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LAPs and wildflowers

The nature group has been busy again. Last week we helped the JRHT gardening team tidy up the two LAPs on Lotherington, including weeding, pruning and planting. You may have noticed some long narrow trenches circling the perimeter of the beck field. We worked with the gardening team to lift the turf so we could sow a meadow mix of wildflower seeds. As long as the birds don’t snack on the seeds, they should start germinating in the next few weeks and we’ll see some wildflowers. For more information about the group and what we do, please contact Wendy at Everyone is welcome to join us.

Looking after the LAPs and making space for wildflowers


Photo Competition

Enter our first ever photographic competition, using your phone or camera to take pictures of any aspect of life in Derwenthorpe – indoors, outdoors, action, nature, architecture, weather etc. Get creative.

There are three age groups:-

  • child (up to 12 years)
  • teen (13 – 18 years)
  • adult (19+ years)

Prizes will be available in each age group.

Submit up to 3 photos, maximum size 5Mb per photo to  You can enter at any time up to Friday 30 April. Please give your name and age group and a title for each photo. 

Entries will be posted on the DRA website so if any of your images include people, make sure you have their consent before submitting.

We hope you enjoy taking your photos and wish you good luck in the competition.

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Birds, bats and bugs

The nature group has been busy! With the help of the JRHT gardening team, we’ve been putting up bird nesting boxes, bat roosting boxes and building habitat piles for all sorts of insects. If you want to get involved in any of our future ventures, contact Wendy by emailing

Building habitat piles
Putting up boxes

We’ve also removed over 1200 rabbit guards, those pesky plastic tubes which protect young hedging from hungry rabbits, but need to come off as the plants grow.

Removing rabbit guards
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Meadlands Mews hedgerows

News from the Nature Group

It’s not our doing, but we thought you’d like to know what’s happening with the hedge in Meadlands Mews, and why.  Dan Booth, JRHT Parks and Landscapes Manager, has told us that the hedge is being laid as it…

“…had become overgrown and not particularly healthy with lots of dead wood.  Laying the hedge helps to restore the form of the hedge and encourages new growth from the base to thicken it up lower down. Overgrown hedges tend to be very thin at the base making them an ineffective boundary and also less useful as a habitat for small mammals and invertebrates. 

In addition to the benefits to nature, the laying of this particular hedge also improves the outlook of the residents on Meadlands Mews who were keen to get the hedge back under control and in a more aesthetically pleasing state. 

Once the laying is completed new hedge plants will be added to fill in any gaps and new trees will be planted at 10m (approx.) intervals along the hedge line to break up the view across the adjacent field and add valuable habitat and height in the wider landscape. 

The restored hedge will eventually be maintained on a three year cycle to maximise the benefits to wildlife.  During the laying work our contractor, Don, found that this hedge had in fact been laid in the past so this is not the first time it has been laid and will probably not be the last.” 

It’s beginning to look really good!  For information about the nature group or our communal green spaces, please contact Wendy at


JRHT Zoom conversations

JRHT are running a couple of Zoom events for residents, in Derwenthorpe and elsewhere. Please do register, and join in to make it your conversation. We will be. Hope to see you there! Note that the two events will be similar, so there’s no need to attend both.

“We want to hear your stories from during the pandemic and the series of lockdowns. What or who has helped you and your community? What support would be helpful in the future? What were the good times which lifted your spirits? What was the act of kindness that made you feel better? During the pandemic, you may have discovered a new love for gardening or had a little more time to enjoy & explore your local area.We would like to hear from you about how you think JRHT has performed during the pandemic? Did we meet your expectations and what else can JRHT do in the future?”

Saturday 12 Dec 2020 10:00-11:30
Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 12:30-14:00

Read more on JRHT’s Facebook page, but if you want to attend, use the registration buttons above to register on Zoom.


Swan Injury

Sadly one of our swans – the adult male – collided with a house earlier today. We called the RSPCA at about 10:20am, and they arrived to collect him at 11am. He’s been taken to a vet. I’ll try to get updates to see how he’s doing. The rest of the family are on the lake right now.

I don’t think anyone saw the collision, but it was heard, and he was found very quickly. He’d hit two storey terrace house, probably in the middle of the first storey, and fallen into the back garden. He was conscious when found, but very subdued, and could not stand. The RSPCA person could not give a prognosis, but found damage to a wing. She also could not find any obvious signs of serious damage, but there may be hidden damage.


Sadly, as reported elsewhere (on Facebook), the swan passed away shortly after arriving at the vets.


Keys found

A bunch of keys has been found on Lotherington. Our neighbour found them about 10 days ago, apparently, on Lotherington. Please phone or text Ian on 07876123969 if you think they might be yours. They definitely look like Derwenthorpe keys.


Swan rescue update

The RSPCA were called out today. Our family of swans seem to be lightly coated with oil. Seems to be from the Osbaldwick Beck.

They managed to get one on the cygnets out, and have taken it away for cleaning. They’re coming back tomorrow to try again for the others.

Yorkshire Water have been and inspected the Beck, and taken a sample; and called out a clean up team.

We don’t think the amount of oil is likely to be very harmful, but want to get the swans cleaned up as a precaution.


ARM this evening

We’ve published the zoom link for this evening’s (6pm) All Residents Meeting, on the web page for the meeting at

You’ll find papers for the meeting at that page (but some are still to be published). If you want to go directly to the Zoom meeting, then it’s at

Meeting ID: 946 0698 2986 (I don’t know why you’d need this, but just in case!)
Passcode: 319659



Join us TONIGHT 21st August at 7.30 – 8.30pm for a quiz with a difference. Anyone can be a winner in this fun game of knowledge and chance. You’ll answer questions from some of your favourite categories and, when the answers are randomly revealed, you could score four corners, a straight line or even full house!

Answer sheets are a bit different than a normal quiz. You’ll need four pages of A4 with giant noughts and crosses grids. There are nine questions in each round. Number each grid 1-9 in RANDOM ORDER. Or, print the “quiz-bingo answer sheets” document. Click the green link below to download it. The document also has an example of the scoring.

‘Doors will open’ at 7.15pm. We look forward to seeing you.

If you haven’t used Zoom before please check out or phone 0771 287 2343 for advice. Registration is not required, but we’ll be closing the doors promptly at 7:35, and we’ll be limiting the number of connections, on a first come, first served basis.