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

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.

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!

Volunteers relaxing at Elliker Wood

Lunch in Elliker Wood

Much work has been done recently at Elliker Field and Wood. Now that the cows are removed from the field this has been cut and raked.

The log store (just out to the right of the picture) is completed and we plan to create a pond in the field into which rainwater run-off from the roof will be directed.

Elliker log store. Processed wood is in the crates on the left. Logs on the right are yet to process.



Collingham Becks

During the past year, the Trust has assisted the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust in monitoring the pollution in the streams of the Collingham, East Keswick and Bardsey catchment area. Our samples confirm the Environment Agency’s earlier findings that these water courses are indeed highly polluted. Some articles refer to the beck as “Collingham Drain”!

Water sample tests from East Keswick beck showing high levels of pollution.

Most of the pollution comes from agricultural run off, but we can help… see the next post. Additional assistance that the Trust has provided has been helping plant trees and hedges along the stream sides.