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Posts Tagged ‘Cheshire East Rangers’

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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For our first outing of 2020 we were at Tegg’s Nose, working to clear some areas of gorse.  Gorse has a long flowering period, so is an important nectar source in early spring and early winter; plus its density makes it ideal for a range of nesting birds.  However, it can also take over and dominate a habitat, and the ongoing work to remove some here will better connect the Tegg’s Nose woodland and the higher heathland.

The weather stayed pretty dry (and even occasionally sunny), which was a welcome change from the heavy rain of the last day or two.  Ranger Martin introduced us to the iNaturalist and Seek apps, so we look forward to using those more.  And finally, it was great to have a good turn-out of volunteers – the best we’ve had in a while – so let’s hope that continues into the rest of the year!

 

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This past Sunday we once again joined Martin of the Cheshire East Rangers to carry out some heathland work at lovely Tegg’s Nose.  We were removing gorse bushes that would otherwise swamp the heather and blueberry on the slopes here.

We also found some sort of translucent yellow fungus that we couldn’t identify (anyone?!).

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The last Sunday of February saw our first hedgelaying of 2018 (after our abandoned plan for hedgelaying at Spud Wood earlier in the month).  We had a very cold but bright day on the Middlewood Way and worked on a good section of hedge with Ed from the Cheshire East Rangers.

We’re back at Spud Wood on Sunday 18th March so might yet get some more hedgelaying this season!

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After a cool-ish and cloudy start, today we were again blessed with a beautiful day at Tegg’s Nose Country Park.  As in previous summers, we were helping the Cheshire East Rangers with the obligatory management of ragwort and thistles in meadows which are important for a range of species including orchids, mountain pansies, waxcap fungi, moonwort and adder’s-tongue fern.  The meadows’ management is also supported by controlled grazing by a herd of longhorn cattle (who show extraordinary interest in Ranger Martin’s van!).  All this, and a good sighting of a pair of local buzzards circling overhead!

 

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Today a gang of us were out with Ranger Martin at Tegg’s Nose Country Park, where we helped with adding edging boards to a set of steps which have been suffering from erosion and the loss of surfacing.  A perfect spring day to enjoy the views – plus a chance for a belated celebration of a landmark birthday!

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Well it’s been a while since we put out an update, but that doesn’t mean SACV hasn’t been busy!  In the last month or two we have worked in the quarry area at Tegg’s Nose Country Park (Sunday 12th June), when a damp day didn’t stop us from getting lots of heathland management work done; done some path maintenance work at Sale Water Park (Sunday 26th June) for City of Trees, taking care not to destroy some of the banks of wildflowers; and worked with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust at Birch Farm Ponds (Sunday 10th July) tackling the invasive Himalayan balsam.  Here’s hoping the rest of the summer continues in the same productive vein!

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