I hope you have had a good Christmas. We used to expect, and sometimes we got, snow at Christmas but now we expect the tail end of hurricanes and/or floods. I’d prefer snow. When I was a kid in the 50s it was not unusual to get a snowfall of 6 to 9 ins that compacted on the pavements and sledging fields and hung around for 3 weeks or more before icicles speared down from the gutters and smashed on the stone flags in the thaw. After that it was a month or two of rain, gales and snowdrops, then sunshine, lambs and daffodils before a last bit of hail then endless summer and golden cornfields…..somewhere to the east of Eden.
Please find attached a pdf containing dates for 2017. This will serve as a programme of tasks and events and a flyer for membership in the coming year. The Committee promised to publish a full year of tasks and events and this is it! However, there is scope for additional tasks and events and we would particularly welcome walks and talks and tasks suggested by members – for 2017 or to include in the 2018 programme.
There’s some different places and different things in the programme this year. I’m looking forward to visiting Arnside and Silverdale and meeting up with Tony Riden there who organises volunteer tasks week in and week out. It will be good to see what they do and we’ll visit a few of their worksites and have lunch out and make a day of it. It will particularly appeal to those who have come out on practical tasks but it will also be very interesting to see the different habitats, flora and fauna.
We ought to spend more time at Beacon Fell! I’ve booked us in for a day in September. In the morning we’ll have a walk with the Ranger there and in the afternoon we’ll have a forage for things to pop into the jam pan with Sarah Robinson. On reflection that could be better worded…but you know what I mean. The jam (or probably jelly) making will be in Nov. There will be 3 wonderful activities to partake in/observe and booking will be essential – cooking seasonal game, jelly making and tasting home made wine (flavoured vodka even). The fruits gathered in Sept will need to be frozen until Nov just in case you are wondering. I’ll tell you more about the cookery teacher and wine maker later. Booking essential!
We’re going to explore Churn Clough (Sabden) and Spring Wood Whalley – why have we never been there yet? Before that (in April) we will have a walk round Tatham and have some lunch at the Church Hall. A lovely tranquil area by passed by most and we’ll be walking with people who normally run round there – hope we can keep up.
In June we’ll join RSPB Lancaster local group walking up the Croasdale valley – I hesitate to even mention Hen Harriers. We’ll see what there is to see, that’s all we can say.
The first two events of the year are talks from Duncan Armstrong on ‘Hidden Pendle’ at St Mary’s Church Hall Sabden and Martin Colledge on Gisburn Forest in Tosside Village Hall. Please read the programme and set aside some dates! I’ll be emailing out as usual about once a month and the Committee will he meeting on 16th Jan. I’ll be letting you know whether it’s white or black smoke for the vacant post of Chairman.
I’d like to round off with a review of what burning topics we discussed whilst chopping down/planting trees/eating/drinking/sheltering from the rain in 2016 but all that we discussed has now been overtaken by events – Brexit, Putin, Trump, Boris, Lou Reed. Interesting times to come I think and perhaps we ought to build a few shelters in the forest.
Best wishes for 2017
Martin Charlesworth – on behalf of the Committee