There will be no work day in January. The next work day will be Saturday 4th February.

November 2011

We have recently been presented with a £300 Watermark award, from Wessex Water and the Conservation Foundation. The photo below shows Sue Jones presenting the cheque to Terry, Rosemary and Hilary, at Moorend Spout. Many thanks to Wessex Water for their support!

Please note that membership subscriptions will soon be due. We have decided to have our membership year running from December to November, to be sure of having money readily available to pay insurance costs (due in mid-December). We hope you understand. Please see the "contact us" page for more information about paying your fees.

October 2011

We have received planning permission for construction of five ponds on the site - thanks to all those who sent supporting comments to the council. We now have to get quotes for the site, get flood defense consent from the Environment Agency and comply with the conditions of the planning permission. Hopefully we will start to dig the first of the ponds in the spring, once the ground has dried out.

September 2011

A new bench has been installed on the site, adjacent to the boardwalk. This was constructed from tree trunks from Backwell Environmental Trust's land and is a great addition to the site.

Bench construction

Taking a well earned rest after the work morning (photos © Hilary West)

Unfortunately we also had to rebuild the dams leading from the carr into the small pond during our work morning - persons unknown had removed a number of the stones from the dams which had resulted in the water levels in the carr dropping considerably.

Even worse, a visit the next day showed that someone had been back and once again removed the stones - so all of the volunteers' hard work was once again undone and the carr and the small pond were again drained. We hope that it is just children "mucking around" and not someone deliberately damaging our work - but also hope that it will not happen again.

The carr is an important wet woodland habitat and it is disappointing to see it being damaged like this - please let us know if you see anyone removing the dams. We plan to install some signs so that visitors realise that the dams have been installed purposely and although we would like visitors to be able to enjoy this area, if it is damaged again we may have to consider blocking this area off from public access.

August 2011

We received £350 from the Waitrose green token scheme - many thanks to those of you who supported us!

July 2011

NEWT are one of the three local groups selected by Waitrose for their July token scheme, where £1000 is split proportionally between the three causes based on the total number of tokens received. When you make a purchase in the Nailsea store, you will be given a green token - please put this in the NEWT box to support us!

The meadow has been mown by Robert Young, a local farmer. He has removed the hay cut from the field, which will help to reduce the nutrient status of the field (which in the past had been "improved" through chemical fertilisers - these nutrients remained in the land year after year as the grass died back over the winter) and hopefully give other plants and wild flowers an opportunity to grow. We benefit through the labour involved in the cutting and removal; Mr Young benefits by taking the hay for his own use, so this is a good deal for both parties.

Photos © Terry Smith

Our planning application is ongoing. We have been addressing the concerns of the Environment Agency and hope to submit revised plans to North Somerset Council soon.

April 2011

Our last few workdays have been very productive. We have finished clearing the sedge and the brambles for this season, prior to the birds' nesting season. The dam between the carr and the Middle Yeo has been strengthened and covered, and this has been a great success, leading to raised levels within the carr as well as a new shallow wet area on the meadow which has now been covered in water for several months.

We have planted out willow cuttings (collected on site), to help extend the carr, as well as Ragged Robin plants that have been grown from seed by various green-fingered trustees.

The second water channel leading out from the carr has been cleared and uncovered on our workdays - this appears to have been a man-made channel, judging by the shape and size of the stones we found in it. The water plunges underground on leaving the carr - by clearing the soil and rocks, we have formed an attractive new waterfall feature in this area. If you go to look at this feature, please take care not to trample the new Ragged Robin plants. We are still not sure where the remaining underground channel leads - it appears to head approximately northwestwards, and we think it may emerge in the rhyne to the west of the site. We are considering hydrological surveys on the site, to determine the routes of various waterways, including Jacklands Tunnel.

Photo © Terry Smith

This is the new water feature, in March 2011.  It has since been further extended towards the bottom of the image.

January 2011

The NEWT AGM was held on 10th January at the Nailsea Fire Station. Accounts and annual reports were presented to the trustees, members and volunteers. Terry provided an interesting slideshow of the site, and questions were taken from the floor.

Work days in December and January continued to clear the sedge and bramble, as well as damming the outlet from the carr in order to raise the water levels in the woodland. After a slow increase, we are now starting to see higher water levels among the trees. Please take care if you go into the carr as the ground can be marshy.

We are in the process of putting together a planning application for ponds on the meadow, in order to increase the habitats within the site. More details will follow and we will appreciate your support for the application, once it is submitted to North Somerset Council.

For older news and events, please see the link on the left.

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