Other News

Useful links regarding invasive species

Following his interesting lecture on invasive non-native species, John Cave of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has provided the following useful links on the topic:

Contacting YWT


Recording sightings


Information about invasive species



Nidderdale AONB Birds of Prey Evidence Report

Members may well want to read this report from Nidderdale AONB on birds of prey and their persecution

Operation Owl on 21-22 September 2019

Operation Owl is running a national campaign to raise awareness of raptor persecution, with a particular emphasis on the weekend of 21st and 22nd September 2019.

See this article for further details.

North of England Raptor Forum Statement on Brood Management

NERF have issued this response to DEFRA’s Hen Harrier brood management plans.

We have also received this: Hen Harrier Brood Management NERF statement June 2019

Nosterfield BioBlitz 2018 - 5pm Wednesday to 5pm Thursday 18/19th July 2018

‘Nature Reserves are Not Enough!’ says Chris Packham whose team selected Nosterfield Nature Reserve as one of 50 sites he visited in a ten day period, aimed at highlighting the extent to which nature is under threat by undertaking a ‘bioblitz’. This audit of wildlife will create a bench mark, helping to measure the rise and/or fall of different species over a given time period. The Nosterfield event started with a Bat Walk and Gull Roost Watch on the Wednesday evening. There was a guided walk during the day on Thursday into the heart of the Reserve, which many enjoyed, opening of the moth traps from the previous night, pond dipping and a demonstration of microscopes by Grovers Optics. Another guided walk on the Quarry included the Heritage Lottery Fund and Local Nature Partnership initiative which is allowing LUCT to collect local seed and propagate wetland plants which were growing in the area around 5000 years ago, before mineral extraction was ever dreamt of. The hope is to recreate these Neolithic conditions and attract birds which would have lived hereabouts such as Little Bittern.

The Nosterfield team, headed by Simon and Jill Warwick with an amazing set of volunteers smashed last year’s BioBlitz total with two hours to go. Members of the North & East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre did a sterling job collating the total number of species identified by 5pm at the end of the day as an amazing 816 with some more specimens still to examine and classify. Subtotals: 321 plants, 89 birds, 212 Lepidoptera, 122 other invertebrates, 12 mammals, 3 amphibians and 57 other species. All totals are requested to be in by 10th August nationally, when there will be further publicity about the audit.

Well done to all the team and volunteers and thanks to Chris Packham for his early morning inspirational team talk.

Sue Coldwell

The Big Garden Birdwatch in Starbeck

On Saturday 27 January, members of Starbeck in Bloom, the Harrogate and District Biodiversity Group and HDNS all joined forces in Starbeck Library to organise the Big Garden Birdwatch for the RSPB.

Since some of us do not have our own gardens, Starbeck in Bloom decided to open up Belmont Field and Starbeck Library garden for a community event.   Armed with binoculars, and on behalf of the Harrogate Biodiversity Group, Malcolm Jones led children of various sizes (and adults) on a walk around the library perimeter.  Despite the poor weather, they were rewarded with several sightings including a flock of long tailed tits, which caused great interest amongst the ‘new’ birdwatchers.

After this, the participants came indoors and set to work on various craft activities involving birds.   For most of the morning the library was full of children working together round a table, absorbed in their set tasks of making bird feeders, bird mobiles and learning about different foods to attract different birds.  The usual HDNS photographic display was on show in the main library and refreshments were available.

The Starbeck Big Garden Birdwatch was a credit to the organisers who had worked so hard to involve the local community and to teach them about birds.  This was a free event and it was good to see such hard work being rewarded.  Hopefully there will be many more joint events organised in the future.

Sonia Starbuck

27 January 2018

HDNS 70th Anniversery - a history.

For this 70th Anniversery we have a short history of the Society from its earliest days.

This is a personal view compiled by Ann Mettam,  aided by Dr. John R. Mather.   pdf version


It is with great regret that the 70th Anniversary celebrations due to be held on Sunday 16th July have been cancelled due to lack of bookings from members.

The Council thanks the organisers, Colin Slator and Ruth Upsall, for their hard work in preparing for the day.



There is some very interesting news about all three woodpecker species. This was set up by Ken Smith, a retired RSPB scientist and recently-retired Chairman of the BTO’s Ringing Committee, who has been running a long-term study on Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in Hertfordshire, and has published papers in British Birds and other journals about this declining species.  Click HERE for the link.

Gouthwaite news

Those of you who use the car park and raptor viewing point on the road past the reservoir will be interested to hear the following. It is proposed to construct  a large building towards the water in front of the viewing point.  An information centre, hide and a wildlife garden are part of the plans.  For more in formation click HERE for a link to the nidd birdwatchers blog.

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