Category Archives: N Somerset & Bristol Group

News from the North Somerset and Bristol Group

Carrie Riches from the North Somerset and Bristol Group recently attended the 37th National Hedge Laying Championships with a Hawk and Owl Trust stand, this is her review of the event.  Thank you Carrie.  
“The 37th National Hedge Laying Championships were held on land next to Chew Valley Lake on the 24th October 2015.  This year a Countryside section was included as an added interest for the general public, and to demonstrate the connection between good hedgerow management and its importance as a habitat for wildlife.  The North Somerset and Bristol Group was pleased to have been invited to attend.The weather forecast was not good so for mutual protection we snuggled up to the Somerset Wildlife Trust stand, which turned out to be very convenient, especially for our international visitors.  

It proved to be a fascinating day, albeit very wet!  Pat and I were intrigued to see the different styles of hedging, but the most interesting part was talking to some of the spectators who came to visit our stand.  We met a couple from Los Angeles who had come to the UK specifically for this event,  to see if there were concepts and techniques that could be transferred to the habitat surrounding their reserve in Cambodia.  Another group had come from Canada for a hedging conference and were exploring similar ideas,  investigating whether hedging could provide corridors through managed agricultural areas to the un- managed ‘wild-lands’,  de-conflicting public access and farming practices.  The hedgerows could also be  corridors for wildlife! Two of them also did a lot of ringing, or banding as it is called, so spent time comparing notes with Chris. The international flavour continued with a Phd student from New Zealand studying hedgehogs, and two hedge-layers from Holland demonstrating the Dutch style of hedging!   Apparently the traditions and skills relating to hedging had pretty much died out in Holland, though there were areas where interest was being re-kindled.  
We also received several inquiries on management techniques and the sourcing and siting of nest boxes from UK landowners.

By the end of the day, the surrounding hedges had been transformed and the somewhat damp competitors awaited the verdicts of the judges.  Next year’s event  will be held in the Cheshire area, though the venue has yet to be confirmed.” 


The Hawk and Owl Trust present at the event
The Hawk and Owl Trust present at the event


Hedge cutting in progress
Hedge cutting in progress
The finished hedge
The finished hedge

North Somerset and Bristol Group at the North Somerset Agricultural Society Countryside Day

On Wednesday 8th July, the North Somerset and Bristol Group were part of the Countryside Day organised by the North Somerset Agricultural Society. Approximately 2,600 primary school children from Bristol and North Somerset attended the day and learned about different aspects of the journey their food takes from plough to plate. Pupils met a variety… Continue Reading

Check Out the Hawk and Owl Trusts Events Listings for Autumn/Winter

Across the Hawk and Owl Trust we have an exciting range or walks, talks and exhibitions taking place throughout the autumn and winter of 2015/2016.   From Sculthorpe Moor, to Shapwick Moor and across several of our national groups, we have a packed calendar of events to keep you busy through the coming months.  Please… Continue Reading

Latest News From North Somerset and Bristol Group

Yet again we were lucky with the weather for our walk through the reserves belonging to Backwell Environment Trust. The reserves were looking lovely and the sharp eyed amongst the group spotted a corncockle flower, a first for the reserve, and a Spotted Flycatcher and its nest in the top of a broken off tree.… Continue Reading

Shapwick Moor becomes a Penal Colony – for a day!

On Tuesday  3rd  June,60 pupils from nearby St Benedict’s School in Glastonbury visited Shapwick Moor as part of their literacy studies.  They have been studying the book ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar in which pupils are made to dig holes to atone for their past poor behaviour.  The accompanying school staff took on the  role as… Continue Reading

Donation of New Visitors’ Seat for Shapwick Moor from North Somerset Group

The North Somerset Group of the Hawk and Owl Trust has financed a new seat for visitors to Shapwick Moor The seat will be in memory of former Chairman Barbara Handley who was actively involved with the group until her sad death last year, and it will be positioned to look out over some of… Continue Reading

Busy times at Shapwick Moor Continue

Following the successful tree planting in March by the Family Group, the ‘oldies’ took on the challenge of completing our half kilometre of new hedging in 2014. The extra hedging will act as a screen between visitors to our major hide and birds visiting the ponds and scrapes excavated in the autumn. The enthusiasm of… Continue Reading

Visit our Stand At the Chew Valley Optics and Bird Fair – 11/12 April 2014

This event takes place on the lawns outside of the London Camera Exchange Lakeside Optics shop, next door to Chew Valley Lake tea shop, giving visitors the chance to view, get expert advice and buy, while testing out the equipment against this spectacular backdrop. There is also the opportunity to trade in old equipment in… Continue Reading

Big ‘thank you’ to Hawk and Owl Trust North Somerset Group for Equipment Donation

The  lovely members of the North Somerset H&OT Group have donated six pairs of top quality loppers to enhance the tool stocks at Shapwick Moor. These tools have been needed urgently to help cut back willows along the ditch sides, one of the most important habitats on the reserve. Pictured here are Carrie Riches (Chair… Continue Reading

Next workday at Shapwick Moor

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be shown, by Simon Beard, our Education Officer, just how much progress been made on the reserve in the last few weeks. Recent works include two scrapes and a pond in front of our main hide and the hole for a small pond near the hide. We now have… Continue Reading