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naturegroup

Nature During Lockdown

We are a group of residents who have been working with JRHT since September 2018.  Our joint aim is to make Derwenthorpe a better home for nature, as well as for people, working within JRHT’s conservation plan.  We’ve doing this in lots of practical ways, such as planting bulbs, collecting meadow cuttings, building bug hotels, and maintaining mulch rings, particularly on newly planted trees. 

We meet regularly with JRHT to discuss ideas and creative ways to maintain and improve our lovely outdoor space in a nature friendly way.  For example, there is now less grass cutting in the more informal areas, such as on the village side of the swales on Stephenson, at the bottom of established and new hedging, and alongside the beck.  This longer grass helps to improve habitats, providing shelter and food for small mammals, insects and birds, and also encourages other plants to grow.  The amount of chemicals used for weed control has been reduced.  There have been changes to hedge maintenance, both established and newly planted ones, to manage them in a more traditional and sensitive way.  

We have just been successful in our bid for funding for an ecology survey on Field 9, which will help us to understand the existing habitat and to identify ways of enhancing it in the future.  (Field 9 is the field that is usually very wet in winter, to the south east of Rowntree and more or less under the power lines.) 

Of course in the current situation, many activities are pretty much on hold, including meetings and organising the ecology survey.  But we are still maintaining mulching rings, as this can be done very safely and appropriately in line with current social distancing rules. 

So if you want to help with this, please do contact us – it’s a great excuse to be outdoors and get some exercise!  Or if you want any more information about us, or better still have any ideas to share, again just drop us an email at naturereserve@derwenthorpe.co.uk

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