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Events Round up for 2018

After a relatively quiet year in 2017, committee members found time in 2018 to organise a number of talks and field visits, or to engage with conservation bodies in the region to run joint events.

In March a talk by pine marten expert and author, Johnny Birks of Swift Ecology, organised jointly with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Mammal Group, was attended by about 80 people. We heard how the species is recovering in Britain and Ireland after almost becoming extinct, and how their presence in the North York Moors was confirmed in 2017 by a camera trap – the first record for 24 years.

May saw the first of a series of field visit events with a visit to Wensleydale to hear from Ian Court of the Yorkshire Dales National Park on some of the species work they are doing.  The day started with a visit to the red squirrel viewing point at the Widdale Red Squirrel reserve to look at the issues of managing commercial woodland for the species and how native woodland creation could play a part, and to spot red squirrels in action.  This was followed by an indoor session on dormouse reintroductions in Wensleydale, and recent work to supplement the population.

In June we visited Malham Tarn with National Trust Ecologist Fran Graham and her colleague Roisin Black.  They spoke about water vole translocation to the site, from where they had been lost in the 1960s after local mink escapes.  A population of 40 water voles has become established, and are being monitored.

Water voles at Malham Tarn

Above: Looking for signs of water vole around Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo by Gordon Haycock

The same month saw a visit to the East Riding and Skerne Wetlands YWT reserve, a former trout farm situated on the river Hull, the UK’s most northerly chalk stream.  Jon Trail of the Trust led the event and talked through the restoration process and work with contractors and volunteers that has resulted in habitat for a range of aquatic and terrestrial species, including grass snake, water vole and otter.

It was back to the Dales in October where we heard here from Dan Turner and colleagues at the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust about how they are working with farmers in Upper Wharfedale to hold and slow water in the upper catchment to reduce flood events.  This includes tree planting, creating leaky dams on streams, and bunds to hold back water – allied to reduced grazing levels through the Environmental Stewardship Scheme.

The year rounded off with an illustrated talk in November by Jonny Hart-Woods of the Canal and River Trust who manage the Tees Barrage.  The structure is there to protect the lower Tees from flooding during storm tides and protect development.  The Trust work to manage migratory fish runs through providing fish passes and to reduce predation from seals through sonic devices and structure design. We heard about the difficulties of monitoring to aid planning and demonstrate effectiveness.

In October, the Section committee again had the opportunity to represent CIEEM at the Leeds University STEM Careers Fair.  This is a large and busy event with employers from around 100 companies represented.  Our stand was well visited by undergraduate and MSc students embarking on a career in ecology and the environment, and interested in how CIEEM could support them. 

The Section Committee is now planning the 2019 programme, so if there is something you would like to see as the subject of a talk or visit, or have something to offer, please contact the committee at yorkshireandhumber@cieem.net.

Upper Wharfdale

Left: An example of work to slow water flow in stream channels in Upper Wharfedale including leaky dams, tree planting and increased vegetation structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: David Martin, Yorkshire and Humber Section Committee

 

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