Winter Bird Survey 2022

After initially being cancelled due to bad weather, the winter bird survey took place on Sunday 27th February on a gloriously sunny day. A total of 38 bird species were recorded along with Roe deer, rabbit and fox.

Birds recorded:
Blue Tit, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Coot, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Wagtail, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Lapwing, Nuthatch, Redwing, Robin, Red Kite, Rook, Skylark, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Family Hedge Planting Event – a success!

The family hedge and woodland tree planting days in January at the Fitts Lane reserve had a great turnout, particularly on the Sunday, when approximately 30 people of all ages were there.

We planted a mixture of 20 species including blackthorn, willow, field maple, rowan, crab apple, alder and hawthorn to name a few.
We then enjoyed sausages cooked on the campfire and a chance to sit and chat.

A big thank you to everyone who came to help and planted hedgerows that will be a haven for wildlife for years to come!

September – sharing seeds

Wildlife groups and individuals have recently been contacting the trust to learn from our several years of experience of wildflower seed collecting, germinating and plug-planting.

In September, members of the Menston Area Nature Trust were guided in the process of collecting and sowing seeds for the land that they hope to acquire shortly. They have been mentored by the EKWT on how to form a wildlife trust and become a charity.

Working in a joint venture, the Wood Meadows Trust at Escrick have asked for our help in germinating some uncommon species and to share seeds and plant plugs for their wetland and meadow areas.

Hearing of our expertise, York City Council Community Woodland have asked us to try to germinate Large Hemp Nettle, which is relatively uncommon in this area.

To top up our own supplies, this Autumn volunteers have collected seeds, nuts and berries from various habitats within the parish.

Askham Bryan College Visit – July 2021

Postponed from last year due to covid and organised by Judith and John Pentith, the Askham Bryan Gardening Club visited the trust on 3rd July 2021. A day which was very, very wet but turned out to be a very enjoyable full day.

In the morning the large group was shown around the inner village reserves. Lunch in the Duke, with time to dry out a little, was followed by a guided walk around Ox Close Wood.

Subsequent comments were enthusiastic:

‘Thank you for arranging the visit to East Keswick on Saturday, we found it fascinating and really enjoyed the morning despite the soaking!’

‘An absolute joy to see such beautiful places, particularly enjoyed the range of flowers in the meadows and the wide variety of grasses and sedges by the marsh. Loads of orchids and to be introduced to the Thistle-broomrape (also known as Yorkshire broomrape), which is only found in our county was special. But the star of the show for me, was to see at last Herb Paris, which was the absolute icing on the cake! Seen so often in guide books, but never found before.’

‘The whole soggy day was enlivened by our two very enthusiastic guides – thanks again!’