Viewing all entries written by Iain Porter
On Saturday I was privileged to attend the launch of a new state of the art apiary (a place where beehives are kept) near Spaxton. The new facility has been created by the Quantock Beekeepers Association.
This afternoon I attended the Meet the Buyer event at Dunster Tithe Barn. The event was an opportunity for local producer suppliers and buyers to meet and network with the aim of improving business and collaboration.
My 6.30 arrival into the office got off to a bad start when I realised (at the office door) that I had left my keys inside when hurrying out yesterday. However this did give me an excellent opportunity to explore Fyne Court listening to the wonderful Dawn Chorus, where lots of song birds are singing to impress the females and claim a territory.
Much of my role is about planning the work that the AONB team will be doing for the year. This includes writing Business Plans and project planning, which it has to be said is not the glamorous side of the job.
There are many opportunities to help us understand more about the flora and fauna of the Quantock Hills. Many volunteers helped ranger Andy Harris with the summer heathland bird survey in summer, or with the longed eared owl surveys in winter. Others help out with the annual deer count for the Quantock Deer Management & Conservation Group. There is something all these opporunties share…
Had a wonderful early morning checking the ponies on Cothelstone Hill. There was a slight breeze with heavy showers passing through on the Bristol Channel. But what was even more impressive were the flocks of Linnets and Goldfinches flitting acorss the hill.
What can I say, yet again the weather tried to spoil one of our evening events. Having already postponed our last bat walk I was hopeful that tonights weather would hold. It started well, with good cloud cover and a settling wind which allowed plenty of insects and moths to come out.
At the end of last week the weather improved which provided opportunity for Katy Jeffreys, a local bat expert, and myself to lead a guided walk discovering the bats of Fyne Court.
The wonderful display of woodland flowers such as yellow archangel, wood sorrel and wild garlic this year have really made my regular visits to Cothelstone Hill special. The AONB Service manages this woodland on behalf of Somerset County Council and it is a great place to visit especially during the spring and summer months.
Last night I attended the launch of the Somerset Woodland Association. The idea behind the project is to link woodland owners so that they can swap ideas, advice and work collaboratively on woodland management. It will also link woodland contractors and workers supporting local businesses working in our local woodlands.
The Quantocks are really coming alive with this recent spell of good weather. It is glorious on the hills right now, and it is a great opportunity to see the birds getting ready for the breeding season and the frogs and newts heading back to the ponds and streams.
Today managed to catch up with Kevin Palmer on the main common looking for the elusive Adder. The AONB Service has been working with Kevin for the past 5 years looking at the adder populations on the Quantock Hills but this year is the first time Kevin and the Somerset Reptile & Amphibian Group has been able to survey a large area of the main common. It has been great to see the enthusiasm of the volunteers who have put in a massive number of hours with their heads down looking for these elusive snakes.