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Posts Tagged ‘Nottinghamshire’

Our Trent Vale Landscape Partnership exhibition in the bandstand at Newark CastleTVLP’s Time Travel event at Newark Castle on 31 July was a great success with around 3,000 people coming along. Organised by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Archaeology team, the castle grounds were buzzing with battle re-enactments, Saxon craftsmen, a medieval armoury, historical storyteller and an executioner (with his collection of cruel implements)!

Rarely open to the public, the castle doors were also flung open for visitors to explore the castle roof, dark store rooms and cramped, dingy dungeons.

Trevor Watson, Saxon wood workerOverwhelming numbers of people came along to explore the history, enjoy the food and watch the displays. ‘I learned plenty of new and interesting facts as my daughter went off in search of princesses’ and ‘interesting and informative, the day showed just what a gem Newark castle really is’ were views from two visitors who posted letters to the Newark Advertiser (6 Aug 2010).

Christopher Pennell, Chair of the Board of Trustees at HLF, used the event to make a speech about the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership programme. In particular, the HLF’s recognition that Trent Vale is a unique, important and special area for its heritage, wildlife and industry, and its desire to support rural communities.

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Dave Sharpe holds up a moth specimen at the Butterflies and Moths identification course 2010Our second BTCV – Trent Vale course took place on Wednesday 4 August training participants in moth and butterfly identification. The course was held at the RSPB Langford Lowfields reserve and was led by the Assistant Reserves Officer, Jenny.

Participants first examined the previous nights’ catch – over 20 moths that had been collected in traps placed throughout the surrounding reedbeds. Later on, a swift wrist technique was perfected catching butterflies in airy nets around the reserve.

With Jenny’s expert help, several species were identified including the variable Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) whose larvae feed on grasses, and the elusive Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) which is a specialist of chalk grasslands in the south of England but has extended its range northwards in recent years.

This course is just one of a series of monthly NCFE accredited FREE courses that Trent Vale is offering. Do you fancy coming along to the next one?

Its on Wednesday 15 September 10am to 4pm and is an ‘Introduction to Grassland Management’ at Trent Port, Marton. Parking is available at the end of Trent Port Road, DN21 5AL. For more info or to book a place contact: Gill Wilde, Training Coordinator, East Midlands, BTCV, Conservation Training Centre, Chestnut Grove, Burton Joyce, NG14 5DZ, Tel: 0115 931 3316, email g.wilde@btcv.org.uk.

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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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Male marsh harrier at Langford Lowfields. Photo: Nick Martin, RSPB.A pair of Marsh harriers are now breeding on the RSPB Langford Lowfields reserve in the Trent Vale. The reserve, just north of Newark on Trent, is home to the most extensive area of reedbed in the East Midlands and now to Nottinghamshire’s first breeding pair of marsh harriers too!

The reserve is still connected to a working gravel quarry, but is in the process of being restored. The RSPB’s programme is creating a range of habitats including woodland, a wader scrape and dry grassland. But the highlight of the reserve is its 30 hectares of newly created reedbed, much of which has been planted by volunteers.

The RSPB is increasing the area of reedbed habitat, helping to attract priority species such as otters and water voles. The reserve also provides a link with the neighbouring Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust reserves of Besthorpe and Girton, creating corridors for wildlife and a combined substantial reed habitat in one area.

The reserve at Langford Lowfields has already had an impact on wildlife, attracting other exciting bird species such as bitterns, little egrets, wood sandpipers, bearded tits, lapwings, redshanks and snipe. The reserve will eventually be open to the public, but at the moment it can only be visited by appointment or through guided walks or volunteering.

If you are interested in seeing the Langford Lowfields marsh harriers, go along to one of their fantastic guided walks. Booking essential. Please contact Paul Bennett on 01636 893611 or email paul.bennett@rspb.org.uk.

Dates for the walks are:
Sunday 18 July
Sunday 8 August
Sunday 15 August
Sunday 29 August

Time: 2pm to 4pm. Price: £2 per adult, £1 per child. Stout footwear with a good grip is recommended. Sorry, no dogs.

Visit the Langford Lowfields website.

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As part of our community grants scheme, a total of £9,662.00 has so far been awarded to a range of exciting Trent Vale community projects:

  • £1,900 to Gainsborough Heritage and Tourism Group towards the installation of a specially-commissioned piece of artwork illustrating the local birdlife of the Trent Vale. This artwork will be installed as part of the Gainsborough Town Centre Improvement Plan.
  • Up to £2,000 to Marton and Gate Burton Parish Council towards an all weather information board promoting walks around the parishes.
  • Up to £2,000 to Knaith and Marton Community Gardening Scheme to develop community garden plots under a land-share scheme.
  • £1,812 to Norwell CE School for a series of workshops about the local tradition of willow growing and utilisation. The final stage will be the construction of a willow dome in the school grounds.

    TVLP community grant funding is increasing the number of barn owl boxes in the Trent Vale. Photograph courtesy of Andrew Parsons

    TVLP community grant funding is increasing the number of barn owl boxes in the Trent Vale. Photograph courtesy of Andrew Parsons

  • 1,950 to the Barn Owl Species Recovery Project to increase the number of barn owl nesting boxes in the Trent Vale and to support annual monitoring and maintenance.

We are also working with local farmers in the Trent Vale to fund and support projects that enhance habitats and encourage biodiversity. To find out more about our community grants contact helen.keating@britishwaterways.co.uk.

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