News just in from The Woodland Trust……

 

It’s great news – but…

The fight is not over yet - Woodland Trust

Breakthrough in fight to protect ancient woodland

It’s great news – the Government’s Housing White Paper has conceded that ancient woods and veteran trees need better protection. But the fight’s not over yet – we must keep pushing to ensure this becomes official policy. Our blog explains what needs to be done.

Read now

A new horizon for Tring

Thanks to amazing support, we have secured almost £430,000 towards our target to buy farmland to extend Tring Park. We are still fundraising for the shortfall – please help us put the final piece in place at Tring Park.

Find out more

Vote now or it will be Eurovision all over again!

After being crowned England’s Tree of the Year, the Sycamore Gap needs your votes to be in with a chance of winning the European Tree of the Year contest.

Vote now

When does winter end? How will we know?

It may seem as if it’s going on forever but winter will end – honest! Our blog explains what to look for.

Have you seen any signs?

Join the fight against tree disease

Plant our Targeting Tree Disease pack of trees to renew your landscape, please restore existing woodland and hedgerows and regenerate countryside that is threatened by disease.

£60 for 45 trees – part funded by Woodland Trust

 

News in from the Woodland Trust which may be of interest to Carshalton Central residents

Cllr. Hamish Pollock recently received this news bulletin from the Woodlands Trust which may be of interest to Carshalton Central residents and others!

The Woodlands Trust’s work with The Climate Coalition

 
Woodland Trust staff, volunteers and supporters joined The Climate Coalition’s Speak Up lobby at Westminster (Photo: M Larsen-Daw/WTML)

The Woodland Trust is a member of The Climate Coalition, a group of over a hundred organisations working together to call on government to commit to action on climate change. They are dedicated to limiting the impact of climate change on the people, places and life we love at home in the UK and around the world. It’s a positive movement to highlight just how much we all care about the challenges we and future generations face.

Climate change impacts woods and trees

The trees that line our streets and gardens. The hedges that adorn our countryside. The woods where we walk. They provide and purify our air, clean and encourage water storage, give our wildlife homes, lock up carbon and make our landscapes green and beautiful. Simply by being around them we feel happier and healthier. Ancient woodland invokes a sense of wonder whilst hosting centuries-old ecosystems that cannot exist anywhere else. But the biggest long term threat to these benefits, and the trees, woods and wildlife themselves, is that posed by climate change.

It can exacerbate the likelihood of pests and disease, result in loss of synchrony in the workings of ecosystems’ and species’ competitive advantages, it may cause habitat fragmentation and changes in species’ ranges and it will mean our natural world is less able to adapt in its battle for survival. Ancient woodland, as a habitat made up of unique delicate ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable. They are irreplaceable special places that can never be compensated for once they are gone.

The Trust is working to address climate change and its impacts. We aim to increase resilience of natural ecosystems within urban and rural areas to climate change. We promote the role of trees and woods in mitigating the impacts. We raise awareness of the issues and encourage personal action, such as planting trees. As an organisation we continue to reduce the Trust’s own impact on the environment.

Find out more about we are doing in our position statement on climate change

Latest news

In February, green hearts will be worn far and wide across the UK to ‘show the love’ for the special places and cherished memories that could be lost to climate change this Valentine’s Day. From football clubs to rock bands everyone is getting involved. Here at the Woodland Trust we know that some of our special places and most cherished memories involve the beauty and adventure provided by trees, woodland and their wildlife, so for them we will be showing the love.

Get involved

Heart, woods and trees

Don’t lose what you love climate change just because no one knew you cared. Show that you care about special places like ancient woods and wise old trees for The Climate Coalition’s Show The Love nationwide event.

Create a green heart to wear, share or show. Whether its crochet, card or a drawing we’d love to see your creations, share them on social media with #ShowTheLove and #TreeCharter. Get some inspiration and print-outs to use from the For the Love Of website.

Do you have a story or cherished memory of a tree? Could it be threatened by climate change? You can share your own story by writing it on a green heart and hanging it on a tree. Why not go one further? Tell us your story online by the end of February and help build a Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

Update on Sutton Council’s Parks, Cemeteries and Grounds Maintenance

150803 carsh parkThe following is a statement the councillors have recently received from Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council.

“I am pleased to report that the contract with idverde to provide parks, cemeteries and grounds maintenance services on behalf of Merton and Sutton Councils has now been signed. idverde will formally take on responsibility for delivering these services from Wednesday 1 February 2017.  Over the last few months, the Council (through the South London Waste Partnership) has been fine tuning the details of the new contract with idverdeidverde has been meeting with Friends of Parks Groups in the borough to help identify priorities and reassure Friends Groups that they can continue to play a key role in their parks going forward.  idverde is an award-winning horticultural specialist with 100 years of experience under its belt. I have no doubt that they will continue to provide a very high quality of service for local residents at a reduced cost to the council.” 

 

If you go down to the woods today, watch out for oak processionary moths, advises Sutton Council

Sutton residents are being advised by Sutton Council to be on the lookout for oak processionary moth caterpillars when visiting the borough’s parks this spring as the moths can cause an allergic reaction.

The oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoein processionea) is a pest that was recently identified in the Worcester Park area in the west of the borough. The moth was introduced to England from mainland Europe and first identified in London in 2005.

The oak processionary moth caterpillars emerge around May, coinciding with bud burst when leaves emerge from trees at the start of the growing season. In their early stages of growth, the newly-hatched caterpillars feed exclusively on oak leaves and it is possible for large populations to strip whole trees of their leaves. On a healthy oak tree, this generally will not cause any permanent damage, but it can leave trees vulnerable to other pests and diseases, and less able to withstand events such as drought and flood.

As the caterpillars develop they produce thousands of tiny barbed hairs containing a substance called thaumetopoein that can cause itching skin rashes, eye irritations and sore throats in people and animals that come into contact with them. In rare cases the barbed hairs can cause breathing difficulties and allergic reactions. However, symptoms are not usually serious and can be treated by a pharmacy.

The hairs can be shed by the caterpillars as a defence mechanism, be blown off by the wind, and left in the silken webbing nests the caterpillars build on the trunks and branches of oak trees, sometimes at or close to ground level. These nests can fall to the ground, and hairs can stick to the trunks and branches of oak trees.

The oak processionary moth caterpillars have a distinctive habit of moving about in or under oak trees in nose-to-tail processions, which gives them their name. The silken webbing nests are white when new, and often have silken trails leading to them. They quickly become discoloured and harder to see against the dark colour of oak-tree bark.

Sutton Council’s Parks Service is monitoring the situation closely and has a term contractor to deal with both spraying and nest removal.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“If you see any oak processionary moth nests or caterpillars, do not approach or touch them. Report them immediately to the council or the Forestry Commission, which is leading efforts to control its population, spread and impact.”

The main risk period is between now and July, when the caterpillars are active. However, borough residents are advised to avoid nests, even “spent” nests, at any time, because the hairs in them can remain irritating for many months.

Woodland walk to put a spring in your step

queen-mary-woodland-2_smllr

Moss grows on a tree branch in Queen Mary’s Woodland, Carshalton Beeches. (Picture courtesy of Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers).

Sutton residents have the opportunity to enjoy an early-morning spring birdsong chorus on Sunday 1 May at Queen Mary’s Woodland, Carshalton.

The event, run by Sutton Council’s Biodiversity Team, begins at 5am and costs £5 per person for the unique chance to learn about bird calls from the experts.

Attendees will also be able to find out more about some of the fantastic events which the Biodiversity Team have planned for the spring and summer.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environments and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“As the weather gets warmer and the mornings a little brighter this is a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in the wonderful wildlife of our borough to learn more from our biodiversity experts.

“It’s an early start but don’t let that put you off. Anyone who’d like to know more about our work keeping Sutton green should definitely make a date in their diary.”

Some of the birdsongs attendees may hear include nuthatch, blackbird, long-tailed tit and greater spotted woodpecker. Prior booking is essential – you can find out how to reserve your place with the Sutton Ecology Centre here.

Diana Hurter, Treasurer for Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers group, said:

“I love the violets that grow here at Queen Mary’s Woodland. The new paths planned for the woodland will make this a real wildlife haven that everyone can enjoy.

“If you manage to get up early enough for our dawn chorus event you’ll have a special experience of what this woodland has to offer!”

Queen Mary’s Woodland originally formed part of the grounds of the former Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children which closed in 1993. The estate has since been developed for new housing, with the woodland being transferred to the London Borough of Sutton.

Notes:

– The Queen Mary’s Woodland project is funded by £300,000 of Planning Gain money, given to the London Borough of Sutton under a Section 106 Planning Gain agreement.

– The London Borough of Sutton will be working closely with Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers and other local groups over the next two years.

– This is the first public event under this programme. There will be a launch event once the planned walkway improvements are complete.

News from Woodland Trust….

Dear recorder,

It’s looking like an interesting year for autumn fruit. Our early records so far indicate that fruiting is later than last year. In drier parts of the UK it could also be potentially more sparse compared to last year’s bumper crops. What has been your experience? Do let us know… and keep entering those all important records.

Recorders often tell me they’re worried that young people are disconnected from the environment. Read more below about how the Woodland Trust is helping children engage with nature.

Kate Lewthwaite
Citizen Science manager

P.S We’re delighted that Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, are organising a Commemorative Symposium in honour of Professor Oliver Rackham on 13 – 14 August 2016. Find out more and express your interest in attending.

Ivy – species of the month

This unassuming and often maligned plant is a nature reserve in miniature. Find out why its flowers are a lifeline for so many insects and how and when to record it.

Explore Ivy ►
Win some BEEautiful prizes

Fancy winning £45 worth of bee-themed goodies from the Woodland Trust shop? Just answer one simple pollinator question and they could be yours.

Enter the competition ►
Nature Detectives for families

From butterfly prints to creepy crawly spotter sheets, our new Nature Detectives website is bright, beautiful and packed with activities to get children (and grown-ups!) excited about nature.

Discover Nature Detectives ►
A great success for citizen science

Observatree’s goal to be an early warning system for tree health has just been realised thanks to a volunteer who spotted the symptoms of a new pest. This is only the second sighting of its kind in the UK.

Community Groups and Schools: Tree Planting and The Woodland Trust

WoodlandTrustPlanning on planting a tree soon?

Please click on The Woodland Trust’s web site for their free tree packs http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/in-your-community/.  We have cut and pasted from their web site the following…

School and community tree packs

Stock update
School Packs: Although limited quantities of the 30 and 420 sapling packs are still available, the 105 packs are now out of stock.
Community Tree Packs: Packs of all sizes are still available.

We have 4,750 tree packs to give away to school and community groups for planting this Autumn. We will be delivering the trees from 2-6 November 2015, so have a look at the information below and see if we can help your community.

These have been generously funded by lead partners Sainsbury’s, IKEA FAMILY, Yorkshire Tea, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Biffa Award; also funded by WHSmith and Wilko.

How does it work?

Communities and schools can apply for our free tree packs twice a year which will be sent out in March and November, available in qualities of 30, 105 or 420.

The packs come in different mixes of tree species so you can choose the best one for your project. We accept applications all year round, but only send trees out twice a year – in March and November – when the trees are dormant and ready to plant.

Free tree pack FAQ (PDF, 2.2MB) – answering your questions about the scheme, including eligibility

Species in the packs (PDF, 0.6MB) – the different variants in the packs we have to offer

How can I get my community tree pack?

Apply for a community tree pack now and follow our step by step instructions below.

How can I get my school tree pack?

Apply for a school tree pack – You will be able to apply for a minimum of 30 trees to plant on your school grounds.

Need more information about school tree packs?

For any school enquiries, please contact learning@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

Further advice and support is also available through our friendly volunteer team of Woodland Creation Champions. If you would like to discuss your planting or tree planting plans, then email us with your name, postcode and phone number and we will arrange for someone to contact you.

The closing date for autumn applications is 3 September 2015, or upon full subscription

We are told that The Woodland Trust are planning to have a stall at the Environmental Fair at Carshalton Park on August Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August 2015.

Latest Woodland Trust News

Dear Recorders

News that 2014 was the warmest year on record makes me wonder what 2015 has in store. We’ve teamed up with British Science Week to ask the public to help us answer the question ‘How fast does spring move?’ by spotting some commonly seen spring signs.

Also in this issue:

  • Blackcaps and chiffchaffs are our species of the month
  • Spring findings from 2014
  • News from our sister project Track a Tree

Kate Lewthwaite
Citizen Science manager

PS a request from our science advisor Professor Tim Sparks: when you are recording this spring, please remember to look for ‘trend-setting’ rather than abnormally early events. For more help see our recording guide booklet.

Species of the month- blackcaps and chiffchaffThe arrival of early spring migrant birds is always a welcome sign. Kylie in our team gives some tips about spotting chiffchaffs and blackcaps, which will be returning to the UK soon.
Your findings from spring 2014Now all the results are in and analysed, what was last spring like?
How fast does spring move? Find out with British Science WeekNature’s Calendar is delighted to be a partner for British Science Week 2015. This initiative is a great opportunity to introduce recording to family or friends over the next few months and to help answer an interesting scientific question.
Track a Tree workshops

Our sister project, Track a Tree is looking for more volunteers to record spring in the woods in 2015. They are running three workshops during March.. Find out how to book a free place by visiting their blog.

Action for autumn

Autumn brings an array of colours to our streets. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and leaves fall from trees.

As the weather turns, here are a few ways you can help to keep our neighbourhoods clear and safe:

Clear leaves from the footway. When sweeping your own path PLEASE also sweep leaves from the footway near to where you live. Bags can be obtained by calling the contact centre.

Let us know PLEASE about any faulty street lights.

Edges of your property should be free of overhanging vegetation which may inconvenience pedestrians. Please trim overhanging bushes or hedges back.

Avoid drains becoming blocked. By sweeping leaves you will be helping to keep drains from becoming blocked which causes flooding.

Report any fallen branches, PLEASE.

Sutton’s Action For Everyone

To contact us, use Report It http://reportit.sutton.gov.uk/arsys/shared/ri_login.jsp

or telephone the contact centre on: 020 8770 5000.

Lib Dems’ Environment Manifesto

The Liberal Democrat manifesto will include plans for five new laws to protect the environment, it has been announced recently.

The manifesto plans include include legal targets for clean air and water, an end to dirty coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector.

Liberal Democrats in government have worked hard to keep the environment at the top of the agenda. The party wants to go further and build on their achievements in Government in areas including Britain’s rise in renewable energy, the Green Investment Bank and record investment in our railways.

The plans include new rights to access green space, new marine and coastal reserves, the roll out of an electric vehicle charging point network, ambitious waste reduction plans and new regulations to boost energy efficiency and renewable heat to cut energy bills.

key_green_laws.jpg

The five green laws are:

  1. A Nature Bill: key measures include legal targets for biodiversity, clean air, clean water and access to green space, extending the Right to Roam and establishing new marine and coastal reserves.
  2. A Heating and Energy Efficiency Bill: key measures include building on the Green Deal with a national programme to raise the energy efficiency standards for all Britain’s households. We will legislate to boost renewable and district heating programmes and heat saving standards.
  3. A Zero Waste Britain Bill: key measures include establishing a “Stern Report” on resource use, with binding targets and a clear action plan to reduce waste and end biodegradable landfill.
  4. A Zero Carbon Britain Bill: key measures include introducing a decarbonisation target for electricity generation, expanding the powers of the Green Investment Bank and banning electricity generated from unabated coal.
  5. A Green Transport Bill: key measures include establishing a full network of charging points for electric cars, only allowing low emission vehicles on the roads from 2040 and reforming planning law to ensure new developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport.