Bat walk, Old Wardour Castle field trip
Some 20 adult members and non-members, plus half a dozen young people, took part in the evening bat walk at Old Wardour Castle. It was heavily over-subscribed, so our apologies to those who were disappointed - maybe we can organise a re-run.
Elm Trees past, present and future
Our Chairman, Peter Shallcross, admits that he 'spends too much time in bringing back Dutch elm disease-resistant elms into the landscape'. This coming Monday, 26 April at 7.30 pm he's giving a talk as one of the Cranborne Chase AONB's series.
'Peter is a passionate advocate for the elm tree. Find out about work going on that gives hope for their long term survival.
'Elm trees have been part of our landscape for thousands of years and their story is closely bound up with ours. Since Dutch Elm disease ravaged our population in the 1970s, much work has been going on identifying the remarkable survivors and breeding resistant elms.
'In this talk, Peter will introduce us to the complex and fascinating story of elms in our landscape and ultimately gives hope for the future.'
For details of all the talks in this series and how to book, go to http://cranbornechase.org.uk/events/
Meanwhile, from Evert Pellencroft, a Dutch contact of Ed Mayer of Swift Conservation, comes this fascinating tale from Amsterdam of the whole Dutch (inaccurately, it turns out) Elm disease saga which turns out maybe just to be another episode in the history of these splendid trees.
The original hawk-eye
Cricket, tennis, football - hawk-eye is there to decide those dodgy calls - and this Thursday, 15 April, we can maybe get to understand what it is about those original hawk eyes that makes them so super-efficient.
At 7:30pm, the last of our 2020-21 programme of online meetings, is a talk from Tom Morath, who has been involved with birds of prey since he was 12 years old and is now at the Hawk Conservancy Trust.
This will be both a great way to hear about the work of the Trust and the ideal prelude to our visit there that is in our excursion programme for June.
Members should by now have had an email from Dick Budden with the link for this Zoom talk but if not, and if you are not a member but would like to attend, please email him at email@example.com.
No more plastic litter?
Well, maybe - after all, it's never too late to despair.
A new form of plastic has been developed which degrades into harmless wax in less than a year if exposed to outdoor weather - wind, sun and rain. 'Polymateria Ltd was developed at Imperial College London. The firm aims to tackle the plastic problem head on, with a plan to launch their products as soon as possible in Asia, and to target the two most common types of polluting plastic polymers, polyurethane and polypropylene.'
Packaging like sweet wrappers will be marked with a 'recycle by' date, but if the item is left out of doors it will take matters into its own hands, so to speak! and bio-degrade where it lies.
It was Jenny Farrer, one of our members, who told me about this. Jenny also suggested Anna Lewington might give us a talk, and many of us will long remember what we learned about our lovely birch trees.
So please, any other news or suggestions, do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twinkle, twinkle little stars
Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of only 14 UNESCO Dark Sky areas in the world, and this week from Monday is International Dark Sky Week.
To inspire us to treasure our good fortune, the AONB's 'resident astronomer', Steve Tonkin, is giving an online talk on Wednesday, 7 April, at 7.30 'which will show how you can re-create some of the discoveries of pioneering astronomers like Galileo, and will guide you towards getting the very best out of your binoculars or small telescope.'
You can book a place on this talk here the AONB's website. There's no charge.
I'll be there, along with my small telescope.
Photo: Avocets (Izzy Fry)
The headers display photos taken by our members. Do get in touch via the Contact Form if you'd like to submit a photo for selection.