Pumpkin entriesI’ve just returned to Stroud after a week in the sun in Spain and it is really starting to feel autumnal now. The leaves are turning golden and it’s noticeable that the evenings are getting darker much earlier: it’s harvest time! To celebrate we are organising our Pumpkins and Apples in the Park – if you have grown pumpkins this year, please remember to keep one and enter our carved pumpkin competition. It’s on Sunday 25 October with a Carved Pumpkin Lantern Trail, and judging between 5.30pm and 6pm. The pumpkins look amazing all lit up round Stratford Park and there will be prizes from our eco shop so whether you’re a regular visitor to this event or are thinking of coming along for the first time, get the date in your diary. You can also bring your own apples to be pressed (one carrier bag each; if you would like to take the juice home, please bring your own bottles). Apple pressings will be from 11 to 12.30pm and 2 to 3pm. More information is available on our website, or in the eco shop.

If you have a garden or some land now is the time to clear it up for winter or perhaps embark on a new landscaping project. If it feels a bit daunting we may be able to help. We can provide a team of people to help with those jobs where a few extra hands will help. We have a special interest and expertise in creating and restoring wildlife friendly places. If you are interested do contact us for more information.

I’ve been working with the team on Shaping the Heart of Stroud to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for Stroud town centre which will be launched on 3 October at the Sub rooms, hope to see you there!

Garden Tiger mothFollowing careful moth trapping with Bob Smith from Butterfly Conservation, a highlight for the charity and the participants was when they discovered three Garden Tiger Moths at Bisley Road Cemetery, which is a local nature reserve managed by Stroud Town Council. The caterpillar of these moths is known as a Woolly Bear due to its fluffy appearance. Older readers may have been very familiar with these species but they have declined rapidly in recent years.

The ‘Moths of Bisley Road Cemetery’ event found 100 different moths in the cemetery. A record of the moths at the cemetery will be sent to the county Moth Recorder who collates data sent from all over Gloucestershire. Each year Gloucestershire records are sent to a number of national and county databases where they are available for analysis.

Bob Smith said that there are around 25,000 species of insect in this country, most of which are never seen. Monitoring moths and butterflies provides an important indicator of insect welfare generally and, indirectly, of the welfare of their predators, including birds, bats, spiders and predatory insects; and also of the state of the environment - and it's really interesting!

 

 

Stoud Valleys Project wins a gold certificate in the 2015 Stroud in Bloom Competition for the Capel's Mill display.  Heart-felt thanks to Deborah Roberts, who volunteers with us on the Capel's Mill site, as she took the pictures and arranged the display so beautifully.

 

StroudInBloomDisplay P1130401 LowResStroudInBloom FlowersBottlesNotice P1130421 LowRes

The holiday seasMoth1on is with us, Stroud town centre is much more vibrant at this time of year with lots of families and young people out and about creating a lively atmosphere all week long.

I love the Peli Pop Up Park. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s next door to the Cornhill where Stroud Farmers Market is.  The rain garden is looking good, helped by the rain we have had this week, the green wall planted with herbs has started to establish itself and now we are starting to get some courgettes ready in the raised bed . I am still looking for recycled containers of some sort we can use to put on the tarmac and paved area so we can grow more plants, can anyone help?

Come and join us for a Moth Night in Cam on Friday 4 September from 8.30pm at a nature reserve in Cam. Neil Woodward, moth expert, will set up traps to attract moths during the evening for us to look at. This is a reserve with a rich habitat for moths, so we hope to see some unusual and exciting species

It’s a tough time for charities like ours.  The “Financial Sustainability Review”  produced by NCVO says charities have not seen the recovery experienced by the economy overall. We are seeing some of these difficulties reported in the media.

Small and medium-sized organisations have been hardest hit, with charities with incomes between £100,000 and £1m seeing the biggest falls in their income and assets. Such charities saw an overall fall of 38% in their income from government sources between 2007/8 and 2012/13

We are spending more and more time and energy on fundraising when we would like to be spending time working with our volunteers on our local environment. This vital work cannot happen without funding. Where is all the money?

The star of Poldark has been invited to attend a scything workshop run by Stroud Valleys Project.Scythe

As the series is partly filmed in our area, the charity wrote to Aidan Turner, who plays Ross Poldark in the hit TV series, asking if he would like to attend the event. His Scything in the programme aroused a great deal of interest and some people said that his scything technique needed improvement.

poldark sything - snj“A number of experts have said that Ross Poldark’s scything technique could do with improving and would give him back ache if carried out over a long period of time, which is why I wrote to Aidan Turner to invite him to come along to our event. We run a scything workshop each year using Austrian Scythes which are lighter. Scything is a wildlife-friendly way to manage gardens and larger areas of land,” says Clare Mahdiyone, Stroud Valleys Project’s chief executive.

The workshop takes place on Wednesday 15 July in Stroud and is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience of scything. It is organised in conjunction with Flora Locale, a charity that promotes the conservation of native wild plants. 

Clilck here for more information about the course

To book a place, contact Stroud Valleys Project on 01453 753358 or visit the charity at its Eco Shop at 8 Threadneedle Street, Stroud.

Photo courtesy of Stroud News and Jounal

Stroud hStroudInBloomDisplay P1130401 LowResas been blooming! Everywhere looked lovely and I know a great deal of volunteer effort went into creating it, so well done to all. We entered the Stroud in Bloom window display and were very pleased to be awarded gold. Special thanks go to our brilliant volunteer, Deb Roberts, who took the superb photos and created our display.

As part of our Adult Education work we have been working on the Peli Pop Up Park (temporary park next to the farmers market) with our learners, and last week created a new rain garden with the help of Robert Bray Associates, sustainable drainage consultants. The plants are still getting established but already look lovely. The rain garden will be watered with the rain collected from the roof of the pub. It’s well worth a look. Next on the list is to plant up a green wall in the garden. We are also in the process of creating a small pond and rockery at The Exchange. At the time of going to press we are making a planting plan and it’s all very exciting.

We are organising pond dipping events during the summer holidays. If you have your own pond/water butt and have always wondered what those creatures are that you find, come and join us and our experts to find out.

We are organising ‘Bring Your Wellies To Work’ Lunchtime Walks; the next one is on Monday 10th August. It’s a 45 minute walk, so you will have time for a sandwich too.

One way you can support our work is to join our 100 Club. Contributors pay just £2 a month and are entered into a draw four times a year. Half the money raised goes to the charity and the other half goes to the winners. Even though our numbers are small at the moment, the prizes have been very good, so please help our charity and call into the eco shop to join.

Severn Area RescueStroud Valleys Project’s Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Julie Wickham, said: “We are delighted that Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) has stepped in, at short notice, to provide First Aid cover at our event.  They are an organisation with a very interesting history and we are really pleased to be working with them. The sand banks of the Severn can be treacherous so we are really privileged to have such an organisation in our area.”

 

 

WHERE:        A 38 mile route Eastington, Frocester, Slimbridge and Berkeley

WHEN:          Sunday 14 June at 9.30 am

WHO:            Cyclists on electric and ordinary bikes, with people of all ages and abilities, all helping to raise funds for Stroud Valleys Project.

Ecycle shop and cyclists 2015Environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project are pleased to announce that eCycle and Ritch Hill Cycles will be supporting their annual bike ride.  Ritch Hill Cycles have kindly agreed to offer free bike checks for riders who take part in the sponsored event.

In addition, eCycle will be supplying two electric bicycles for their Chief Executive, Clare Mahdiyone, and Chair of Trustees, Leonora Rozee. This will help Clare and Leonora to take part in the bike ride and ride further this year, thus ensuring they get lots of sponsorship for the charity’s annual Bike Ride which will take place on Sunday 14 June 2015.

Clare Mahdiyone said, "We are really pleased to have the support of eCycle and Ritch Hill Cycles this year. We think people in Stroud are really interested in electric bikes because Stroud is so hilly."  eCycle will be available at Stratford Park on the day to talk to people about electric bikes. If any are sold as a result of the bike ride day, eCycle will donate a proportion of the profits to Stroud Valleys Project.

Anyone wishing to use their bike for the sponsored bike ride and would like a free Bike Check can call Ritch Hill on 07947 247 884.

 

James and Owen stationers will also be sponsoring us again this year - their contribution in providing all our printing needs is invaluable.

 

Click here or call Julie Wickham at Stroud Valleys Project if you want further information about the sponsored bike ride : 01453 753358

I would like to thank all involved in Rodborough Real Gardens and Sculpture Trail which raised a fantastic sum for our funds. I would also like to thank everyone involved in our charity bike ride. I am pleased to have cycled 22 miles and raised over £300 and I hope I have recovered by the time this goes to press; padded cycling shorts are definitely the way forward!

For those of you interested in learning more about nature and wildlife we are putting on a wide range of courses including how to create a pond in two days, how to create a rain garden or to learn more about the wide variety of wildlife we have in this area. If you have been to events during the Festival of Nature and would like to learn more about bats, badgers, butterflies, moths or the insects found in a pond, you can come and spend half a day with an expert and take your knowledge to the next level. The Badger course for example, features Tony Dean, a previous chair of Gloucestershire Badger Group who will explain how to watch a sett without disturbing the badgers. Pond dipping for adults - what makes a pond healthy? We will dip into a local pond and identify what we find. More information and course dates are available in our eco shop, or on our website.

We are running our popular course on Scything again this year in partnership with Flora Locale where you can learn to use an Austrian scythe with Clive Leeke. Austrian scythes are lighter and easier to use and sharpen than English scythes and are better for your back.

The ‘Peli Pop Up Park’, situated in the pub garden next to the Farmers Market is starting to happen. We are creating a temporary pop up park, with the agreement of the landowner. Work has just started clearing the rubbish, repairing the benches and preparing the ground for planting. If you are interested in getting involved, now is a good time. We would like to plant edible plants and flowers. We are currently looking for containers to plant up on the tarmac area, preferably something we can recycle or reuse.... if you can help please let me know.

And finally we would like to thank TSB for making us their charity of the year. We were delighted that to launch their fundraising activities for us, Fran Ockwell joined us on the bike ride, and were very grateful for help on the day from Michelle Noel.

We are delighted to have been chosen to benefit from Rodborough Open Gardens and Sculpture Trail on Sunday 7th June .You will have the opportunity to explore beautiful, ordinary and inspiring gardens in and around Church Place, Rodborough. View sculptures by local artists, and visit the Stroud Valleys Project book stall. Enjoy tea, cake, and ice cream. Tickets are available in advance from Stroud Valleys Project eco shop.

The Festival of Nature is coming up and will take place for two weeks at the end of June. Our wildlife and nature organisations have got together to organise lots of events and activities that are really exciting. Two highlights for me are a talk from Matthew Oates from the National Trust entitled ‘For the love of butterflies’. The talk will include readings from Matthew’s new book; ‘In Pursuit of Butterflies, a 50 Year Affair’. The other highlight is a talk about otters from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s ‘otter man’.

There is another chance to see the ‘Lives Light and Biodiversity’ exhibition by Paul and Helen Green at Stroud Brewery on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June as part of the Festival of nature. This is an exhibition of photographs featuring our work, people, and the amazing places we have on our doorstep.

Don’t forget our Bike Ride which is on Sunday 14th June, starting from the Museum in the Park. Everyone who raises sponsorship for us or makes a donation will be entered into a free prize draw. Prizes are a £30 gift voucher for a Friday night meal at William’s Kitchen in Nailsworth, a meal for two at the Star Anise noodle night and some fine wines from Raffles Fine Wines in Nailsworth.

Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales.    

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

Stroud Valleys Project,
8 Threadneedle Street,
Stroud,
Gloucestershire,
GL5 1AF

Tel: 01453 753358

Fax: 01453 755641

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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