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Archive for July, 2010

We are inviting people to explore thousands of years of history at archaeological excavations in Besthorpe Quarry on Thursday 5 August between 10 am and 4pm. The quarry is on Carlton Ferry Lane just north of Collingham, and will be signposted from Collingham.

The free open day is being organised by partners Nottinghamshire County Council as part of the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership. Come along between 10 am and 4pm and you will see some of the best local finds, including Stone Age flint tools, Bronze and Iron Age pottery and Roman building materials, fine glass and imported table-ware.

The Besthorpe excavation is due to finish in 2013 when quarry owner Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK will start extracting sand and gravel from the site.  Lafarge is funding the University of Salford to carry out the excavation.

We are very excited about the excavation because it an important local heritage site. Councillor John Cottee, Nottinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Community, said: “Besthorpe Quarry is a large and complex site that was settled from prehistoric to Roman times. It has produced a wealth of information revealing how people from nomadic hunter-gatherers to Romano-British farmers lived in and used this area. Visitors to the open day will be guided round the site by Council archaeologists and will be able to see some of the numerous finds.”

Look forward to seeing you there!

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Notts Wildlife Trust farndon willow holtOur partners the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust manage several reserves in the Trent Vale – some of them are unique providing species-rich habitats. One of these sites, Farndon Willow Holt, is a nationally important site that covers almost 10 hectares of flood meadow and grassland and is one of the few remaining working willow holts – a once common feature of many Trent site communities.

Would you like to to help to manage these reserves? Whether you fancy helping out for a few hours or on a regular basis, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are looking for volunteers and would love to hear from you. Below is a list of up and coming Trent Vale activities. If you would like to come along or to find out more, please contact Lee Schofield, Reserves Officer on 07801 865671 or email LSchofield@nottswt.co.uk

08 Jul, Thurs at Beacon Hill Reserve, Newark, Ragwort Pulling

15 Jul, Thurs at Besthorpe South, Cut paths & area around hide

14 Aug, Sat at Farndon Willow Holt, Cut meadow areas and in collection

11 Sep, Sat at Besthorpe North, Mow footpaths, coppice invasive willow

30 Sep, Thurs at Besthorpe South, Coppicing around borrow pit, bonfire

07 Oct, Thurs at Besthorpe South, Coppicing around borrow pit, bonfire

09 Oct, Sat at Besthorpe South, Coppicing around borrow pit, bonfire

14 Oct, Thurs at Besthorpe South, Coppicing around Mons Pool

21 Oct, Thurs at Besthorpe South, Coppicing around Mons Pool

13 Nov, Sat at Farndon Willow Holt, Pollarding veteran willows, bonfire

09 Dec, Thurs at Farndon Willow Holt, Harvest Willow in Holt

11 Dec, Sat at Farndon Willow Holt, Harvest Willow in Holt

16 Dec, Thurs at Farndon Willow Holt, Harvest Willow in Holt

23 Dec, Thurs at Farndon Willow Holt, Harvest Willow in Holt & Christmas bonfire

Have a look at our events page on the right for more volunteering activities in the Trent Vale.

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Queues formed at the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership stall at the Sconce Fest on Sunday as children, grandmothers, teenagers and dads waited to join in the Civil War purse making workshop. Sue Rodgers from Nottinghamshire County Council led the workshops and showed people how to lace together leather purses. Over 35 free purses were made during the afternoon as hundreds of people joined the celebrations to officially reopen Sconce and Devon Park. 

Other activities included re-enactments by the Sealed Knot, displays by Newark Heritage Barge and Farndon Sea Scouts, music by the competition winner of Newark’s Got Talent and dance displays by local groups.

If you wish to know more about the Sconce and Devon Park project click here.

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The Trent Vale Landscape Partnership initiative to provide community grants for habitats and heritage projects is now well underway. We are funding six community projects ranging from supplying fencing for sheep grazing to keep invasive Himalayan balsam at bay along the Trent, to willow weaving workshops in a local school.

Marton community gardening scheme One of the first projects to recieve TVLP funding is Marton Garden Group who we have helped to set up a community food-growing scheme. The group has got together with a local landowner and has set up vegetable plots for six families on his spare land in the beautiful gardens of Knaith Hall. TVLP funding has paid for the installation of mains water supply and rabbit fencing to protect the plots.

The group are experimenting with all sorts of fruit and veg including potatoes, mangetout, different varieties of onions, strawberries and leaf and root crops. So far it’s been incredibly successful providing delicious food as well as building community links, with families sharing plants, watering duties and learning fundraising skills. The group hope to seek further funding one day to set up a water harvesting system and community compost bins. If there is enough demand, further plots may be created.

If you are a community group or school and are thinking about setting up a project in the Tnt Vale area with a focus on education, building community relationships with a habitats of heritage slant please contact Helen Keating helen.keating@britishwaterways.co.uk. We offer grants of up to £2,000 to successful projects. All applications are reviewed by representatives from partners of the TVLP on a quartterly basis.

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BTCV Wildflower courseBTCV ran it’s second free Trent Vale course yesterday, at Trent Port, Marton. Six participants came along and learnt skills in wildflower identification.  The day began drawing flowers and their key characters followed by a critique of fellow participants work. A combination of botanical keys and guides were then used to identify the different species.  This site of wet grassland is especially species-rich. It is owned by British Waterways and was last surveyed in 2006 when over 70 different plant species were recorded.  

This short course forms part of a series of courses being offered by BTCV each month over the next 3 years.  The next ones coming up are:

Wednesday July 14 – Dragonflies and Damselflies Introduction to Species Identification and Surveying – Venue – RSPB Langford Lowfields Reserve, Collingham – off A1133 follow signs for Tarmac works between Langford and Collingham.  Parking at Tarmac Works visitor car park.  Time 10am – 4pm.

Wednesday August 4 – Butterflies and Moths  Introduction to Species Identification and Surveying – Venue – RSPB Langford Lowfields Reserve, Collingham – off A1133 follow signs for Tarmac works between Langford and Collingham.  Parking at Tarmac Works vistor car park.  Time 10am – 4pm.

Wednesday September 15 – Introduction to Grassland Management Venue – Trent Port, Marton – parking at the end of Trent Port Road, DN21 5AL.  Time 10am – 4pm.

To book a place please contact Gill Wilde, Training Coordinator East Midlands, BTCV, Conservation Training Centre, Chestnut Grove, Burton Joyce, NG14 5DZ, Tel: 0115 931 3316, g.wilde@btcv.org.uk or visit http://www.btcv.org/training

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