Issuu on Google+

The newsletter from Access to Nature Ipswich

Autumn 2012

Ipswich Clean Up / Wild Food Foraging / Finding Fungi / Strange Suffolk Creatures For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

1


Welcome to the autumn issue of

The newsletter from Access to Nature Ipswich WELCOME tO the eighth edition of WildLife, the a2nipswich newsletter! I hope you’ve been making the most of what sunshine we’ve had this summer! We’ve had some disappointments, such as one of our butterfly hunts being rained off, but have managed to have plenty of good times too! Find out what we’ve been up to inside, and also get some dates in your diary for the months ahead – as we head into autumn there is lots to look forward to like gathering delicious hedgerow food and enjoying bonfires, not to mention our brand new competition that we hope you will all take part in page 4. Do get in touch with your news, stories and photos for the next edition, and hope to see you at one of our events soon! Becky

The a2n Ipswich project is funded by Natural England with a big lottery grant and runs until May 2013. It is a partnership project between the CSV Media Clubhouse and The Greenways Countryside Project. Our aim is to engage people with their local natural environment through a variety of fun, creative and educational activities and conservation work. Our long term aim is to increase the number of people involved in looking after the natural world and to help with this we offer opportunities to take part in, and learn about, anything from conservation work to hosting a radio show – you can find out more about getting involved on the back page of this magazine.

2

Holly Card

Carla

Contents Strange Suffolk Creatures Autumn Leaves Wild Food Foraging Tasty food that can be found in the wild Wildlife photography Some amazing pictures from our contributers Finding Fungi A guide to mushrooms and molds Ipswich Clean up The launch of our new competition Wildfood Recipes What to look for in Autumn Friends of Alderman Canal Meet the Volunteers Leslie Nye chats to Flo Autumn Activities Have fun, have a go! Get Involved Can you help?

3 4 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16

Harley

Contributors to this edition Becky Marley - Editor Flo Kemsley - Article Contribution Sophie Wainwright - Article Contribution and photography James Davidson - Article Contribution Charles Matthews - Design Richard Wendt - Design and Article Contribution Anthony King - Design Paul Smith - Photography, Cover Photo Laura Wilding, Holly Card, Richard Reeve, Carla, Harley, Phillip Eastwood, Becky Fox, Marc Akehurst - Photography

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


What to look out for in Autumn by James Davidson

At tHE END of September the first of our ‘winter thrushes’ start to arrive from Scandinavia. When there is an easterly wind in October they arrive in large numbers. Redwings come first followed by Fieldfares. They will stay until March. Redwings make a “seep” call which can be heard by day and night as they pass over – listen if you are outside during the evening through to mid-November. Fieldfares make a “chacking” call. By Tony Hisgett, Flickr

More small birds start to head for gardens as the autumn progresses and natural food stocks dwindle, especially if you provide food for them. Robins, which were fairly inconspicuous late in the summer as they moulted their feathers after a tiring breeding season, may look pristine and showy. They also spend time singing, which many birds do not do until late in the winter as spring approaches. You might also see an increase in Blue tits and Great tits and possibly a flock of Long-tailed tits passing through your garden.

By Smabs Sputzer, Flickr

During autumn a few butterfly species will go into hibernation. One of these is the Small tortoiseshell. It has declined in numbers in recent years but you may see one, wings closed, sheltered inside your shed or sometimes even in your house!

By Paul Smith

Also if you are outside during the evening especially into November you may hear tawny Owls. They can be quite vocal during this period as they begin defending their territories before they start breeding in February or March. The ‘twit twoo’ is actually the two birds calling; the female calls “ke-wick” and the male responds with a “hoo-oooo” Sometimes you see a tawny Owl, as a fleeting glimpse of a shadow, but you could pay a visit to Christchurch Park to see Mabel the female tawny Owl in her favourite tree! Photo by DarrelBirkett, Flickr For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

3


Some of you will have taken part over the years in our annual Ipswich Rivers Cleanup event; this started in 2006 with the Big Cleanup and has happened in September ever since. This event has now evolved into the Ipswich Cleanup competition! Instead of a one-off event, cleanups will be ongoing from the launch on 8th September right through to the end of November. Anyone can get involved and you can take part as an individual, or in families or groups. It’s easy to take part, just sign up, receive your starter pack, and away you go! When and where you litterpick wis up to you, then you send in your results at the end of November!

Your pack will include your recording sheet and some other things to help you get started, such as a hi-vis vest to wear when you are out litterpicking and some health and safety guidelines to keep you safe! We can provide additional support as well, for example if would like to do a big group session we can bring along litterpickers and extra bin bags, help with refreshments, etc.

4

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


When all the results are in they will be sorted ready for our awards ceremony on the 7th December. There will be prizes for most hours spent litterpicking, funniest item collected, and much more! In the past our cleanups have found a weird and wonderful array of items from a blow-open safe, police officer’s badge and licence, and a gun through to a teddy bear, laughing gnome and old record player. Keep a record of anything you collect that is out of the ordinary and you could win the prize for most unusual item collected, or funniest! If you have a camera with you, make sure you take a photo of it and send it in or put it on our webpage!

We really want to keep it exciting and see what people are getting up to, so we’re encouraging everyone to take photos and even films of their cleanups and post them on our website – and there will be associated prizes for these things too! Sharing what’s going on is the best way to get more people involved so get tweeting and facebooking, and tell everyone you know to take part too!

It’s really easy to sign up, just go to our website www.a2nipswich.org.uk or email Becky directly on bmarley@csv.org.uk for the registration paperwork and then wait to receive your pack, and away you go!

We’re really excited about it, and we hope loads of you will join in and make it our most successful cleanup campaign ever!

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

5


Where to Find The best place to start is in your own garden; even a fairly small garden will have something to try out. You can take your time to identify what you have properly and you know it has not been sprayed with chemicals. Local hedgerows offer a wide variety of tasty treats including; flowers leaves berries and nuts. Pick away from ground level; above your waist, to avoid areas where spraying may have taken place on routes that are frequented by dog walkers. Public open spaces (that are not designated nature reserves) are fine as

By cookbookman17, Flickr

long as you are not digging up plants and you are not taking everything in sight. How to recognise This is the most difficult aspect of wild food foraging because you are wholly reliant on your judgement and skill. This comes down to competence (how good are your identification skills?) and confidence (how much do you trust your judgement?). You need to have both; no-one wants to have a bad experience because it will put you off and undermine your enjoyment. by E.Kopyszew, Flickr Get a plant identification book as well as a wild food guide; go on a a plant identification event or a course led by an experienced forager. When to Harvest Need to make sure that what you intend to pick is at its best there are no best before dates on wild foods so be fussy and pick only the best of what’s available. Not too young (you need to be able to identify it with certainty), Berries and nuts need to be ripe or they may cause upset. However old material may have been around for days or even weeks (look for withered or brown leaves, insect damage, discolouration or mould).

Phillip Eastwood,

Marc Akehurst

by Jon Tyler

Wild Food Foraging

What to choose There is a vast array of wild foods out there to choose from; hundreds of edible plants (fruits, nuts, leaves, flowers, shoots roots and stems) as well as fungi, algae (seaweeds), shell fish and even a couple of lichens (for the truly adventurous!). Faced with this mass of possibilities it can be a bit daunting to know just where to begin; so start off with really easy things such as; stinging-nettles, berries, nuts and herbs. Everyone who has ever encountered a stinging-nettle can recognise them and as a back up, if it stings it’s a nettle! Start with teas and infusions, jams and supplementing (or substituting) existing ingredients (i.e nettles for spinach). This way you can ease gradually into wildfoods and there is no need to have to find large amounts, or go through difficult preparations.

6

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


Wildlife Photography

By Je Attaway, Flickr

Below is a small selection of the wonderful photos taken for us by some of our volunteers. You can see more of their fantastic images on our account at Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/55584688@N05/ Richard Reeve

Why is it worth it? Adds variety to your diet with new flavours and textures; some unexpected, some delightful, others just interesting. Sharpens identification skills and gives a new appreciation to plants that we might otherwise take for granted. Gives an excuse to get out and enjoy the wonders of the natural world without having to go half way across the world. turns an ordinary walk down the lane into the extraordinary; you never know what you might find! Paul Smith

Laura Wilding

Marc Akehurst

Tools of the trade Wild food guide book Good pair of sharp scissors Work gloves/ gardening gloves Branched or hooked stick Paper bags and plastic box(es) Note book and pen

R ichar

d R ee v

e

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Richard

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

R eeve

7


Finding

Fungi are a distinct group of organisms that are closely rela species of fungi in the UK and the best time to see the fruit September to November. So here are 10 easy to find specie

1

4

6

Photo by Pellaea, Flickr

2

Photo by Davi Photo by MikeAncient, Flickr Photo by penguinbush, Flickr

5 3

PUFFballS Natures golf balls or footballs, depending on which type you encounter! They generally start off white and fleshy becoming grey / brown and papery with age. Giant puffballs can be over a metre in diameter and contain as many as 7 trillion spores.

1

EarTh-ballS like the evil twins of the angelic puffballs earth-balls are more irregular have scales rather than bobbles and are coloured yellow/ brown on the outside. Inside is a mass of purple / black spores that have a distinctive rubbery smell. Unlike most puffballs none of the earth-balls species are edible so if your interested in fungi nibbles make sure you know the difference.

2

8

razor STroP These large bracket fungi grow only on dead birch trees. They have been used for many different purposes throughout history; dried as tinder for fire starting, cut into stripes and stuck to boards for sharpening knives and razors and even sliced up and used as plasters when young. but sadly despite being large, fleshy and with an appetising smell they are not edible. Well you can’t have everything.

3

INK caPS There are several different species, but all of them are short lived, dissolving into an inky (smelly) spore goo, which is then washed into the ground by rain; and yes they were used in the past for making ink.

6

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


g Fungi

ated to moulds, yeasts and rots. There are around 3000 t bodies (the bit we generally think of as a mushroom) is es to kick off your autumn investigations.

by Jon Tyler

8

9

Photo by Polandese, Flickr

id.nikonvscannon, Flickr

10 7

Photo by John Spooner, Flickr

caNDlE SNUFF FUNGUS Small but amazing to see, they really do look like snuffed out candle wicks. another species that grows year round on dead tree branches and stumps but is easily overlooked.

10

FaIry rING chamPIGNoN Well known for growing in circles on lawns, sports fields and pasture. legend has it that if you washed your face in the dew inside a fairy ring at sunrise you would meet your true love within the year. let us know how you get on.

9

SUlPhUr TUFT one of the commonest species it grows on dead wood often in large clumps of yellow to brown fruit-bodies that have purple spores under their caps.

8

TUrKEy TaIl Perhaps the most common fungi species in the UK growing wherever there is dead wood. What is less well know that along with its common use in potpourri, several powerful anti cancer compounds have been synthesised from this fungi’s fruit bodies.

5

Photo by Joysaphine, Flickr

Fly aGarIc Everyone’s favourite fairy tale mushroom; a photogenic species with its distinctive red cap and white spots; always grows in association with birch trees with which it has a mutually beneficial partnership. belongs to a group of mushrooms that contain some of the most poisonous species in Europe; with names that give you a bit of a clue such as, Death-cap and Destroying angel, nice!

4

JElly Ear Spot these rubbery appendages on the dead branches of elder trees any time of the year; fat and squidgy when wet, shrivelled and brittle when they dry out.

7

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

9


10

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

11


12

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


Strange Suffolk Creatures

HALLOWEEN is on its way and Darren Mann has gathered some spooky sightings from all around Suffolk. Suffolk is no stranger to cryptids, mysterious creatures which can be broadly grouped into two types – ‘out of place’ (OOP) animals, such as the Big Cat nicknamed Claws by the local media, and the other type of beast that have been observed or documented, but whose existence has not been scientifically proven. OOP creatures are surprisingly common around Suffolk. The previously mentioned Claws has been seen around the Ipswich region since the mid 1990s, although descriptions of the feline vary, hinting that several creatures may live wild. The large black cat of Kelly Road was named by locals as a Labrador which frequently escaped, although the dog explanation does not hold tight for the oversized feline which caused a car to screech to a halt outside Christchurch Park, the large fawn coloured cat with green eyes seen by prison officer Heidi Hawley near Shingle Street, or the Snow Leopard observed sitting by the roadside along the A12. A common theory to explain OOP animals is that the creatures have escaped from captivity. Another notion is that the creatures were released after the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976 came into effect. Dragons have made their homes in Suffolk, albeit normally only briefly. Fifteenth century Bures was terrified by a large lizard immune to arrows, which finally slunk away into marshland after causing the locals much grief. Fishermen in Orford caught a two legged, winged crocodile in their nets in 1749; the creature killed one man before being beaten to death and brought ashore. It

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

was around four foot in length, although its killers maintained it was somewhat larger when alive. On 26 September 1449 Little Cornard’s Sharpfight Meadow became the site of an impromptu lizard fight, an event celebrated with a fayre up until the mid-twentieth century. A black dragon from Suffolk and a red spotted dragon from Essex fought with fang and flame for almost an hour, the battle finally won by the Essex creature. No list of weird creatures from the area is complete without mentioning the Black Shuck, the calf-sized, black shaggy hound with fiery eyes the size of saucers. The dog is said to roam the coastline between Felixstowe to the tip of north Norfolk, looking for victims. Folklore says that anyone spotting the shuck will die within the year, although witnesses from the past one hundred years have bucked this trend… The study of unknown animals, cryptozoology, is often subject to fierce debate. Does spending money chasing creatures that may not exist divert the funds from a more useful activity, such as river clean-ups or protecting the Dingy Skipper? Surely a Hound of Hell is more likely to pop up in a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story than a stony Suffolk beach? Like with any given area of the paranormal, thousands of people are reporting incidents that hundreds of thousands of people say could not have happened. Can every witness be mistaken or delusional?

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

13


Friends of Alderman Canal

Lesley Nye

By Lesley Nye

ISN’t It AMAzING how we all take things for granted, getting up, having breakfast, going about your daily chores but never actually stopping and looking to see what’s around us? Let me explain... I live opposite Alderman Park and the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning is the park in all its beauty. No matter what time of year it is or what the weather’s like, it’s stunning. Every day I notice something new; maybe Laura Wilding it’s the way that the branches of one particular tree are shaped like a dragon and seem to come alive in the wind and go to sleep in the sun. It could be the way the squirrels jump from tree to tree like they are playing a game of hide and seek.  I take my dog over for a walk along the canal, round Bibbs Way and back through the park. I have also become “friends” with the other regular dog walkers, exchanging a “Good Morning!” and a nod; that in itself is One of the many volunteers who looks like being in a little secret community. after Alderman Canal. Photo: Becky Fox Again always noticing something different and how peaceful it is. If you closed your eyes then you could be forgiven thinking that you were in the middle of the countryside...just hearing the sounds of the nature and taking in the different smells.   In the summer I see all the office workers sitting on the grass enjoying their lunch, in autumn I watch the leaves change and fall off the trees and in the winter, when it’s snowing, I watch the children making snowmen. In the spring I watch the blossom making the trees come alive.  So the next time you go over to Alderman Canal just stop for a minute and take a look around. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s an amazing place to be. Becky Fox 14

Lesley is part of the Friends of Alderman Canal Group

What do you do for Access to Nature? I do anything from helping to organise events, leafleting, litter picking and helping out at events....usually doing the refreshments. Why did you get involved with Access to Nature? I first got involved because a2n were doing an event at Alderman Park, which is opposite where I live. I went along to see what it was about and thought that I could be of some help to the project. What do you enjoy about volunteering? I mostly enjoy being outside in the fresh air, meeting all different people and getting involved in whatever is happening!!! Have you learnt any new skills whilst volunteering? Since being involved I have become a first aider (St Johns Ambulance), learnt more about the outside, nature and people. I am now starting a computer course but mostly learnt a lot about myself. What interests you most about the natural world? I enjoy everything!!! When you are not volunteering for Access to Nature, what do you enjoy doing? When I’m not doing anything with a2n I do a lot of fundraising for my son’s school. I also enjoy painting ceramics and cross stitch.

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich


H iVE

We have a regular schedule of conservation activity at different sites every month. It’s a chance to get outdoors and discover your local natural environment throughout the changing seasons, learn new skills, have fun and get some fresh air and exercise!

i V i T T C A IE

OF

Because conditions are always changing, the tasks vary and are not decided until close to the day, so could be anything from hedge trimming to litterpicking, surveying to path maintenance.

We often combine our conservation work with additional activities such as a wildlife identification session or walk, practical skills like foraging and cooking, creative activities, or fun things to involve kids with. These will also be scheduled closer to each session and so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on our website, facebook and twitter for up to the moment information on what’s going on!

Work Parties: Thu Alderma rsdays at River G n Canal and ipping Time: 1 0am-4:0 0pm Dates: 1 8th O 15th No ctober, vember

Saturdays at Belstead Brook Park and Stoke Park Woods wit h the Friends of Belste ad Brook Park

Saturdays at Alderman Canal and River Gippin g with Friends of For all work pa Alderman Canal exact location rties, the and details of Time: 10:00am-1 to be confirm tasks :00pm ed nearer the time. Fo r m or e information Dates: 27th Octo contac ber Pritchard on 24th November spritchard@cs t Steve or 07834 75 0970, or chec v.org.uk k the a2nipswic hw www.a2nipsw ebsite: ich. Thursdays at Belstead www.facebook org.uk .com/a2nipsw Brook Park and Stoke ich twitter name: @a2nipswich Park Woods Time: 10:00am-4:00pm

Dates: 4th October, 1st November, 6th December

Dates: 13th October, 10th November, 8th December

Night Walk

Date: Friday 12th October Location: Spring Wood/ Millennium Wood Time: 6:30pm

Fungi Walk

Date: Monday 29th October Location: Bridge Wood Time: 10:00am

picing Craft with Cop

S

Belstead Brook Megabash

Date: Sunday, 18th November Location: Spring Wood and Millennium Wood Time: 10:00am-3:00pm us know For more information or to let on if you’re coming, contact James 01473 433995 or james.baker@ipswich.gov.uk

, Date: Thursday 1st November g Wood Location: Sprin 4:00pm start. Finish by Time: 2:00pm

Bonfire Party 0th November ,1 Date: Saturday nnium Wood Location: Mille r demand! Back by popula ts 3.30pm Time: Fun star

Ipswich Cleanup Awards Night*

Date: Friday, 7th December Location: St Nicholas Centre Time: doors open 6:00pm

Full details available on the website; to book your place contact Bec ky on bmarley@csv.org .uk or 01473 418033

Festive Crafts

Date: Saturday, 15th December Location: Stoke Park Scout Hut Time: 10:30am

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

*This event is invite only @a2nipswich

15


a2nipswich presents:

Signs Of Autumn Wildlife Walk

Saturday 2oth October 10am at Bobbits Lane Car Park Look out for migrating flocks of Redwings heading inland from the North Sea. Explore the different habitats of Bobbits Lane to discover other migrating birds and what they will be eating over the winter. Climb the viewing platform to see if any waterbirds have arrived for the winter. Learn how to recognise different bird calls. Suitable for all ages. To book onto the walk please call Becky on 01473 418033 or email bmarley@csv.org.uk

16

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or followFollow us on us on www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or @a2nipswich www.facebook.com or @a2nipswich via twitter


Access to Nature Get Involved!

Events and Activities

To encourage a wide range of people to get involved with our project and discover the joy of the natural world, we run a wide range of activities — and we always need volunteers to help us deliver those. It can range from a full day of family fun activities, through to a one hour session, and can be anything from nature trails and bug hunts to craft sessions and photography. If you enjoy working with people of all ages and getting people involved in fun activities, this is for you! We also run big events throughout the year, from Spring Wood Day to Ipswich Rivers Cleanup and need volunteers for a range of roles from helping with planning and logistics, to delivery on the day.

Websites and Social Media

We have a website that receives many visitors and keeps them up to date with the work that we do and what we have coming up. However, we have big ideas for all the things that we could make better, from the design and layout, to making it more interactive. Anyone who has any experience of web building and/or design, or has skills that could contribute towards these things such as writing skills or non-web design, would be most welcome. We also use facebook and twitter which are working really well, but again, we could make more of them so having additional people to work on them

would be great. Training can be made available, where appropriate, to develop your skills.

Conservation

As always we are looking for volunteers to get involved with conservation work, from short targeted sessions to full-day work parties, wildlife surveying, and getting involved and taking on roles within “friends of” groups. Training is available in many aspects of conservation from using tools to identifying butterflies and everything in between! It’s also a great opportunity to just get outdoors, get some exercise, meet new people and make a positive difference to your local environment. You can do your part for conservation at your own speed by taking part in our Ipswich Cleanup competition! (see page 4 for details).

Schools and Education

We go into primary schools and deliver nature learning sessions to individual classes. We also work with supplementary schools and other community groups, these activities will be at weekends or sometimes evenings. To help with these activities you need an enthusiasm for working with children more than any specific skills or training, and you will receive on the job training as wells as the opportunity to access useful courses. It’s as fun for us as for the children and a great way to volunteer.

If you’d like to contribute to this newsletter or our website, we are always keen to hear from you! For example, you might like to tell us about an event or activity you’ve participated in, give us your feedback to share, or share your own knowledge about a plant, animal, or place. Becky Marley, Project Manager Steve Prichard, Project Officer 01473 418033 or bmarley@csv.org.uk 07834 750970 or sprichard@csv.org.uk or write to us at: Becky Marley, CSV Media Clubhouse, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich IP1 1RS Follow us on www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or @a2nipswich

For the latest information log on to www.a2nipswich.org.uk or follow us on

www.facebook.com/a2nipswich or

@a2nipswich

17


Access to Nature Autumn Newsletter