NRN's Annual Gathering
NRN's annual gathering is planned for the 12th May, 7pm to 9pm on zoom. Join Here. Please bring along your enthusiasm, your questions, your friends - and your proposals for protecting and improving the biodiversity of Eynsham and surrounding parishes. You might want to propose a new survey (will you lead it or join as an apprentice?). You might want to offer your fund-raising, management or ecology skills to support the network. You may have an idea for the physical restoration of a green space near you, in association with your neighbours or others. You don't need to know how to do it yourself, you can use the NRN to connect up with a local expert who can help. Eynsham Parish Council is keen to support groups who would like to follow the example of the Dovehouse and Newlands local champions and increase the biodiversity on certain green spaces.
Review of NRN's 2nd Webinar for Parish Councils - Rebecca Tilders (Cobbetts Close, Eynsham)
For those of you who missed NRN's second webinar and don't have time to watch the video, Rebecca Tilders reviews it here:
Reg Harris, an arborist based in Bury St Edmunds, spoke about his work with both ancient and younger trees. He stressed the importance of when it was appropriate to prune or indeed fell a tree. Modern misconceptions have led us to cut down trees that appear to be dead or “messy”, when in fact this is often not the case. Ancient trees, some of which are several hundred years old can also give the appearance of being dead where in fact their hollow trunks for example, act as reinforcement against the elements.
Trees, dead or alive, offer important refuges for sources of biodiversity be they animal, insect or plant, enriching what we see and most importantly our planet.
Conservationist and farmer Robert Crocker spoke on the importance of not always pruning our hedges be they in a domestic setting, on the roadside or running through farmland. With obvious exceptions to allow for traffic visibility, a pruned hedge produces far fewer (if any) blossoms and berries, making it a dead spot for biodiversity. Our ideas of what is attractive and what is not, need to be rethought if we are to create biodiverse and healthy habitats that are not over managed.
Dr Kate Perry introduced us to wildflower verge management with top tips and guidance from Plantlife’s Road Verge Campaign. Verges are often overlooked as important form of biodiversity, whereas they have been found to produce around 700 species off wildflower. Again, good management was stressed both to the individual and councils throughout the UK.
Dr Perry stated the need to set up an Approved Contractor Scheme, whereby contractors would be given a basic knowledge of how to manage verges when cutting them back on the sides of roads and motorways.
Tiny Talks: what we learned and what we might do about it - Lucy Dickinson (Old Witney Road, Eynsham)
Our Tiny Talks proved to be a great success. Huge thanks to all our speakers. We had 138 attendees (ie computers, many of them with at least 2 people watching). Since the talks, 640 people have viewed the videos. You can find a summary of what we learned from each talk and links to the relevant resources on the NRN website as well as the link to the videos if you want to watch them again.