‘The trees are about to show us how beautiful it is to let go’. We hope you’re enjoying the magic of autumn. The abundance of sensory delights – the red rose hips, the peeking pink cyclamen, the nodding seed heads, the tumbling red, yellow, orange leaves unmasking the magnificent leafless architecture of the trees.
WAL is full of autumn buzz. We’re enjoying lots of exciting conversations across the village which are leading to a growing feast of exciting wildlifepositive community activities …
We’re delighted to be working with the Garden Festival organisers for June 2024, contributing a variety of wildlifepositive garden activities in conjunction with DWT. We’re also collaborating with the Heathfield Allotment Trust who have kindly offered to run a 1000 Wildflower Plant Giveaway event next spring, helping to fill Lympstone’s gardens with native plants for pollinators.
WAL is excited to be supporting a passionate local lady keen to develop a small plot of land she has into a natural sensory space for reflection and wellbeing, benefiting both wildlife and the local community.
WAL supported an inaugural meeting of village folk passionate about the water quality of Wotton Brook. Bringing together a great depth of knowledge and expertise, the group will work closely with the PC, Lympstone Flood Defence Group, local community and relevant external bodies, to create a robust baseline for confidently understanding current, and changing, water quality.
Wildlife Walks are being planned by some of our enthusiastic and knowledgeable local residents. New Year dates coming soon!
Mary Turner tells us about WAL’s presence at the ‘Come and Remember’ festival at the church on 11th November… We asked people to ‘Leaf’ a memory about local nature and wildlife on our tree – a special place in the village, a memorable moment of contact with local wildlife or a favourite view. The responses gave an indication of what is special to people including memories of growing up in the village and playing around the harbour, swimming in the estuary, or enjoying the views from Cliff Field. Some comments were about enjoying the tranquillity
and solace that nature provides, and some about noticing wildlife – buzzards soaring above our heads, the rookery at the bottom of Wotton Lane, and fireflies once seen in Sowden Lane.
Mary Truell reports on the highlights from Devon Wildlife Trust’s AGM last week… I was lucky, with much help, to be able to join by zoom, the first DWT AGM led by their new chairman, Nick Bruce- White. They have had an extremely busy year. A few members have had to sign off due to difficult times but others have joined as the universal anxiety for wildlife’s decline has spread with the knowledge of Climate Change increasing. On the good side is the coffers are still in good shape and volunteers are happily at the ready for more and more help where needed.
Nick spoke well for the second half of the meeting. Of course a highlight is the enormous success of the Beavers in the Otter River now legally fully permitted to spread through the whole country which they are starting to do. Another plus is the tremendous success of the increase of the puffins on Lundy Island with the cleansing of rats. This of course has welcomed the return of many other small species and birds who so greatly depend on the puffins return. Much interest in the county is now focussed on the protection of ancient woodlands and the miracle of tree communication. Similarly much interest is afoot for the return of two almost extinct mammals in Devon, the pine marten and the wild cat. Nick is most grateful for the contribution from volunteers whose help is invaluable such as restoration of hedge management vital for farmland creatures, little dormice seriously declining, butterflies and all tiny insects
as a vital part of the chain derived from loss of birds and bigger mammals. However, as the Chairman said, despite improvements in some places the State Of Nature Report is still a very sad story on land, air, sea and rivers. We have GOT to convince Government in every way and in every place to enforce and fund protection of the natural environment, fund wildlife friendly farming, increase children’s outdoor learning, penalise river pollution, insist on tackling polluted air and halve the use of pesticides for farming and horticulture. Initiative and action and pressure on our elected Governors to commit to these priorities is absolutely essential without excuse. Nick ended apologising for overstepping his timing but I think we all felt that his splendidly positive and convincing words were a most inspiring and encouraging message to end the evening.
Rebecca Abrahams and Mary Truell