9. Out & About

2nd Tuesday Rides from Dunnington

The small group of local cyclists who had not been going out on the second Tuesday of the month at 10.30am from the Cross Keys in Dunnington have recommenced their regular meetings. Given the current restrictions, we cannot cycle in a group of more than six, but if there are more, then we can split into two groups. We normally cycle about 10 miles, and we are including a stop to eat our own packups, or if we are lucky and find a café that does take aways, we can help their business revive. In June five of us cycled to the Millennium Bridge where we stopped for our own coffee and cake, then cycled back via Bad Bargain Lane and Holtby. July’s destination is Stamford Bridge, August who knows? We are a group of friends who cycle at their own risk. Helmets and bright jackets are recommended and please bring a spare inner tube with you in case of puncture. Please come and join us. Any queries to Alison Holmes 07581149056

Friends of Hagg Wood

Midsummer is upon us and I commence this article with sweaters and warm clothes on. However May was hot and very dry, June was cooler and quite wet and July has started cool, wet and windy. How have the variations affected the wood? The trees are laden with leaves, the undergrowth is abundant and high and woodland flowers are in full bloom throughout. Some of the more open spaces are filled with purple or white foxgloves coming into bloom. I am sorry that I do not know the names of the many flowers that are in the wood, but even not knowing their names they are a joy to see. The sharp eyed visitor to the wood may even spot the small clump of orchids that has been a summer flower for at least the past four years. The increasing number of flowers is in some part due to the efforts of the monthly working parties in keeping the invasive plants in check. 

The foliage on the trees does make it difficult to see much birdlife, but judging by the amount of singing and chirping there is a good population of birds. In August, many of the birds will be starting their moult in preparation for their southerly migrations, or taking a break after rearing their latest brood. Then the singing will diminish in volume.  

In a recent visit it appears that fires have been lit, possibly for picnics or similar. However no such fires are allowed in Hagg Wood as fires pose a real risk to the wood, especially if we have another dry spell, with the amount of undergrowth there is. Enjoying the countryside also means taking care of it!

There is still time if you have been inconvenienced by the recent path blockage from Intake Lane, to let us know, with details about how important this access path into the wood is to you, and how long you have been using the wood, via our website https://haggwood.wordpress.com/contact/  or by writing to FHW, 5 Church Lane, Dunnington, YO19 5PT.  Further details of our activities to help everyone enjoy the wood can be found on our website www.fohw.org.uk

Further afield, we are pleased to announce the recent birth of a third baby beaver in Cropton Forest, following their re-introduction last April (see https://www.forestryengland.uk/news/baby-beaver-born-cropton-forest-north-yorkshire).

Our Wildlife Community – Butterflies and Bumblebees 

The Big Butterfly Count is back! Butterfly Conservation describes it as “a UK-wide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths)”. You can help! Pick a dry day with little wind between now and Sunday 9th August. Download the identification chart or use the free app (at https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org). Choose a suitable spot – butterflies like sunny, sheltered places with nectar-rich flowers, especially buddleja. Position yourself so that you are not casting a shadow over the flowers you’re hoping butterflies might land on and watch for 15 minutes. Having a camera for photos might be useful for tricky identification (e.g. different white butterflies) or for counting later if you’re lucky enough to see a lot at the same time. As is so often the case with wildlife-related citizen science, if you see nothing it is important to record that – you will be a zero hero!

Green-veined white butterflyBrimstone butterfly

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has recently launched a free app (What’s That Bumblebee https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/3d-app-brings-uk-bumblebees-to-life-on-your-phone/) to help people identify our eight most common bumblebees. It includes a function that allows the user to compare two bumblebee species side by side which we have found really helpful. For a bit of fun the app also has a function for experimenting with a bit of virtual reality – a 3D bumblebee you can fly in your own home!

Alex & Mum 


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