Fi Radford was an environmentalist, activist and generous supporter of Avon Needs Trees. She died, far too young, on the 22nd November after a short illness. Her energy, determination and extraordinary bravery will be missed by everyone involved in environmental activism, as will her unfailing warmth, kindness and good humour.
Thank you to Andrew, Fi’s husband, and her two sons for nominating Avon Needs Trees as recipient of donations in lieu of flowers. Long before she became ill, Fi donated money in memory of her aunt Enid and ANT is pleased to be able to announce that our copse of trees in Hazeland’s lower pasture will be named the ‘Radford Copse’. Fi has also left money for two benches at our viewing point, and we look forward to welcoming all those who wish to remember Fi on-site in spring.
ANT volunteer Jo Poulton set up an online page requesting donations to Avon Needs Trees in Fi’s memory. In total almost £2,500 was raised by members of the public.
Fi received several wonderful tributes in local and national papers, including this lovely one from the Bristol Post.
If you feel that you would like to help us fundraise in a more active way, Bristol-based aerobics teacher Katherine Piper is running two online sessions on Wednesdays 9th and 16th of December and donating all proceeds to ANT! Sessions are £5 each – and great fun! When Katherine did this last Christmas everyone dressed up in fun, festive outfits!
Huge thanks to Chris Swinburn and the whole team at Monkey Business Design for their donation of £1200! Redcliffe Nursery paid this as an offsetting fee on the work Monkey Business Design did on their new playground, and Chris has chosen us to benefit from it. Thanks Chris!
We recently put out a call through the Wiltshire Ornithological Society (WOS), asking for photographs that we could use on Don’t Send Me A Card. This is a website that lets you send E-cards over the internet, cutting your paper consumption, while also donating to Avon Needs Trees.
We received many wonderful photographs and have created a selection of beautiful cards for you to send with your own personal message. Very many thanks to Alison Rymell of the WOS, Rowena Quantrill, and all of the photographers who responded with such generosity.
The great news is that DSMAC has recently changed its policy so that 100% of all money donated will come to Avon Needs Trees. Many thanks to Don’t Send Me A Card for making this change.
Please consider sending your Christmas cards through Don’t Send Me A Card this year, and sharing the idea with friends, family and employers – before they go out and buy packs of paper cards! Every purchase gets us closer to buying our next 19 acres at Seend, near Melksham.
We need help to monitor the birdlife at Hazeland, and on Sunday 24th of January, we are running a ‘citizen scientist’ event that will allow amateur enthusiasts to participate. We anticipate doing this in small groups, each study taking approximately an hour and a half. If you would like to get involved, please email our administrator, indicating whether you would prefer a morning or afternoon slot via firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks.
In the meantime, if you are skilled at identifying birds and would like to participate as a volunteer-guide, please do get in touch via email@example.com.
Avon Needs Trees volunteer Fern Elias-Stagg has produced a beautiful 2021 calendar with foraging recipes for every month, to inspire you to get out into nature and to localise your diet. Each calendar costs £12, with £1 going to Avon Needs Trees. You can order online here. Very many thanks to Fern!
Huge thanks to the 139 of you who donated £7,239 (plus an estimated £1,352.25 in gift aid!) to our Crowdfunder campaign that closed last Friday. We smashed through our initial goal of £5,000 and got much closer to our stretch goal of £8,000 than we expected to! Thank you so much.
Also, while it hasn’t shown up in our crowdfunder total, we’ve noticed a distinct uptick in donations through our website. Huge thanks also to everyone who’s donated in this way!
But that’s not all the good news – We’ve also had a wonderful £10,000 from the team at Natracare. Very many thanks to them.
On top of all of that, we’ve also been offered the five acres that connects two of our fields (field 4 on the map below), making the site a more manageable shape and design. An exciting stretch goal for us!
Meanwhile, the report from our extended habitat survey at Seend is also back. Neill Talbot from Avellana Ecology has identified, as we suspected, some good meadow habitat for invertebrates, pollinators and many other species (we will improve these areas), plus good potential around the natural ponds and in the unmanaged hedgerows. The latter provide particularly good hibernation and refuge habitat.
We still have some way to go towards our fundraising goal, so please donate through our website if you can, and don’t forget our gift cards which allow you to buy square metres as presents (£2.50 buys us one square metre). We will do the sending for you. We aim to be in a position to buy the land by next Spring.
Soon we will also have a selection of Christmas gift cards available! Thanks to Peter Marsh for letting us use this beautiful, wintery photo of a robin.
Many thanks to Richard Harris and Andy Grant from the Hawk and Owl Trust who came to survey and give us advice on the siting of owl boxes and on land management. Also to Doreen and John Bailey who came to do a follow-up fungi survey, now that we’re into wetter weather. Although they identified over 60 species, it appears we have relatively low levels of mycorrhizal fungi because of the amount of ash in the wood. Their thoughts on management will be fed into the mix, particularly on how we might diversify the species in the ancient woodland as the infected ash dies.
On a wet and blustery Sunday in November we held a series of site tours for representatives of ‘green’ groups from across the catchment. This was an opportunity for us to to update some of our key supporters on the progress we are making in surveying for species, and to discuss our future plans. We were particularly pleased to be able to include local councillors and residents from Seend, the village were we are buying our next piece of land.
Many thanks to all who took part in the day. We plan to be running many more such events, although in the near future, all our attention is focused on winter tree works (to bring the ancient woodland back to good health) – and tree planting!
On a beautiful September day, we officially launched Avon Needs Trees and celebrated our first land purchase – Hazeland. Wildlife presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff was there, wonderfully enthusiastic about all the wildlife potential, and she has pledged to come back, year on year, to see our progress.
Because of Covid, the event had to be limited to a small, socially distanced, number. However, we are planning many more thank you and activity events for our supporters, and we look forward to seeing many more of you on site over the coming months.
Huge thanks to Jez Toogood for filming and editing the above video, and to Kevan Wind for taking all of the pictures below.