Environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project has recruited a new wildlife specialist to help with their latest conservation project at Frampton-on-Severn.
Forty-four year old Mark Claridge, who lives in Eastington, joined the charity last month after completing a two years Masters Degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Eco-tourism where he was based in Thailand.
“I had known about SVP for a while and I liked that it is a small organisation with a good track record of working with local people on interesting projects. After two years doing research on the impact of tourism on coral reefs I wanted to do something that was practical and the idea of working closely with local people appealed to me,” explained Mark.
Before deciding to his Masters degree Mark worked at Woodchester Park Badger Research Project, his first wildlife job after completing his original degree in Wildlife Conservation.
Mark joins Nadine Smykatz - Kloss to work in and around Frampton-on-Severn on a project to restore traditional landscape features, improve habitats and establish wildlife corridors on the land left by past gravel and aggregates extraction. Both Mark and Nadine’s posts are funded from the £122,656 grant awarded to SVP by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) earlier this year.
Staff and volunteers at Stroud Valleys Project are celebrating this year as the environmental charity turns 21 years old. To mark the occasion the charity is organising a special event on 22 June for its current volunteers who will enjoy an afternoon out at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust finishing with a barbeque.
Long serving chair of Stroud Valleys Project Patricia Rowan has stepped down after seven years in this key post. She is being replaced by retired chartered accountant Gerry Robbins of Minchinhampton.
Brought up in South Wales (Neath Grammar School and Swansea University) Gerry graduated with a joint honours degree he qualified as a chartered accountant and worked with what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 30 years, the last 25 as a partner. In addition to the UK he has lived and worked in Brazil, Kenya, Peru and the United States.
A special wildlife site at Frampton on Severn is the focus of new funding for Stroud Valleys Project who have been awarded £122,656 by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) to restore traditional landscape features, improve habitats and establish wildlife corridors. The project is aimed at making the most of the land left by past gravel and aggregates extraction in the area around the village including the Frampton Pools, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Traditional orchards are in danger of disappearing with serious consequences for wildlife warns environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project. So to celebrate the variety of Gloucestershire fruit the charity is organising an Apple Day at Holywell Orchard in Cam.
Project officer Richard Lewis said: ”Orchards in England have declined by almost 60 per cent in the last 50 years. According to the records in 1839 there were 99 orchards in Cam and now there are only three. This means we are losing many unique tastes and flavours that are special to Gloucestershire.
Young hedgehogs are in danger this autumn as some will be too small to hibernate warns Stroud Valleys Project who are encouraging people to give a hedgehog a home. The charity is organizing a unique workshop on Saturday 10 October to learn to build a hedgehog house.
Workshop leader Ivi Szaboova said: “Juvenile hedgehogs need to be more than 450 grams (1lb) to hibernate and those underweight are unlikely to survive. Hedgehogs are nocturnal so those out during the day need rescuing and that is why we are running this workshop so that people can build a home to help them over winter.”