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Archive for the ‘Moorland’ Category

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of John Agar on 17 April 2020.  John was a very committed and enthusiastic member of SACV and right up until recent weeks he was a stalwart of the group, for many years our most frequent volunteer.  John was out with us most recently at Chorlton Water Park on Sunday 1 March, where he busily got stuck in to the construction of a willow arch.

John had a passion for the natural world and conservation and he especially enjoyed having more time to indulge these interests in later life.  In former years, John was a fixture on our residential weekends in the Peaks, until he “retired” from weekends away in 2013.  On those weekends, John continued his working life’s habit of very early starts, so by the time the rest of us were up John would inevitably have been for a walk to listen to the local birdsong as well as got the breakfast porridge, tea and toast on the go!

John was a founder member of the Friends of Chorlton Meadows, a group we have worked with many times over the years.  Having lived in Chorlton all his life, John was a source of fascinating memories of the changing local environment.

Since the loss of John, tributes have come in from the volunteers who have worked with him over the years: it is clear he was held in huge affection and warm regard, a vocal advocate for the natural environment, infectiously enthusiastic and always willing to share his knowledge with others, warm and welcoming to volunteers of all ages, good-humoured and good company.  He will be greatly missed.

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This was our first residential weekend of the year!  Over the two days we were helping the PPCV with work on a stretch of moorland on Gun Hill, near Meerbrook.  Our task was to remove encroaching saplings to help conserve this important moorland site (an SSSI).  Although some larger trees will be retained and will act as perching sites for raptors, the purpose of our activity was to prevent the trees from taking over and crowding out areas of heather.  Once again we were blessed with dry weather, and the patches of ice and snow which were in place when we started gradually thawed over the weekend.  There is more of the same work to be done at this site, and the Rangers and other volunteers will be back to continue in the weeks ahead.

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