It’s been a while since we last posted an article – we haven’t forgotten about you! Here are a few updates:
Of course 2021 is out to a steady start, but there are a few buds and spring bulbs emerging from the earth. The sound of bird calls wisp in the breeze and we know the sun will shine on us all once again.
Last October, we met the new landowner of Oxcroft Screens. It is a company called Red Materials, who specialise in waste management, specifically inert soils. Planning was originally proposed by Harworth Estates in 2015 to infill two main areas of the site. The objective hasn’t changed. We hope that in two years’ time, the site will be reinstated as a country and nature park. In the coming months, we plan to liaise with the landowner for the best possible practices taken to preserve and manage Oxcroft. It is great news that we can work closely with Red materials to deliver this in the years ahead.
In December last year, our annual air monitoring on Stanfree Park took place. The results came back in January and reflect lockdown events of the last few months. The lower than normal NOx (21.5 mg/m3) is great for clean air and community health. We’ve identified several indicator species of lichen found on Hawthorn and Oak twigs near Stanfree Park (Usnea sp. other fruticose and foliose species) which are all clean air indicators. An interesting fact about lichens is that they are a composite organism of a fungus and one or more algae living in symbiosis, one gaining something from the other – fascinating stuff!
Using OS maps and local footpaths, we’ve identified and walked a number of routes (ranging from 2-5 miles) founding a community health walk group in mind, post coronavirus. Stanfree Valley are now registered on the community directory (bolsover.gov.uk).
In other news, an unfortunate decision has been made by government to allow the emergency use of thiamethoxam (neonicotinoid) on some crops in England this year. The ban is to be lifted early 2021 on the chemical that poisons pollinators and other wildlife.
Nature and wildlife monitoring remain to be an integral part of our preservation and conservation work. RSPB birdwatch results were submitted in January. Local tree planting and translocating will continue until mid-March, weather permitting.
It is important to maintain our link with nature and each other in whatever way we can during these turbulent times. We hope for a promising year, 2021.
Stay strong, stay safe.
Love from Stanfree Valley