East Keswick Wildlife Trust Trustees’ Report May 2024

East Keswick Wildlife Trust: Registered Charity No. 1182308
Trustees’ Report for the year ending 31 MARCH 2024

Proposals for election of Trustees and Council AGM Tuesday 14 May 2024

Council Members (and Trustees)
David Smith
Melanie Smith
Simon Bottrell
Andy Turner
Paul Holmes
Michael Harrison
Elaine Woolley
Thomasin Meadley
Emma Wren
Phil Delaney
Jeanne Jackson

Officers of the Trust
David Smith: Chairman
Simon Bottrell: Vice Chairman
Michael Harrison: Treasurer
Thomasin Meadley & Elaine Woolley: Joint Membership Secretaries        
Jim Hosmer: Publicity and Newsletters
Debbie Lord: Secretary

Structure and governance
The Trust is constituted as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
The date of registration is the 4 March 2019.
The appointment of new Council members and Trustees is by nomination and approval at the Annual General Meeting.

Objectives and activities of the East Keswick Wildlife Trust:
To promote the conservation, maintenance and study of places and objects of botanical, zoological, geological, ecological or scientific interest in the Parish of East Keswick and elsewhere by:
·      Establishing, forming, owning and maintaining sanctuaries or reserves for the conservation of flora and fauna;
·      Promoting the education of the public, particularly young people, in the understanding, enjoyment and conservation of natural flora and fauna;
·      Promoting, organising and carrying out study and research in the principles and practice of nature conservation, and to publish useful results of such research;
·      Co-operating with other bodies of allied interest where this may assist in attaining the aim of the Trust; and
·      To liaise with voluntary and statutory bodies involved in local land use and development, and to advise on the management of the sites.

The Trustees are pleased to report that they have actively pursued all the objectives of the Trust over the previous 12 months.  

All Trustees and Officers of the Trust are volunteers receiving no financial renumeration from the Trust apart from expenses, enabling all income and funding to be spent on conservation works, land acquisition and running expenses incurred in pursuit of the Trust’s objectives.

To date the Wildlife Trust has acquired various land freeholds totalling 65 acres and has an additional 35.5 acres under agreements and leases with other land owners.

On these various landholdings we have established four nature reserves with public access and the recent Bardsey acquisition of 23 acres will become our fifth, securing safe havens for local wildlife, education and public access.

While it’s important to recognise our successes over the past three decades, it’s critical to recognise that our countryside’s wildlife is still in serious trouble and we need to redouble our efforts as the decline of local wildlife and across our country continues.

The work of the Trust depends on its army of volunteers, not only in its administration but also on the ground. Every week, up to 30 volunteers work on our conservation projects, reserves management and local habitat restoration. We are very grateful for all their effort.

To support the work of our volunteers requires insurance, machinery tools and equipment or, more simply, money. This is why we are so grateful for every penny we receive and why it’s so important for you to continue to support us. You will see that we have increased our membership fees this year, the first increase in over five years, to cover increased costs and inflation, but we believe we still give incredible value and enable access to some very special wildlife rich sites for education, members and the public.

We would like to take on more projects, acquire and conserve more land, and inspire and involve more people in nature conservation. To do this we need new sources of funding and income streams to continue our work over the coming years.

We hope all of our supporters will continue to support us with their membership and perhaps even consider leaving a legacy to the Trust in their will. This could enable us to do so much more and to achieve our ambition to have a local countryside rich in wildlife for our children and future generations to enjoy.

We thank all those that give us their support, free time and donations which enables the Trust not only to survive but prosper.

The climate crisis is a global problem. By being a member of the East Keswick Wildlife Trust you can be part of a local solution.

Thank you
The Trustees, East Keswick Wildlife Trust

Winter Bird Survey

On Sunday March 24th, a good number of the Wildlife Trust members met to observe the different bird species in the Parish. We usually carry out the survey in January, but had to postpone it until March this year. After a chilly start the sun came out and it was a lovely day.

The total number of species recorded was 48 as opposed to 36 last year. Some of the additional species seen were lapwing, snipe and goosander.

Many thanks to everyone who took part.

Elliker Family Work Party Update

We had a great family work party last Sunday and even had some sunshine after a rainy start. We planted over 200 hazel saplings in the newly coppiced areas which will be a source of early pollen and provide cover.

We also planted guelder rose, spindle and rowan along the path edges.
Some of the children took part in a treasure hunt
We finished with a barbecue ably supervised by Howard!

It was lovely to see such a range of ages working together and we’d like to thank everyone who joined us.

AGM

This years AGM will again be held in the Village Hall at 7.00pm.

Following their surveys of residents’ views and the hydrology of Bardsey Fields, Eve and Alice from Leeds University will present their findings.

Finally Completed

We have completed the French drain down Fitts Lane. Work on the drain had to be extended by difficulties in sourcing hardcore and by periods of wet weather which meant that it was impossible to transport any hardcore down the lane to fill the ditch.
The photo shows the last tonne of nearly 100 tonnes of limestone hardcore being tipped into the drain; covering the drainage pipe.
The drain feeds into a pond which we hope will be a habitat for aquatic plants and animals.
The drain itself is fed by a number of small springs from the field above. This ground water is relatively warm (the basis for ground source heat pumps for central heating) and it was noticeable that during recent freezing conditions the pond was frozen only around its edges!

The last tonne

East Keswick Art Show

Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th November 10 – 4pm, East Keswick Village Hall

This year there will be a Wildlife picture section at the Village Art Show, along with other high quality paintings that will be for sale.

There will also be a children’s Wildlife drawing/painting competition, with all the materials provided.

Please come along and visit our stand and enjoy the art, tea and cake!

Hope to see you there.