Boroughbridge Lions

Boroughbridge Lions are preparing for the Christmas 2016 Season with their sleigh – it is our principle fundraiser and the source of much of the money we put back into the local community.  As we do so comes the realization, that this may be the last year for this and the many other things we do throughout the year.  Our band of dedicated members are all getting older and it could well be that, without new members, we will be unable to continue our activities.  Although Boroughbridge based, our area of action ranges from Green Hammerton to Dishforth and Marton cum Grafton to Roecliffe.

Although some 80% of our funds are re-invested in the local community we also support national and international events (mainly disaster relief).  Space precludes me detailing all we do locally and, for the more adventurous, the many Lions overseas projects, but our brand new web site (www.borougbridgelions.co.uk) contains all the details, including video links.

All Lions Clubs have their respective communities at the heart of what they do, but are backed by national and international organisations who provide such things as comprehensive insurance cover, performing rights licenses, and advice on such vital matters as health and safety, risk assessments and food hygiene –  all very necessary if you are organizing any sort of event.  Indeed, Lions International is the world largest service organisation with some 46,000 clubs in over 200 countries.  There is plenty of scope for participation in a numerous overseas projects for those who wish to extend their contribution beyond the local community.

Boroughbridge Lions meet monthly, but attendance requirements are flexible to accommodate the time pressures on today’s young families; we also welcome couples, with discounted membership rates, so that, if necessary attendance can be shared.  We really appreciate all the help we get from volunteers for our events, but without new members to keep the club going the end is inevitable.  If you would like to find out more, why not come to one of our meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm the Crown Hotel – they are informal and very friendly.  Alternatively call Ann or Graham on 01423 323 867 for a chat about what it means to be a Lion and to make a difference.

The Blackbirds in your Garden

It is easy to dismiss the Blackbird as just another common, year-round garden resident, but there is more to this familiar bird than you might think!

Blackbirds were originally woodlands birds, but over the years have adapted very well to an urban environment. So much so, that it is thought that urban Blackbird populations may even act as boosters for less productive woodland populations, which face significantly greater levels of nest predation – despite all the cats in our gardens! The most serious threat to urban-nesting Blackbirds is probably a prolonged period of dry weather, which makes getting at earthworms in a rock hard lawn very difficult and puts their chicks at risk of starvation.

Breeding territories and feeding sites may be used year after year by socially dominant birds, particularly those with food available throughout the year. Blackbirds have a varied diet, not just feeding on fruit and earthworms, and have even been seen taking tadpoles and newts from the shallows of garden ponds.

Information from the BTO Garden BirdWatch reveals a seasonal pattern of garden use, with a reduction in numbers from August to October. This ‘autumn trough’ is probably linked both to the availability of fruits and berries in local hedgerows and to the post-breeding moult, when they become rather shy and retiring.

The Blackbird is one of a small number of species that sometimes sing during the night, particularly near to street-lighting. They have large eyes relative to their body size, and BTO research has revealed them to be the first species to arrive at garden feeding stations on dark winter mornings. Good vision in low light levels influences when a species is first able to move around and find food.

BTO research has also demonstrated that Blackbirds living in urban areas arrive at garden feeding stations later than those living in rural gardens. This seems to run counter to the influence of light levels on arrival times – since urban areas have more street lights; suggesting that temperature may also play a role. Urban areas have higher levels of heat pollution which raise air temperatures above those in the surrounding countryside, and as birds use their energy reserves to keep warm overnight, those in rural areas will need to find food more urgently in the morning.

Surveys have revealed that at least 12% of our winter Blackbirds are immigrants from mainland Europe, their arrival by the thousand during the autumn months going largely unnoticed; primarily because they look the same as those that are here all year round. However, an early morning visit to some berry-laden coastal scrub and hedgerows will reveal these immigrants feeding alongside newly arrived Redwing and Fieldfare. BTO bird ringers have shown that these winter immigrants originate mainly from Scandinavia, The Netherlands and Germany, some of which are just passing through, and will continue on south to winter in Spain, France and Portugal.

Being able to watch several Blackbirds at once helps differentiate between the various plumages, separating the brown females from the black males, and young birds (with some juvenile wing feathers still retained) from older individuals. Birds with one or more white feathers are often seen in our gardens, and are probably ‘leucistic’ this being due to a local absence of pigment cells.

If you find the lives of our garden birds to be of interest, and would like to join in and count the feathered occupants of your garden, please contact me or visit the BTO Garden BirdWatch website (www.bto.org/gbw). If you know of a local organisation who would like a talk on garden birds call: Mike Gray 07596 366342 or mikegbw@btinternet.com.

 

Celebrate the Spirit of Christmas at Ripon Cathedral this December

A spectacular festive Carol Concert shall take place at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday 3 December.

Enjoy an evening of traditional carols and seasonal music performed by Ripon Cathedral Choir, Cathedral brass Quintet, with special guest’s author Gervase Phinn and musicians from Ripon Grammar School.

An opportunity to sing popular Christmas carols with the Cathedral Choir in the beautiful atmospheric candle lit Nave of Ripon Cathedral.    Mince pies and mulled wine will be available and the evening promises to capture the spirit of Christmas with special lighting effects.  We are delighted to be joined again by best-selling author Gervase Phinn who will be getting involved in the evenings frivolities, with witty anecdotes and readings and an opportunity to meet him during the book signing at the interval and at the end of the concert.

Proceeds from the concert will go towards Ripon Cathedral Music Trust, which preserves and secures the Music at Ripon Cathedral and the Choir singing within the Cathedral.  which traces back to the foundation of the Benedictine monastery in 672 when monks sang in Wilfrid’s church. The Cathedral Choir have produced CD recordings, BBC broadcasts, concerts and tours which are a major part of the Choir’s schedule, as well as singing six services each week and at the great festivals of Christmas and Easter.

Tickets are already selling quickly, and are available to purchase from the Cathedral shop and online. A special VIP package is available to make the evening extra special, enjoy an invitation to a pre-concert drinks reception with the Dean and priority seats in the front two rows, plus beat the interval queues at the bar with a complementary drink and concert programme. A perfect pre-Christmas treat for a loved one.

This is a festive event that is not to be missed.

Reserved seats are available to purchase in advance from £20.00 for adults, and £5.00 for children. A very limited number of unreserved seating will be available on the night from £15.00 for adults and children go free.  Tickets can be purchased online or from the Cathedral Shop.
For further information, please contact Molly Barrs, Fundraising Events Officer at the Ripon Cathedral Development Campaign Office on 01765 603583 or mollybarrs@riponcathedral.org.uk

‘An Afternoon to Remember’ at Green Hammerton

On Sunday 13th November at 2.00pm, there will be a Concert by Collavoce Choir & Eurythmia Ensemble at St Thomas Chapel, York Road, Green Hammerton.

In contrast to Remembrance ceremonies, Collavoce Choir perform movements from Karl Jenkins’ A Mass For Peace. The Armed Man charts the growing menace of a descent into war, interspersed with moments of reflection.

Joined by Eurythmia Ensemble, and punctuated with the spoken word, a fresh musical event is created around this dramatic and thought-provoking work. The power of the combined voices is enhanced by the superb acoustics within this fine Grade II listed Chapel, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect of the Albert Memorial and St Pancras Station. Free Entry, donations in support of The Royal British Legion.

Jennyruth Christmas Fayre

image002Jennyruth Workshops is holding a CHRISTMAS FAYRE OPEN AFTERNOON at Unit 5, Red House Farm, Bridge Hewick, Ripon, HG4 5AY on Friday 9th December from 1.30pm to 4.00pm.

We will have a large range of Christmas items and handmade gifts for sale. There will be music and mince pies and hot drinks to enjoy as well as displays of work. The Ripon Walled Garden will be selling some of their products, such as wreaths, seasonal plants as well as planted containers & baskets.

So, don’t miss it, it is always a fun event, with a great atmosphere and open to all. Enquiries: Tel. 01765 606620 or email info@jennyruth.co.uk

News from Boroughbridge & District Community Care

New Minibus Arrives

New Peugeot 17 seater minibus, with disabled hoist, handed over to BCC Chair Liz Vose on 4th October 2016

New Peugeot 17 seater minibus, with disabled hoist, handed over to BCC Chair Liz Vose on 4th October 2016

A new 17 Seater Peugeot minibus with disabled hoist arrived on 4 October which has been provided free of charge by the Department of Transport to replace the ageing blue Renault.  Please call the office if you need information on booking our minibuses.

Office Move

BCC are moving on 29 October from 1 Hall Square to the Jubilee Suite, upstairs in the Boroughbridge Library located at 17 St James Square in Boroughbridge. The telephone number is still the same – 01423 324504

Volunteer Car Drivers

Due to the increase in requests from clients for medical/health related appointments BCC are in need of additional volunteer car drivers – expenses are paid at 45p per mile

Volunteer Minibus Drivers

BCC now have two 17 seater minibuses to cope with the increased demand from local organisations, schools etc and are looking for additional volunteers.  Drivers must be between 25 and 70, (insurance approval needed for those between 70 – 75), with D1 category driving licence and not more than 3 points for speeding.

For more information on the car and minibus schemes please contact the office.

Palladian Mansion to Host Modern Art Exhibition

Contemporary, affordable art from new and established artists

Some of the North of England’s biggest names in contemporary art will be on display at the beautiful Palladian home of Queen Mary’s School near Thirsk.  The venue will be transformed from the evening of Wedesday 19th October – Saturday, 22nd October 2016 into a contemporary art space, hosting the highly popular and prestigious Art for Youth North.  The show, sponsored by investment managers JM Finn & Co, raises funds for the national youth charity – UK Youth.

port-isaacWith over 600 pieces displayed, Art for Youth North is often described as the ‘Summer Exhibition’ of the North.  It represents new and recent work created by emerging and established Northern artists. The 2016 Yorkshire show welcomes nearly 100 Northern artists and is a beautiful exhibition of paintings, etchings, photographs, ceramics and sculpture.  For the first time the show will include a designated youth area showing students work from various art schools in our region as well as scholars work from Queen Mary’s School.

view-of-hallSince 2001, Art for Youth North has taken place every two years in Yorkshire and has already raised over £200,000 to help young people across the UK.  The 2014 exhibition raised over £30,000.  Show prices range from £40 – £3000 with artists donating 33% of sales to UK Youth. Mystery postcard pictures priced at £40 each are also on sale.

Tickets for the Private View being held from 6.30 – 9.30pm on Wednesday, 19th October 2016 are £12 in advance and £15 at the door (includes wine and canapes).  The exhibition will be open to the general public from 10am – 3.00pm on Thursday, 20th Friday, 21st and Saturday, 22nd October.

More information can be found at www.artforyouthnorth.co.uk

Help Wanted!

Lower Ure News needs your help! There are four areas where we need help –

  • Editorial Team – anyone who would like to join us and help to produce the paper
  • Contributors – who will send us information or go out and report on events happening in the community
  • Distributors – to help to deliver Lower Ure News in their area
  • Advertising – selling advertising to keep LUN a free newspaper

If you think you can help out, please contact the editor – editor@lowerurenews.co.uk or phone 01423 325808.

The Birds in your Garden

It’s a while since I last wrote about the British Trust for Ornithology’s major Cuckoo tracking project, so I thought that an update might be of interest.

Cuckoo wearing it's satellite tag - BTO

Cuckoo wearing it’s satellite tag – BTO

The project was initiated in 2011 to find out why we had lost around two thirds of our Cuckoos in the UK. The BTO has been fitting them with satellite trackers and have discovered much, including pinpointing for the first time their wintering grounds in the western Congo rainforest and discovering that they use two routes, one via Italy and one via Spain, to get there.

This is the first time birds have been recorded taking two distinct routes to the same destination – usually route divergence leads to different wintering grounds. Interestingly, all of the birds return to the UK via the western route, regardless of the route used the previous autumn.

The study has revealed that the route a Cuckoo takes to the Congo can mean the difference between life and death. BTO scientists compared the mortality rates associated with the two and found that birds travelling via Italy had a far higher survival rate than those travelling via Spain.

They also found that all the birds tagged in Scotland and Wales, where the species is not doing as badly, took the more successful eastern route via Italy. Whereas in England, where we have lost 71% of our breeding Cuckoos during the last 25 years, local populations were made up of a mix of birds using the two routes. Significantly, the proportion of birds using the less successful route via Spain correlated strongly with population decline in each location studied.

Cuckoos fuel up for their long flights by storing fat, which those feeding in Spain might be finding harder to do than those in Italy. This could be a result of climate change, for example the recent late summer droughts in Spain, reducing the abundance of the high-energy invertebrates that the Cuckoos need to fuel a desert crossing. The study also suggests that birds going via Spain may fatten-up more in the UK before they begin their migration than birds flying via Italy. This would leave them especially vulnerable to the recent severe decline in moths in the south of England, their caterpillars being the Cuckoos’ main food source.

Eight new birds have joined join the four surviving individuals tagged in previous years, and BTO scientists will be watching all of them as they migrate to Africa and back over the next few months.

They will be concentrating on how the birds interact with a weather system called the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as they prepare to make their way back next spring. The drought-busting rains that this system brings to West Africa in early March may be vital to the success of onward migration from countries such as Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

As an interesting sideline, in May this year, hundreds of Chinese schoolchildren took part in a competition to choose the name of a pioneering Cuckoo that would help uncover the migrations of Cuckoos from the Beijing area. Flappy McFlapperson was the winning name!

Flappy left Beijing in June and headed north into Mongolia, crossing the Gobi desert to spend the ‘summer months’ in the Onon-Balj National Park, the birth place of Genghis Khan and very close to the Russian border, moving on in autumn migration mode: destination unknown – possibly Southeast Asia, India or even Africa. All being well, during the next few months Flappy’s wintering location, will be unveiled for the very first time.
Mike Gray  mikegbw@btinternet.com.