Posts Tagged ‘Lucy Ryan’

Birds & beetles: updates on research @Thorne & Hatfield Moors

February 21, 2017

We recently posted advance notification about the Forum’s Annual Meeting on Friday 31 March 2017.  We are delighted to provide the titles of the two talks by researchers currently working on Thorne & Hatfield Moors SSSI.

“Dynamic habitat selection of the European Nightjar from a Thorne & Hatfield Moors perspective”  Lucy Ryan (University of York).

“Gimme shelter: Role of refugia and impact of restoration on insect conservation on Thorne Moor”  Ashley Buchan (University of Edinburgh).

Lucy’s talk in 2016 was very well received and in no small part down to the enthusiastic and informative delivery by a researcher clearly passionate about her subject.  This year will see her providing us with an update on her research which will continue through the 2017 season and also involve the 2018 season.

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Nightjar chicks: fantastically camouflaged and not easy to spot when they remain motionless to avoid predation.

Ashley is looking at invertebrates and the succession assemblages across a host of areas ranging from parts of Thorne Moors which saw peat extraction cease in the 1950s through to the early 2000s when the Government of the day bought out the extant planning permissions from Scotts (UK) Ltd for some £17.3m  Ashley’s work has involved looking at characteristic species of particular habitats and how these habitats change over time.  This work along with Lucy’s will hopefully inform management planning for these important sites.

The talks, which are scheduled to take place after the formal business (Forum members only), are open to the public but places do need to be booked, contact the execsec@thmcf.org to register an interest.  There is no charge for the talks but a donation in lieu for refreshments and light buffet lunch will be used towards the purchase of more research equipment (particularly the tags needed to track the nightjars activity).

Copies of the two recently produced faunas Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Thorne Moors 1837 – 2014 and The water beetles of Yorkshire will be available for purchase along with other Forum publications.

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Did you hear a ‘gabble ratchet’ on All Fool’s Day?

April 2, 2016

Or a Goatsucker or Fern Owl perhaps?

Nightjar (PP)

“Bog birds and bugs” was the title of a talk given by Lucy Ryan, a masters student at the University of York to an enthralled audience at the Annual Meeting of the Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum held on 1 April 2016.

Lucy’s presentation which was supported by some superb images explained about the monitoring of the nightjar population on Thorne and Hatfield Moors.  This study had a pilot year on Hatfield Moors in 2015, but this coming season will see the study scaled up and undertaken on both Thorne and Hatfield Moors.  The three year study, funded for its first year by Natural England LIFE+ Project will look at the impact the management works undertaken by Natural England on the key species and interest feature of the European Natura 2000 Site.  The Water Level Management Plan being implemented by Doncaster East Internal Drainage Board is not undertaking any monitoring of impact post implementation, instead handing responsibility to Natural England?  These two major engineering projects costing in the region of £5.2m are currently being carried out on Thorne Moors are it is hoped will safeguard the site for its carbon sequestration capacity as well as its wildlife interest and as a natural wilderness for people to study and enjoy.

A second talk “Who started the drainage?  Iron Age & Roman Landscapes in the Humberhead Levels” was given by Dr Paul Buckland who offered options as to the man-made and natural influences upon our local landscape.  With the aid of aerial photographs showing crop marks and more recent LIDAR images Dr Buckland took the audience through time to the present day and to a very different landscape to that historic wetland once present across the Humberhead Levels.

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After an excellent lunch provided by the Moorends Miners Welfare and Community Development Centre, intrepid explorers braved the dull weather and headed out along Broadbent Gate Moor, also known as Jones’ Cable to reach the tilting weir along the Southern Boundary Drain.

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As if on cue a Marsh Harrier flew overhead offering evidence of the wildlife interest of the site.  The number of sightings of this species has increased over recent years and this Natural England attribute to the wetter conditions they are creating across the site.  The cessation of industrial scale peat extraction at Thorne Moors also reduced disturbance for a period but increasing visitor numbers encouraged through Open Access has also seen new threats to rare breeding species and NE have had to close down parts of the site to protect them in recent years.

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To those who attended for the first time, after a series of great talks amidst great company about a great site …. see you again next year?

Join us for Bog birds, bugs & drainage matters?

March 6, 2016

A reminder to readers living with reasonable traveling distance of Thorne & Hatfield Moors, that we are holding our Annual Meeting on ‘All Fool’s Day’* which includes two excellent lectures which are open to the public and after which a site visit onto Thorne Moors via a historic landscape feature – one of the last remaining ‘Cables’

“Bog birds and bugs” is the title of a talk to be given by Lucy Ryan, a masters student at York University who is undertaking monitoring of the nightjar population on Thorne and Hatfield Moors. This three year study will look at the impact the management works undertaken by Natural England through their EU LIFE+ Project.

A second talk “Who started the drainage?  Iron Age & Roman Landscapes in the Humberhead Levels” is to be given by Dr Paul C Buckland, whose early work included investigation on the Bronze Age trackway on Thorne Moors.

Following on from these talks there is to be a site visit, weather permitting onto Thorne Moors to look at some of the recent management works undertaken to implement a Water Level Management Plan on the site as well as delivering scrub clearance through the LIFE+ Project.   That’s Life – Restoring the Humberhead Peatlands.  An interesting image to accompany a press release about peatlands?

The visit and the talks are open to the public and are an opportunity for local people to learn about the works currently underway on their moors. Please contact the execsec@thmcf.org for more details.

Given that it is 1 April, then there is every chance we will see and hear signs of spring.  Observations so far indicate an early season, with Chiffchaff recorded on 23 February and  up to 14 adders have been recorded on Thorne Moors on one day.

To help with the administrative aspects of the day, please book a place for the public lecture, lunch and site visit by contacting execsec@thmcf.org

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Two female adders soaking up the sun.  Image: Martin Warne.

*All Fool’s Day: 1st April.


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