Kathryn Parsons is holding a virtual open studio event on three Saturdays –  June 27 and  July 4 and 11.

You can view a video she has made to coincide with the first day here

Details of the events in general can be found on Facebook at

Kathryn Parsons

Kathryn explains here how she intends to beat the lockdown restrictions by taking her Open Studio online and how you can join her ‘virtually’ this year …


At this time of year, I’m normally putting in place final preparations for the Langdyke Countryside Trust’s Open Day, followed by two weekends of Peterborough Artists’ Open Studios … obviously things are rather different this time around. 

So, rather than miss out on sharing what I’ve been doing, and all the wonderful conversations and connections that happen at these marvellous events, I’ve decided to hold a ‘Virtual Open Studio’…. it’s very exciting, particularly as it’s not something I’ve done before!  

Tern rafting: By Kathryn Parsons

Starting on Saturday June 27, I’ll be posting on social media a little differently to normal, creating a virtual open studio with photographs and video of my work, my studio and some of Langdyke’s nature reserves too. 

It’ll run for three weekends with a different theme each weekend.   


The focus for Saturday, June 27 will be my work as Langdyke’s Artist in Residence.  We’ll visit one of Langdyke’s reserves and go treasure-hunting for small details.  I’ll show you some of my latest artworks and past favourites that have been inspired by these history-rich and wildlife-abundant places.

On Saturday July 4, I hope you’ll join me for a behind-the-scenes tour of my studio!  I’ll share some of the inspiration and stories that inspire my art, as well as favourite tools and techniques.

Plans for  July 11 are still being formed, so if you have anything you’d particularly like to see please let me know!  

My virtual open studio will happen on my Facebook Page (which can be viewed even if you don’t have a Facebook account).  You’ll be able to comment and ask me questions about my work – and I’d love to hear your stories of the places and wildlife that you love. 

Please note that due to the algorithms Facebook uses, even if you’ve “Followed” my page already you’re not guaranteed to see my posts – so it’s probably also a good idea to pop back every so often to make sure you don’t miss anything!

Some of the artworks I’ll be showing you will be available for purchase, and all sales during this time will be included as part of the Artist Support Pledge.  This is a wonderful artist-led response to the pandemic and the difficulties that many artists and makers are currently facing (with most of our exhibitions, fairs and teaching cancelled).  The idea is that artists offer their work for purchase, and every time they reach £1000 of sales they pledge to spend £200 on another artist’s work.  It’s a beautiful idea, and means the generosity of the people buying the artwork spreads and is shared with others…. the love and generosity keeps flowing.

I very much hope you’ll be able to join me at my Virtual Open Studio- it’ll be great to see you there!

Trust boss is next speaker

Langdyke’s online conversations are growing in popularity – giving supporters the chance to hear the view of leading figures from the comfort of their own home.

Our next guest is Brian Eversham, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

He will be online from 5pm on Wednesday, July 1.  To join the conversation all you have to do is click on the link at the bottom of this story.

His conversation with us is the latest in a series which have included Gardener’s World presenter and Langdyke patron Adam Frost, wildlife artist and John Clare expert Carry Akroyd and birder and nature journalist Josh Jones.

Brian heads up an organisation caring for more than 100 nature reserves, covering more than 4000 hectares, and carrying out important conservation work across ancient landscapes.

He was among the speakers  at Langdyke’s 20th anniversary annual meeting,

To join a conversation with Brian Eversham click here or copy and paste this link into your browser  

The conversation will be using the Zoom conferencing platform.  You do not need to download any software.  Please note the link will not work until 5pm on July 1.

Matthew’s our next guest

Langdyke is organising another online event – this time a conversation with the boss of one of the area’s largest nature attractions.

Matthew Bradbury

Following on from our very successful first conversation with Gardener’ s World expert Adam Frost in April, we are joined on May 20 by Matthew Bradbury, chief executive of the Nene Park Trust.

The hour-long online meeting starting at 5pm  uses Zoom.  You can join by getting a logon link – you don’t have to install any software.

He will  chat  about his love for nature, the work of the Trust and his thoughts on the John Clare Countryside project.

If you’d like to join the meeting please email Langdyke chair Richard Astle on

He will send you the Zoom invite.



Join us for quiz

We’re inviting you to join us for a great night IN with Langdyke hosting a virtual pub quiz.

So make a date to grab a glass of something, form a family team – or if you prefer, play on your own – and fire up your computer for an online quiz with the emphasis on nature.

Here’s all you need to know …


We’re organising a traditional pub-style quiz, slanted towards wildlife and the Countryside, and adapted to the needs of current times. There will be four or five rounds of themed questions, a picture round, marathon round, some random bonus points (including best mascot!) and a prize for the overall winner. 


Members, supporters and friends of Langdyke, together with their families, are invited to join the fun.  In the circumstances, a ‘Team’ can be whoever is in your home at the time, but if there are four or more you could consider splitting into two teams. The Quiz will be hosted by LCT Trustee Chris Gardiner, formerly Warden at Castor Hanglands and Barnack Hills and Holes.


 In your own home, via video conferencing app Zoom (you don’t need any special software)


Wednesday May 6, 7.30 – 9pm. The video meeting starts at 7.30, we will aim to get the quiz under way at 7.35 prompt, allowing time for the usual preliminaries and resolving any technical issues! There will be a short break at around 8.15 (so you can recharge your glasses if you wish).


To enter, simply email  and he will send you the link to join in. Don’t forget to think of a suitable Team name, have your mascot ready, and of course have a glass (or two) of wine or beer close at hand!

Please join us.

Chat with Adam Frost

Despite the coronavirus lockdown there is an exclusive chance for Langdyke members to chat online with Gardener’s World expert Adam Frost.

Adam, a leading garden designer, lives locally and has teamed up with Langdyke to take part in a special online event.

With traditional Langdyke spring events obviously on hold, we have been looking at how we can use technology to keep us together and help us learn about the natural world around us.

We are delighted that Gardener’s World presenter and Garden Designer, Adam has agreed to be our guest at our first on-line event this coming Wednesday 15 April at 5pm.

We will explore his engagement with the local environment and the benefits he sees in that relationship for both nature and our own wellbeing. There will be a chance to pose some of your own questions to Adam at the end.

The conversation will be available live as an online meeting using  Zoom.  To join the meeting please e-mail: for the meeting link and password.  There is no charge for Langdyke members.

Langdyke chair Richard Astle said: “We look forward to you joining us for this special event which will include a special announcement.”

You can find out more about Adam by visiting his website here:

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 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 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 for further details.





Spectacular bird walk

Langdyke members are invited to Frampton Marsh – the premier RSPB Reserve in Lincolnshire – for a special walk on Saturday, February 1.

Located just south of the Haven on the River Witham, approximately five miles from Boston, the reserve consists of a number of freshwater scrapes and grasslands together with a large area of saltmarsh, bordering the Wash. 

During the winter months it is home to a large number of waterfowl and wading birds. In most winters the number of birds is breath-taking with over 6,000 Lapwing, 5,000 Golden Plover, 2,500 Brent Geese, and large numbers of Wigeon, Shoveler, Teal and Pintail.

Event organiser and leader Brian Lawrence says: “Geese such as Pink-footed are also occasionally found on the grass fields and in the last few winters a small number of Whooper Swans have over-wintered at Frampton.

“If the weather is good there is often a spectacular murmuration of Starling in the late afternoon. 

“The grass fields are also home to hunting Merlin and Peregrine and it is a wonderful spectacle to see the birds rises in great flocks as the Peregrine passes overhead. On the saltmarsh we often see Marsh and Hen Harrier as well as Short-eared Owl.”

The number of birds on the reserve is dictated by the tides as birds feed on the mud-flats of the Wash at lower tides before being driven off by the rising tide.

Brian says: “The best Saturday is February 1 as High tide is at 10:28. However this will require being at the Frampton by 10:30 and I therefore suggest that we need to leave Helpston by 9:30am.”

The walk will be lead by Brian, who is a volunteer at Frampton Marsh RSPB, and knows the reserve very well.

You can either meet at Helpston Post Office at 9:30am on February 1 or at the Car Park at Frampton RSPB (O.S. Grid TF356392) at 10:15 (approx).  (The nearest Post Code is PE20 1AY)

The paths are quite good but can be muddy in winter. There is one set of steps down from the sea-wall. There will be a walk of about 2.2 Miles (3.5Km), including stops in the three hides.

Frampton can be very cold, especially if the wind is from the North, North East or East, so you will need to wrap up well and stout boots will be needed. We will probably be out for 3 hours walking around the reserve. 

There is a visitors centre at Frampton which is heated, has toilets, and serves hot drinks, rolls, biscuits etc but no cafe.  Therefore if you are staying to the afternoon you’ll need to bring your own packed lunch. 

Entrance charge for the reserve is £2.00 per person or £1.00 per child. (RSPB members free).

If you are interested in coming to this wonderful reserve please contact Brian  on 07798 683503 or email 

Make a date:  Saturday February 1.
 (9:30am at Helpston Post Office or 10:15am at Frampton Reserve Car Park)(Nearest Post Code PE20 1AY)

Pictured above are Dunlin and Knot in flight. Photo: Brian Lawrence