Wildlife Group meeting – 6 April 2023

NOTES  (Action points highlighted)

1 – Introductions – Lynn, Vicki, Nicki W and Carl, Nicki L, David, Judith, Kate

2 – Updates

  • a. Owl-Kestrel Connect Project – Lynn explained the background to the Owl-Kestrel Connect Project. This is a partnership project across a much wider area, working with other local environmental groups. £20K grant from the Farming in Protected Landscapes fund. So far 129 boxes have been fixed at farmers’ sites across the area, including around 36 in our immediate area. We have four TDEG volunteers, including David, involved in monitoring the nesting success. Carl also expressed an interest in joining the monitoring team (Lynn & Carl to liaise).
  • Tideswell Dale Butterfly Survey – The annual surveys for butterflies are about to begin again. We have a team of four groups who survey a transect along Tideswell Dale (including Nicki – who explained the process) on a weekly rota. We’ve been doing this for three years now, so it might be a good time to look at results across that time. Lynn to contact Ken Orpe (East Midlands Butterfly Group) and the team, to think about the best way to do that. 
  • Tideswell Parish Council & Roadside Verges – Lynn explained our previous pilot project with Tideswell PC on three roadside verges in Tideswell. David said the PC would be considering the project again in the very near future. We were invited to a Wildflower Forum, held by Derbyshire Dales District Council for environmental groups in their area. They have an agency contract with Derbyshire County Council to manage many roadside verges in our district. They are expanding their `pathfinders project` to try to improve biodiversity on such land, and have recently purchased a `cut and collect` machine to help. Lynn shared the success of arrangements with our Parish Council, and Nicky agreed this was an exemplar which she had used in Great Longstone. Lynn would contact Emma Mortimer (DDDC) and Susan White (DCC) to share why we thought this was such a good process (and to find out more about free signs for the TPC verges).

3 – Summer Walks Programme

We had a good discussion about another summer walks programme (which ideally should be finalised before 15 May, in order to publicise it in June’s Village Voice). Thoughts included –

– Lynn to contact a local beef farmer in Taddington, to do another farm visit similar to the very successful visit to Robert Thornhill’s dairy farm last summer.

– Lynn to ask Adam if he might organise another bat walk for the end of the summer.

– Everyone felt another orchid walk and butterfly walk would be popular – Lynn to plan.

– Nicky L raised the possibility of looking at signs for badgers and otters, and other mammals, in Millers Dale. Nicky to consider the practicality of this and get back to Lynn.

 4 – Wild Peak Discussion

Lynn explained about the new Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Wild Peak project (https://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/wild-peak ). She hoped to invite the new Wildlife Peak Officer, Ruth Pilbeam, to provide a presentation to a whole TDEG meeting later in October. The group agreed this was an excellent project and were keen to support it, and also attempt our own `Going Wild` actions. Some ideas –

  • Re-launch of our Going Wild project – Lynn explained that we currently have around 20 local people signed up to this project (https://tdeg.org.uk/going-wild ), which was launched during the Covid years. We needed to refresh and re-launch the project. The map was outdated and not as functional as needed. Ruth Pilbeam had offered to train up a volunteer to produce a better map, and we have had one TDEG volunteer to take this on. Lynn and Dan will be meeting Ruth shortly to discuss how this might work. We’d like to create a`community nature recovery network` for our area, and show all our local actions on a map (with people’s permission, of course).
  • Members of the Going Wild project could share their own successes (and things which maybe didn’t work so well) through the Going Wild page. Nicky L has information about her hedgehog success in her garden and would write something for the web page. Kate could write about creating a wildflower meadow. Lynn to encourage everyone to submit short articles and photos which Lynn could add to the web site. Lynn to relaunch the project with hopefully an article in May’s Village Voice.
  • Encourage local landowners to join up. We could use the mailing list developed during the Queen’s Green Canopy planting last year, as well as some other contacts of the Wildlife Group. We also ought to follow up with St.John’s Church Church PCC their interest in the Eco-Church certificate. Hopefully promote both our own `Going Wild` project as well as the DWT Wild Peak work. Lynn to follow up.
  • Issues around the management of local dales was raised, in particular Tideswell Dale. Kate agreed to contact Rhodri Thomas, the Peak District NPA Ecologist on behalf of the group, to find out the current management aims for the upper end of the dale. It might also be useful to copy in one of the relevant PDNPA Members (either Janet Haddock-Fraser or Charlotte Farrell).
  • Kate suggested we might be able to find out which local landowners already have agri-environment schemes in place via the Natural England Magic May system. Kate to liaise with Lynn.
  • We still have around £500 (donated for the QGC project last year) to spend on tree planting. Ideas included more hedges and scrub planting, and focusing on small holdings or larger land holders. There are potential opportunities at the community park and Tideswell cemetery, as well as some landowners expressing an interest already. Lynn to follow up, with a view to planting in the autumn.


5- Tideswell Community Orchard – Planting fruit trees on Wheston Bank over Easter. Please contact Josie (tidzaorchard@yahoo.com) if you are interested. This was subsequently changed to Easter Saturday morning.

 6 – No other business – Lynn thanked everyone for a really interesting and active meeting (and particular thanks to Vicki for taking these notes).


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