Tool theft from the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows April 30 2017

As well as stealing a substantial number of tools from the Clifton Without and Rawcliffe Allotments Association, the thieves involved in this also stole tools from the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows (FoRM), including a Stihl FS 250 scrub cutter serial number 162007853 and has stickers on relating to its purchase and maintenance by Harland of Green Hammerton.

It appears to have made little difference that the equipment was DotPeen’d by North Yorkshire Police in summer 2016 following the previous break-in to the FoRM shed with our name upon it. The Police crime number is 130.

The scrub cutter was an essential piece of management equipment for the care of the nationally important population of Tansy Beetles, along with general site maintenance.

The estimated cost of replacing the tools and shed fittings in material terms is £765 plus an awful lot of effort in re-fitting, insurance claim and buying replacements.

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Deep Meadows and Transparent Floods – The Story of the Ouse Ings

There is something almost magical about floodplain meadows, whether it is the evocative bubbling of a Curlew high in the sky and often out of sight, jewels such as York’s own Tansy Beetle, the endangered Necklace Ground-beetle or the stunning array of herbs
in the sward which seems to stretch for miles. ln combination these make for a fantastic resource we should treasure and protect for future generations. Those of us who love wildlife-rich places need to step up and ensure that they are not lost on our watch.

This book tells the story of the floodplain meadows along the River Ouse as it runs through the Vale of York. The Ouse lngs have a rich social history, reflecting the high economic value of these meadows to the local community, as well as a rich and diverse wildlife assemblage.

This significant piece of work sees a substantive amount of research incorporated into a very readable format, which makes available to scholars and the lay people alike, fascinating information about the floodplain meadows of the River Ouse.

This book has been published and financially supported by the Carstairs Countryside Trust, May 2017 with funds from Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows and the Floodplain Meadows Partnership. It  is a glossy 100 A4 page paperback with beautiful colour illustrations.

This book can be ordered from Ouse lngs publication offer (CCT)
c/o Autumn Cottage,
Thorne Road,

Please make cheques for £5 plus p&p £3.00 (2nd class) or £3.50 (1st class) payable to Carstairs Countryside Trust

The book is in a limited edition and the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows have a small stock available at work parties.

A leaflet on the book can be downloaded here – Ouse Ings PDF

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Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Parties 2nd Quarter 2017

Month Sun Thurs Task
May 2016     Tue 9th/Wed 10th Floodplain Meadows Partnership Conference, York – visit to RM 10th
    18th Cut back vegetation around Pond + Ings Dyke bank where competing with tansy
    25th Cut back vegetation around Blue Beck banks where competing with tansy
June 2016     Wed 7th June FHT Sedge course
  11th   Cut back vegetation around New Meadow bank where competing with tansy
    22nd Cut back vegetation around Pond + Ings Dyke bank where competing with tansy
July 2016     Sun 2nd July – Insect Festival, Museum Gardens
      Monday 3rd July GoodGym balsam bash
  9th   Cut back vegetation around New Meadow bank where competing with tansy
    20th Cut back vegetation around Pond + Ings Dyke bank where competing with tansy
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Report on the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party 9th April 2017

On an amazing Sunday morning the volunteers gathered to transfer the tansy plants growing in abundance just outside the compound at the New Meadow, we also had some potted tansy and some other plants to add to the collection.

A quick check of the plants revealed plenty of action taking place in the sunshine.

The additional plants mean that there more in the sunniest area of New Meadow. We also did a check on the plants alongside the side of Blue Beck nearest the Ings Dyke.

Many thanks to Judi, Masha, Mark and Julie, and Helen. The next session is on Thursday May 7th from 6:30 by the Pond at the south of the site. We hope to have a mix of Sundays and Thursdays so that people aren’t excluded by other needs.

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Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party Sunday 9th April 2017 from 10:30

Forget the flood debris for this winter! Yipee, there doesn’t appear to be any.

Still keeping to the higher and drier ground we’ll be around the New Meadow at the north of the site, planting some more tansy and having a look at the Tansy Beetles and clumps of tansy.

Free chocolate courtesy of Leilah Vyner of Dragon Willow – – who collected some of the willow we coppiced around the Pond. So be there and ruin your Sunday lunch!

Next planned date after that  is THURSDAY 7th May at 18:30 – probably at the Pond.

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Report on the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party 19th March 2017

Dealing with the hedge between the Cornfield and the Country Park has becoming something of annual pilgrimage, especially after we have had to fill in the gap created by the installation  of the new sewer. Fortunately Yorkshire Water generously paid for the plants in 2015 and we have used this to provide the infill plants in 2016 and 2017. We have also had to weed in-between plants in the hedge each year to ensure that they don’t get over-powered by the grasses and weeds.

In the past we have added quite a lot of gorse which has finally started to establish, so this year we added some larger holly, along with more hazel and hawthorn. The entire length of the hedge has become popular with  overwintering birds and has the potential to provide food and shelter for large flocks. the next step might be to consider cutting back some of the plants in the hedge before they become trees, along with cutting back some of the ash and blackthorn spreading into the field.

In addition, we planted some hazel and hawthorn in the bottom north-eastern corner at the boundary with the Copse to hopefully discourage anybody taking a short cut over the wire fence, as the hawthorn on the other side has struggled.

In addition we also took some red deadnettle and other early flowering plants over to the bee bank to provide any bees or wasps with a food source near to the bank.

Thanks again to Pete, Julie and Mark, and Mark T for their assistance, and also Leilah of Dragon Willow for the chocolate!

The next work party is on Sunday 9th April from 10:30 and was down for clearing flood debris, however given that the winter has been kind to us this will change and will probably become one of tansy planting and managing the New Meadow.

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Water Bug ID Training 26th April 2017 Rawcliffe Meadows

Water bugs are a diverse group of aquatic insects including water scorpions, pond skaters, water measurers, water crickets, backswimmers and lesser water-boatmen. They play important roles in the ecology of lakes and ponds and are useful indicators of habitat diversity. After water beetles, bugs are one of the most diverse groups of invertebrates found during pond-netting surveys of still waters.

There are 66 regularly-occurring British species, 54 of which can be found in Yorkshire. Many of these are quite distinctive and all can be keyed-out using a hand lens or low power microscope. This makes water bugs an accessible group for anyone wanting to hone their skills in identifying aquatic invertebrates beyond family level.

Places are limited, so let know as soon as you can, if you’d like to attend.

170426 Water Bug Training N.YORKS

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