Money to make things happen

Rachel Pickering – Conservation Officer

We’ve been banging on about community grants over the last few weeks. But we’re not finished yet. 

Despite the challenging economic climate the National Park Authority is still really keen to continue to offer grants to the local community for special projects. The Authority’s own Community Grant fund is open for business again in 2014 and is available for a wide range of projects which benefit the local environment, cultural heritage and community facilities.

This is the second year of this particular fund. The fund picks up from the LEADER Boy photoSmall Scale Enhancements Scheme. We are looking for small scale projects within the North York Moors like the one in Hutton Buscel which involved improving their churchyard habitat for wildlife as well as educating young children from the school next door about their local bugs and beasties. The school used the adjacent churchyard as their outdoor classroom and the children loved getting hands on to make bug hotels and the like.

Last year the Community Grant funded 23 projects in all which totalled £58,000 of grant funding. We funded some really good projects including energy efficiency improvements for village halls to make them more sustainable, archiving of historic resources to make them more accessible, and the renovation of two war memorials to help conserve these esteemed features. One of our favourite projects was at Hutton Park near Guisborough where volunteers set themselves up as a new community group and began a tree replanting programme. The aim is to preserve the historic character of the parkland landscape at Hutton Lowcross, where many of the large old parkland trees have been lost over the years. Individual local provenance trees were planted and protected from cattle and wildlife (like deer) with tree guards and fencing.

Just a little bit of funding support can help community groups achieve great things that make a difference.

So if you are in the North York Moors and you have a project in mind that might fit the bill then please have a look at our Community Grant flier 2014 or on our website for more information and to access the simple application form.

Applications need to be in by 30 June 2014

 

 

 

A few more April snap shots (including daffodils)

Ami Walker – Conservation Land Management Adviser

Pig troughs after wall repaired

Pig troughs after wall repaired

Pig troughs before wall repaired

Pig troughs before wall repaired

Following on from the bee boles in Glaisdale, here is another historic feature from the North York Moors. This is a row of stone pig troughs built into a dressed stone wall in a farmyard in Bilsdale. The farm is within the North York Moors Farm Scheme and through that scheme this wall has been repaired. Care was taken to retain the pig troughs and we think it’s worked pretty well. These small scale cultural features can easily be lost, but not in this case.

Mark Antcliff – Woodland Officer

This tree in Farndale just doesn’t know what it wants growing under it – to the left is OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcovered in daffodils and to the right it is bluebells (yet to come into flower). This is part of a six hectare woodland project with the Farndale Estate where 500 oaks grown from acorns collected from local veteran and venerable trees (approx. 200 – 300 years old) were planted two years ago. With some on-going care from me virtually all the trees are growing nicely and I look forward to seeing the maturing trees shade out the giant beds of bracken – if I live that long or am still able to clamber up to the wood!

Alex Cripps – Conservation Graduate Training

I am well underway with the Rosedale wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) survey and after such a late spring the daffodils are now looking spectacular.

I have been visiting many landowners who have kindly been in touch to say they have wild daffodils on their land. I walk the sites and map out the distribution of the daffodils, categorising them according to whether they are have a dense or a scattered distribution, or if it is just an occasional plant. I also make notes on how well they are flowering.

Wild daffodils are growing really well along the banks of Northdale Beck and the River Daffs1Seven, along various small springs and also on banksides that are often wooded. Wild daffodils favour these areas as they provide partially shaded habitats. Now we are having warmer days (although that may not be the case for next week!) there are lots of insects about which will be pollenating the daffodils, allowing them to produce seeds. Wild daffodils do however have a second method of regeneration by producing small bulblets around the parent bulb. Having two methods of regeneration is a great way to ensure their survival.

This is the first time we have carried out a detailed survey of the wild daffodils in Rosedale and it will be interesting to compare future survey data to build up a picture of what is happening to the population.Daffs2

Clair Shields – Small Scale Enhancements Co-ordinator

A LEADER Small Scale Enhancements funded education project is underway in Hutton Buscel led by a local volunteer and Hedgehog Club co-ordinator called Tammy Andrews. The first session, at St Mathews Church in Hutton Buscel, involved 23 children from Derwent Valley pre-school. The children walked round the churchyard looking for the photos of birds which Tammy had hidden and listened to their songs using an app. The children then collected sticks, feathers and grass to make a bird’s nest collage. They even found an actual old bird’s nest! Back at the pre-school centre everyone helped to build bird boxes. The idea is to have another day for the children in a month or so to see the bird boxes installed on site along with bat boxes and ladybird logs.