Shapwick News Update – November 2015

News From Shapwick Moor by Phil Holms

The review meeting on the 17th October was very well attended.  A walk round the reserve with Reserve Manager and Trustee Phil Holms and Simon Beard was enjoyed and the ensuing discussions over tea and scrummy cake (courtesy of Pat) covered many topics, including plans for the reserve and the need to generate funds.  The good news is that plans for a permanent building on site for storage/volunteer base have been approved and are currently out to tender. Simon reported that lots of survey work has been done and reiterated the usefulness of any records that people may have, even of common species.  It was explained that under the HLS Agreement, no new hedges could be created in the fields, only along the droves, unless any former field boundaries could be clearly identified.  A costed wish list was presented for both equipment and improvements on the reserves, such as tools, reseeding margins and dams for water control – items to suit all purses!!  Please contact Simon if you would like to know more about this meeting or have any ideas for fundraising or reserve improvement ideas – or wish to make a donation.

Already there are positive outcomes – Steve and Sarah have volunteered to maintain an image library and there are other ideas in the pipeline and offers of help.  David Brown has located an old map showing a field boundary that now no longer exists, so Simon will now explore the possibility of reinstating this as a hedge at some time in the future.  Anna has offered to help plan the H&OT stand at the Bath & West show.

At the last work day both hides had their annual coat of preservative in record time – something to do with a rugby match?

The next work day will be Saturday, 28th November when there will be trees to plant and yet more hedging!  Meet in the car park at 10.00am or come and find us on the reserve. For more information, please contact Simon by calling 01300 320008 or to email Click Here or to contact Barry by email then Click Here

Members Weekend and AGM 2015 at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve

Our group was well represented at the Members Weekend and AGM held at Sculthorpe Reserve in October.  It was a long way to go but we were made very welcome by all at Sculthorpe.  The reserve is a huge contrast to ours at Shapwick, having lots of woodland and reed beds and it was very inspiring to see what local volunteers had achieved there.  The most recently completed project is the tree level hide which is fully accessible for wheelchairs, as all the boardwalk paths on the reserve will be in the very near future.  On behalf of our group we sponsored 3 boards – laid before our eyes the very next day!

Volunteers hard at work laying the new riverside boardwalk at Sculthorpe Moor
Volunteers hard at work laying the new riverside boardwalk at Sculthorpe Moor


We enjoyed meeting other members and sharing experiences – the Hawk and Owl trust is a relatively small organisation but is active on a national basis.  We were treated to a preview of the presentation that the South West Peregrine Group will be bringing to us on 10th April – definitely one not to be missed!  The AGM was enlivened by the questions in AOB, several of which were posed by this group. By now, you should have received the latest copy of ‘Peregrine’ with the Chairman’s Report and news of other groups’ activities.  Further details of the AGM, Minutes and Accounts will be on the website.  

Save the Date: We are looking forward to next year’s Members Weekend and AGM being held at Shapwick Moor  on 8/9th October 2016. 

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