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The Grapevine Parish Magazine entry for December 2018

Although winter may have Hagg Wood in its grip there is still plenty to see and enjoy. As early as October the birds that migrate from Scandinavia and Siberia to overwinter in the U.K. had started arriving. As you approach the wood look in the fields and hedgerows for Redwings and Fieldfares they love berries, worms and fruit. If the winter is hard they will also come into gardens particularly if you put apples on the ground. Somewhat rarer is the most attractive visitor, the Waxwing. These berry specialists can sometimes arrive in large numbers, four years ago a flock of sixty stayed in Kerver Lane for a week and could easily be seen on ground level bushes.

Sunday 13th January   –    New Year Lunch  

Brighten up the dark days of winter by joining us for our now traditional New Year Lunch, again this year at the Dunnington Sports Centre, with an optional woodland walk beforehand to refresh your appetite. Meet at 11am outside the Children’s Play Area on Intake Lane for the walk, or at 1pm for a drink before the lunch at 1.30pm at the Sports Centre. We need to book you a place at the lunch, so please let Michael know on York 489013 or on mdunn48h@gmail.com   by 18th December to book your place and your menu choice. We will put the menu choices on our website www.fohw.org.uk well beforehand, so make a note in your diary to book with Michael before you start your Xmas shopping!

Wednesday 20th February   –   Yorkshire’s Dragonflies

Our first talk of the year will be given by Keith Gittens of the Yorkshire Dragonfly Group.

 Woodland Working Parties  –   Conservation in Action

These will be held on the mornings of 8th December 2018, and 12th January 2019, so do put these dates in your diary. Meet at 10am at the Hagg Farm end of Intake Lane. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies.

 

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Conservation Work Party – Friday 23rd November

We shall be holding an additional working party on Friday 23rd November and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers.

We meet at 10.00am at the Welcome to Hagg Wood information board at the entrance to the wood.  We work until 1.00pm with a break midway.

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The FC contractor has recently cut back the edges of the Stone Road and Main Ride, we therefore need to rake and clear the arisings to prevent a build-up of nutrients in the soil.   All the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or willies.

Conservation Work Party – Saturday 3rd November 2018

Our next work party is on Saturday 3rd November and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers.  We meet at 10.00am at the Welcome to Hagg Wood information board at the entrance to the wood.  We work until 1.00pm with a break midway.

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We will be working with hand tools to cut back brambles in the Bluebell area to enable the bluebells to thrive in the springtimeAll the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or willies.

The Grapevine Parish Magazine entry for November 2018

The need for us to place much greater value on wildlife and on our natural environment is the main theme of our presentation in the Reading Room on Wednesday 7th November at 8pm by Dr Amy-Jane Beer, who is a biologist and writer with a strong love of both words and nature. Amy has edited the Wildlife World magazine for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and has made many contributions to the BBC Wildlife magazine and the Yorkshire Post, as well as co-authoring The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Marine Fish and Sea Creatures, The Encyclopedia of Mammals and the Encyclopedia of Endangered Species. Living near York, she has also made several well-crafted contributions to the Guardian’s Country Diary on the delights of observing nature locally near Kirkham Abbey, Welburn and the River Ouse. The title of her illustrated talk will be Giving the Wild a Voice: Reporting, Celebrating and Fighting for Nature.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has predicted that 2020 will see a very large decline, of 67 per cent on average, since 1970 in wildlife populations of plants and animals, alongside historically very high rates of species extinctions, due to climate change, population pressures and changes internationally in agricultural practices. Like the canary in the coal mine, the rapidly declining state of our wildlife is likely to have important messages for the health of the human populations too, with the risk on the horizon of a “hothouse earth” emphasised in recent international reports, unless much greater remedial action is urgently taken on reducing our greenhouse gases and on many other environmentally important policy issues, including the planting of trees and looking after our existing forests and woodlands, and their biodiversity.

There are working parties on Saturdays 3 November and 8 December. We welcome anyone who enjoys the wood and is willing to help look after it. Meet at 10am by the notice board at the Intake Lane entrance to the wood.

 

Conservation Work Party – Saturday 13th October 2018

Our next work party is on Saturday 13th October and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers.  We meet at 10.00am at the Welcome to Hagg Wood information board at the entrance to the wood.  We work until 1.00pm with a break midway.

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We will be working with hand tools to cut back brambles in the Bluebell area to enable the bluebells to thrive in the springtimeAll the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or willies.

The Grapevine Parish Magazine entry for October 2018

Well, here we are into autumn! There has definitely been a drop in the air temperature, plus rain showers since Sept 1st, the first meteorological day of autumn, but how will it progress?   Will we experience Keats’:-  “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;”??  Already trees are turning into their autumn colours; the horse chestnut in particular is already shedding leaves and conkers, which I read somewhere could be the effect of a non-fatal disease.

Writing this in early September the wood is still a pleasant to walk in with firm dry paths and the colouring leaves.   Regular walkers will notice more open spaces in the millennium area as we continue to thin out the overcrowded birch. We continue to clear the glades on the Crater track and Styron way. These more open spaces increase low ground cover, grasses and flowers, which attract insects and birds. During our next working party we plan to clear the bramble from the breathing places area in line with the initial purpose of having an area for community use, with improved biodiversity and wildlife habitats. Can we have an area for community use along with wildlife habitats? Recently I read or heard someone say that wildlife can live alongside us, but can we live alongside wildlife?    We should try by maintaining suitable habitat wherever we can. The wood brings joy to many, not purely because of the variety of trees, but also through bird song and the sightings of wild birds and animals.

The next planned outing is to Rodley Nature Reserve on Saturday 6th October. There is a meeting in the Reading Room on the 7th November when Amy-Jane Beer will be giving an illustrated presentation on the topic, ”Giving the Wild a Voice: reporting, celebrating and fighting for Nature.”

The next working parties are Saturdays 13th Oct. 3rd Nov. & 8th Dec. We welcome anyone who enjoys the wood and is willing to help look after it. Meet at 10am by the notice board at the Intake Lane entrance to the wood.

 

Conservation Work Party – Saturday 29th September 2018

Our next work party is on Saturday 29th September and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers.  We meet at 10.00am at the Welcome to Hagg Wood information board at the entrance to the wood.  We work until 1.00pm with a break midway.

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We will be working with hand tools to remove the remains of rhododendron and general brash in “Barbara’s Glade” alongside Styron Way in the east side of the wood.

All the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or willies.

Cycle Ride to Riccall – Saturday 22nd September 2018

Join us if you like for an Autumnal cycle ride along a cross-country route to Riccall, with hopefully plenty of fresh air and healthy exercise to complement the varied scenery. We will meet outside the Children’s Play Area on Intake Lane at 10.30am for a round trip of some 26 miles, with lunch at the Dairyman Café in Riccall and a stop for tea on the way back at the Naburn Marina Waterfront café.

If you would prefer instead to drive to meet us for lunch at the Dairyman Café at 12 noon, please let John know on York 489056 beforehand so that he can reserve you a place.

The Grapevine Parish Magazine entry for September 2018

It has been such a pleasure to walk in Hagg Wood during the long hot summer with all the paths dry and the trees offering some shade against the heat. There has been lots of flowers and butterflies to see as you wander along the paths and today a hare leaped out of the undergrowth just a few feet from where I was walking. This is of course one of the reasons to have dogs on leads or under close control when enjoying a walk in the wood.

The downside of the lovely dry summer is the risk of fire. There have been at least two cases of fires being lit and left in the wood by thoughtless people.  Fortunately, in both cases the fires have been extinguished by the efforts of people living nearby. However, it should not be necessary to remind people that it is forbidden to light fires and barbecues in the wood.

We have been very fortunate to be able to purchase a second information board, thanks to a legacy left to Friends of Hagg Wood by one of its founder members, the late Barbara Pyrah.  It is located at the top of the Stone Road, a few yards to the right of the seat. Forestry Commission kindly installed it for us, no small task!  It should be of particular benefit to walkers entering the wood from the public footpath along the Main Ride.

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                        Forestry Commission staff helping to install the new information sign

Our next work party is on Saturday 29th September from 10.00am until 1.00pm. New volunteers, prepared to work for even an hour will be made very welcome. Meet by the information board at the Intake Lane entrance to the wood.

We are also planning to have a cycle ride to Riccall on  Saturday 22nd September (Note – this last date has changed from Sunday 23rd September)  and a visit to Rodley Nature Reserve on Saturday 6th October.  Further details will be found in our Autumn newsletter which will be emailed or distributed to members of Friends of Hagg Wood in early September.

Conservation Work Party – Saturday 25th August 2018

Our next work party is on Saturday 25th August and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers. We meet at 10.00am at the Welcome to Hagg Wood information board at the entrance to the wood. We work until 1.00pm with a break midway.

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We will be working with hand tools in the Millennium area to cut back silver birches and move branches to construct a dead hedge along the perimeter.

All the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies.