Archive for September, 2010

A keen member of the Per Ardua BeaglesFine weather helped to ensure a good turnout at Collingham show on Saturday 18 September where all aspects of local rural village life were celebrated. There were ploughing matches, vintage vehicles, livestock and bloodstock shows, competitions for horticultural and home produce and equestrian events to name just a few.
With the aim of seeking out enthusaistic people to help out on the Trent Vale  project over the coming years, we turned up with our exhibition and leaflets. We are especially looking for people to explore new walking and cycle routes, compile heritage data or to work with our community archaeologists discovering new features along the River Trent between Newark and Gainsborough.
Collingham show heavy horses paradeWe are also putting on a host of activities to get people more involved in their local heritage. So if you’d like to find out more see our events and training page by clicking the menu on the right.
If you are interesting in taking part or helping out in any way please give us a call or email any of the Trent Vale team. Details are on the contacts page on the right.

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Balsam for breakfast

Sheep at Farndon Willow HoltForty-seven hungry Hebredian sheep at Farndon Willow Holt Nature Reserve , south of Newark, have made short work of invasive Himalayan balsam that has infested woodland. It would have otherwise taken months to clear the weeds, but with funding from the the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership for fencing, and the help of Notts Wildlife Trust staff and local volunteers, the sheep are emerging as the heroes.

The sheep soon got the knack of tackling the giant plants, which can reach heights of more than 3m; a bite to the bottom of the stem toppled them and brought the tasty leaves and flowers within easy reach. The added effect of trampling has helped to clear around 4 hectares, allowing other native plants a chance to get some sunlight.

Grazing will begin again in April or May next year, when the plant is smaller and more sensitive. 

Lee Schofield, Southern Reserves Officer for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust said “the sheep have far exceeded our expectations, and this is clearly a very effective way to tackle what is in many areas a major problem for biodiversity.  Hopefully this experience will encourage other land managers to consider increasing the use of grazing to tackle balsam and allow native plants and the wildlife they support to return.”

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Float your boat

It’s the last open day of the year for the Newark Heritage Barge on Sunday 26th September 12-5pm. If you’re interested in learning more about local heritage, navigation and the barge workers visit their website www.newarkheritagebarge.com/opendays.htm. The Trent Vale Landscape Partnership is funding the Newark Heritage Barge to carry out an oral history project so if you have any stories please contact them.

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It was a beautiful sunny day the first weekend in September when we held a stall at the 24th Sutton on Trent Festival. Organisers estimated over 2000 people attended this popular local event, along with over 70 re homed grey hounds from the Retired Grey Hound Trust. The day featured a number of events that took place in the ancient willow soaking pit. These included a tug of war competitiion won by ‘Holland’ from Staffordshire, a vintage car parade, medieval re-enactments and archary demonstrations.

The highlight of the show was the aerobatic display by Mark Jefferies in his areoplane Extra 330SC. Mark has won the UK championships multiple times.

Another great attraction to the show was the Steam Engine and Threshing Drum – demonstrations were held throughout the day demonstrating the way corn used to be thresed before the introduction of the combined harvester.

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