Posts Tagged ‘Thorne & Hatfield Moors’

2014 in review & here’s to 2015 ….

December 30, 2014

Here’s wishing all our regular readers all the very best for the coming year, here’s to our collective and collaborative seizing of opportunities which present themselves and offer benefit to nature conservation, here’s to our rising to new challenges should they develop which may threaten our local patch.  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  

It’s been an interesting year statistically speaking, even a novice ‘blogger’ can analyse them and it has to be said that we’ve seen an increase in interest in this still embryonic ‘blog’.  We’ve invited subscribers and casual subscribers who have registered to receive regular posts.  Irrespective of how we all became acquainted we hope all subscribers and readers have found something of interest and at the risk of being provocative something which either irritated sufficiently to trigger or conversely encouraged action for conservation benefit?

When we’ve posted items which might be described as being of a natural history or scientific angle they have been reasonably well read and some feedback has been received when we’ve sought help or information.  When the posts have been a little ‘moor political’ (small p) and perhaps campaigning in tone then, interestingly these are the ones which have received far higher viewing ….

Which have been the posts you have enjoyed the most?  Should we feature ‘moor’ natural history or should we campaign?  Is the current balance right?  Drop us a line and let us know via

In the interim ….

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

One might wonder if that many people have actually physically (as oppossed to virtually) visited Thorne & Hatfield Moors this year?  If not then why not? 

If you only make one New Year Resolution let it be to walk out into the centre of one of England’s last great wildernesses before it’s too late and the transition to a country theme park is complete …. 

Click here to see the complete report.

Here’s to 2015: opportunities and challenges. 

To collective, collaborative, ‘community’ conservation ….


‘Moor’ moth-athon and consulting on conservation.

July 27, 2014


In July 2012 a moth session held on the western periphery of Thorne Moors and the eventual number of species recorded in a single evening was 162!  Pretty impressive by any standards for an inland site (not one of the coastal migration hotspots).

So, Ron Moat a local lepidopterist who has been compiling a list of species recorded from Thorne Moors over recent decades thought it would make an interesting exercise if a series of Mercury Vapour (MV) light traps were worked across Thorne Moors, from Crowle in the east across to the western edge.  This ‘moth-athon’ took place on Friday evening.

MV lights attract the greatest number of species and volume than Actinic traps, but some Actinics were operated in support of the MVs.  Two species recorded in Actinics but not at the MVs were Antler and Narrow-winged Pug.

What a difference the right kind of weather can make, compare that of two years ago to that of Friday evening.  We were lucky in that it had been a rain free evening (after a hot day) but the temperature dropped fairly quickly through the evening, this coupled with a clear sky resulted in wet vegetation and reduced numbers of moths and notably species counts.  There were five MV lights across Thorne Moors and another pair positioned on the western periphery and we believe a team out on Crowle Moors, but they’ve yet to report back!  Our western periphery team, led by Harry Beaumont managed a respectable 103 species which appears to be the best count for a ‘site’ and which included five new micros and a new macro for Thorne Moors: Cameraria ohridella (Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner), Recurvaria leucatella, Cochylis dubitana, Apotomis semifascia, Stenoptilia zophodactyla and Lilac Beauty.

The tally for the evening so far stands at 148 species but all the lists are not yet in, so that 162 record might still be reached by the collective capacity.  Thanks must go to Ron Moat for rising to the challenge and initiating the event, to Natural England staff Steve and Louise for helping out with logistics and to Darren and Cat from JBA Consulting for their useful assistance also.  Not forgetting all the ‘moth-ers’ who attended and took part in this event a massive thank you for contributing valuable data.  There has been the suggestion made that it becomes an annual event ….

It is hoped that a more detailed account will be published in due course when all the data is in, so watch this space!


140727 D purpurea hrk 351

The government are encouraging the general public to help pollinators by growing wildflowers amongst other things, Digitalis or Foxglove to give it its more common name above, a once common plant makes a delightful contribution to gardens. 

Perhaps government is recognising that the greater contribution is potentially made by the public rather than agri-industry?



Recent conversations with local people has revealed some quite interesting finds such that we were persuaded to create a questionnaire to try to assess what people knew about and thought about Thorne & Hatfield Moors and the organisations and projects associated with it.  It is pleasing to learn that people see it as a wilderness and a landscape to be valued and most of the visitors rate the natural history interest as important.  There is certainly confusion around who in terms of statutory agencies and authorities are responsible for and what they are delivering.  Another pleasing aspect was that the regular piece “Ramblings and nature notes of a bog-trotter” in the Thorne Times is well received.  We are reviewing the initial sample returns and plan to refine and revise the questions as appropriate, so watch this space as the views and comments of regular readers will be of particular interest as we assume that you have a better than average understanding and appreciation of these magical moors ….

‘Moor’ ramblings ….

April 11, 2014

With the arrival of the new recording season, I thought we should show some of the images and records people have been kind enough to share with us.

The stuning image below, shows a frequent visitor to our gardens and a character with a fondness for chimneys and who given half a chance will make their nest aloft!

Jackdaw.  Image : Ted Sabin.

Jackdaw. Image : Ted Sabin.


The superb close up of a Purple Thorn, shows a male specimen who before he was distracted to the light trap would have been seeking a female.

Male Purple Thorn.  Image: Ted Sabin.

Male Purple Thorn. Image: Ted Sabin.

The Purple Thorn, or Selinia tetralunaria used to have the log number of 1919 and easy enough to remember and use when logging trap catches.  Then …. something akin to decimalisation occurred and it’s now 70.239!  Now for some of us of a certain age / generation I reckon this new system is going to take some getting used to.  That’s not to say that the review and revision wasn’t a good idea nor that it was needed.  Agassiz et. al. are to be congratulated on the achievement of delivering the Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles in 2013 and published by the Royal Entomological Society.


Regular readers will be aware that Thorne & Hatfield Moors have been Dedicated as Open Access by Natural England last year.  We have heard questions raised by people wondering about implementation of this arrangement and whether there would be removal of fences, barbed wire and gates thereby delivering real Open Access …. clearly someone was in a hurry for an answer and decided to do the work themselves?

Rural vandalism or new Open Access arrangements on NNR implemented?

Rural vandalism or new Open Access arrangements on NNR implemented?

If anyone witnesses vandalism of this nature, then please report it to the Police and Natural England.

Thorne Times offers readers chance to win Limited Edition Prints

December 21, 2013

Readers local to Thorne & Hatfield Moors may well receive the Thorne Times, a recent iniative which sees local stories contributed by local people.  The paper is the project of Karren Wake who funds the ‘freesheet’ and its delivery to in excess of 16,000 properties in the area through advertising.  Each edition sees 48 pages packed with local news, events and items of interest to the local communities of Moorends, Thorne, Fishlake, Hatfield, Stainforth, Dunscroft & Dunsville.

It has just distributed its fourth edition, the January copy in which the regular column “Ramblings and nature notes of a bog-trotter” offers readers the opportunity to win a set of Limited Edition Prints, individually signed by the artist, the late Dr Peter Skidmore?  Other runner up prizes include copies of An Inventory of the Invertebrates of Thorne & Hatfield Moors and other Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum publications.  All correct entries will receive a copy of the Forum’s Hatfield Moors map (to be collected from the Thorne Times office).

There are six easy questions, the answers to which can be found in the first three editions of the Thorne Times.

  1. Who described the late Wm Bunting as “Naturalist, Pamphleteer, Archivist, Rebel, Bad-tempered old-sod and Inspiration”?
  2. In 1999 Evarca arcuata was discovered on Hatfield Moors, what is it?
  3. What year was the Thorne Moors beetle first discovered in the UK?
  4. What was the total number of species of invertebrates found from a Survey undertaken in 2012?
  5. What year did English Nature try to remove the protective status of large parts of Thorne & Hatfield Moors?
  6. Which winter thrushes breed in Scandanavia?

So, many blog readers will know the answers to at least five of the above, question 4 might be the tricky one?

Go on, get a copy and find out more on page 22.  Send in your entry – who knows a copy of the superb Limited Edition Prints may be yours for a few minutes effort.  Runners up prizes include copies of An Inventory of the Invertebrates of Thorne & Hatfield Moors and other Forum publications.



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Mark Avery

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

UK and Ireland Natural History Bloggers

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