The Strawberry Field is on the Bluebell Road next to the McCarthy and Stone site. It has now had its end of year cut, but for wildflowers to prosper the cuttings need to be removed.
Matt Tomlinson is organizing another working party to remove cuttings from at least part of the field. He writes:
“I plan to lead a work party to clear the clippings from the very top of the field and dispose of them under the hedge at the top of strawberry field and under the hedge at the top of the donkey sanctuary (we have permission from the UEA). This area is the richest and certainly the most diverse, for plants, on the field.
If you are free anytime on Saturday the 16th October from 10am (I will be down all day) it would be great to see you and any help is very much appreciated.
Please bring a rake and or fork.
It is forecast to be a nice sunny autumn day on Saturday”
Please come along if you can and help get the job done.
Jim Moore has been dreaming. He has published the first two books in his projected trilogy of children’s adventure fantasies of Princes and Witches in the Valley: “Radulf the Aetherling” and “The Valley Witches”.
Characters from the Valley wildlife feature in the books, and the action is set in locations along the Valley: Earlham Park, University Broad, through Cringleford to Keswick Mill and finally Venta Icenorum where the spirit of Queen Boudicca puts in an appearance. Many of the locations can be walked by the reader.
Jim lives with his wife Sheila and four children in Bowthorpe. He campaigned over many years for the recognition and restoration of the ancient trackway from Bowthorpe to Colney to which the Bridge of Dreams restores a crossingof the river that was lost over 50 years ago.
The books can be purchased via Facebook from Jim Moore at £10 plus p+p or directly from his home address 49 Notykin Street Cloverhill l Bowthorpe Norwich NR5 9DN. £1 from each book sold will be donated to Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (SANDS).
A reader’s review of either of the books can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion on our website.
The latest addition to the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture has appeared on the UEA campus. The “Do not touch” signs are rather bizarre on a sculpture that looks so robust. Hopefully the signs and the fencing will disappear once the Steps are fully installed, and it will be possible to relate the sculpture better to its surroundings.
The Sainsbury Centre comments: “Goodwood Steps is an impressive large-scale work which has been selected to compliment the UEA’s Brutalist architecture and sit within the natural environment of the campus”.
Something to ponder about on the Yare Valley Walk.
Matt is organising another volunteer session to pull ragwort on Strawberry field. This time in the evening, as many people find it difficult to come at the weekend. Matt says that in the last session “8 kind people did an incredible job and the field (now left uncut) is alive with butterflies, ant hills, grasshoppers chirping and dragonflies zipping by”.
The session will begin at 7pm on Thursday the 29th of July. Please bring gardening type gloves and wear long sleeves.
The Yare Valley Society has received the following request from Matthew Tomlinson
“Help needed to pull ragwort on Strawberry Field (Eaton, NR4 7LE) on Saturday the 17th of July at 10am. We are working with the landowner to change the way the field is managed, allowing us to treat it as a hay meadow and convert the site into an amazing 8 acre community wildflower meadow. It has been left uncut this year and a large number of bee orchids have popped up, along with a few pyramidal orchids and a huge amount of insect life. Please bring gloves and long-sleeved tops.”
Matthew is working with the landowner and the owners of the adjoining donkey field to get the fields management changed to turn it into a wildflower meadow. He has had good local support and hopes to do a moth trapping night over the summer. The ragwort is being pulled as an alternative to cutting the field which would kill any cinnabar moth caterpillars present. When the ragwort is pulled, any caterpillars on it will be transferred to plants off-field.
Warning. Ragwort is a highly toxic plant, and there is evidence that it can affect humans. Any pulling of the plant should be done wearing protective gloves, and although it may seem a fun activity for children, it is perhaps not wise to involve them.
If you have a special tool for the job e,g. a lazy dog weed remover please bring it with you. It is probably more effective for long term eradication.
We all enjoy our slow ways in the Valley, but a new project involving large scale collaboration aims to create a national network of “Slow Ways”. “A Slow Way is a route for walking (or wheeling) between neighbouring cities, towns and villages, using a variety of existing paths, ways, trails and roads.”
Slow Ways from Norwich cross the Yare at Cringleford, Harford and Lakenham Bridges, but only one route, Norwich-Mulbarton, passes along part of the Valley. It uses the Bridleway from the Mulbarton Road across to Keswick Mill, before turning south west to head past Keswick Hall, to picking up the Bridleway beside the Southern Bypass across to Intwood Road.
You may have noticed that the memorial plaque to our past Chair, Elaine Tucker, near the Mathematical bridge at UEA had become detached from its base. YVS have funded a replacement Plaque and it has now been installed. The wording on the plaque is the same as the original.
Elaine Tucker took over from John Thurman as Chair of YVS in 1993, and served as Chair until her death in 2007. Elaine was a very active campaigner for protecting the Yare Valley against undesirable development, includingrepresenting the Society at Planning Enquiries. She was fortunate to have the support of her husband Frank, who was very experienced in planning matters. The Plaque was erected and a tree planted in memory of her contribution to the Society and the wider community.
Our thanks to John Thurman for making the arrangements for restoring the Plaque. Our thanks also to the UEA who provided the stone slab, and to their staff who fixed it, having removed the old steel plinth by pulling it out with a chain attached to truck!
“The Environment Bill is currently making its way through Parliament and we have a once in a generation chance to put the weight of the law behind protecting nature. The Wildlife Trusts have written to the Prime Minister asking that the Environment Bill is strengthened to legally bind the Government to reverse wildlife declines by 2030.”
The Trusts ask you to sign their petition to the Prime Minister calling for a legal guarantee for nature’s recovery by 2030. Sign to show you want our wildlife to be better protected.