Thursday, 22 February 2018

Herbarium Training

Aidan Neary - LoveLincsPlants Project Officer writes: I have spaces available on 2 free plant identification and herbarium collection training sessions at Whisby Education Centre led by Fred Rumsey and Kath Costello from the Natural History Museum. 
Session 1 (over 35s): Thursday 22nd March 2018. 10am to 4pm – 4 places leftSession 2 (18-35 year olds):  Friday 23rd March. 10am to 4pm. – 7 places left
The main focus of the session will be on plant collection, pressing and drying
techniques as well plant identification tips. An excellent opportunity to get
involved with the creation of our new Lincolnshire herbarium (#LoveLincsPlants).
To book on please send an email to:
Aidan Neary

Friday, 16 February 2018


Firstly, many thanks to those of you who have wished me well with my complete knee replacement. The operation was a success and I intend to be at the LAG February meeting. The treatment that I received at Fotherby Ward, Louth was excellent.

To date I have had 13 responses to my much-publicised request for a copy of your observations. It is not too late to let me know – just do it today and let me have your list. 12 of the observations took place in Louth with one in North Somercotes.
Between us we saw 37 Blackbirds,19 Blue tits, 14 Chaffinches, 6 Coal tits, 15 Collared doves, 27 Goldfinches, 16 Dunnocks, 17 Great tits, 27 Goldfinches, 92 House sparrows, 5 Greenfinches, 5 Long-tailed tits, 3 Magpies, 48 Starlings, 29 Wood pigeons, 6 Wrens, 12 Black-headed gulls, 3 Common gulls, 2 Pheasants, 4 Curlews, 2 Jackdaws, 2 Bullfinches and a Green woodpecker.
So, it appears that Blackbirds and House sparrows particularly enjoy visiting our gardens. Already I am aware that both Blackbirds and Robins are singing strongly at dawn and dusk to establish their territories.

Biff Vernon brought the books to the last LAG meeting where sales amounted to £83. Remaining copies will be on offer again at our February and March meetings. The books cover a wide range of topics and you may like to have a memento of Joyce who was a very active and long serving member of our Group.


There will be a need for raffle prizes at the Annual General Meeting. Please bring suitable items other than alcohol to the February and March meetings.

Do go out and about. This is one of the best times of the year for dawn and dusk birdwatching – you don’t have to get up too early or stay out too late!

Best wishes

Ray Woodcock Chairman Louth Area Group LWT

Friday, 9 February 2018

Lincolnshire Plants - Past and Future

A talk by Aiden Neary, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Wildflower Meadow Project Officer, Friday 23rd January 2018.

Aiden's talk looked at the history of botanical recording in Lincolnshire, the creation of a historic herbarium and its recent conservation, and the project to create a new herbarium and flora for the county, with the attendant needs for training a new generation of botanists.

We were introduced to the Reverend Edward Adrian Woodruffe-Peacock, (1858-1922) Vicar of Cadney, botanist. His "The natural history of Lincolnshire; being the natural history section of Lincolnshire notes & queries, from January, 1896, to October, 1897" is a fascinating glimpse into the understanding of Lincolnshire's natural history in the late 19th century. It is available to view here.

The other key figure in the history of recording Lincolnshire's wild plants was Joan Gibbons (1902-1988), hers being "The Flora of Lincolnshire" 1975. Her remarkable life is recorded in the BSBI obituary.

We learnt a little about Joseph Burtt Davey, who, aged 20, walked from Alford to Horncastle and on to Dogdyke, making careful notes of his observations.

Liberty Gray, at Lincoln University, is researching UV patterning of the herbarium specimens, in this case a Field Scabious.

Much of Aiden's talk focussed on the work of the Joseph Banks Society, which held the historic herbarium, now transferred to the Natural History Museum and the work to create a new herbarium that will be held jointly at the NHM in London and in Horncastle. There is a small matter of collecting some 4500 plant specimens and conserving them for a permanent collection. To this end a team of volunteers are being mustered and young botanists are being trained to carry the work forward. The Love Lincolnshire Plants project has been granted significant Lottery funding to carry out the work. The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is playing a central role in this new 'plant archive for the next generation', the other major partner being the Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union. Keep up to date with day to day progress by following #LovelLncsPlants on twitter.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Report on Louth Watch Meeting at Spout Yard Gallery

Sunday 21st January 2018

On a wet, sleety day, six children and their accompanying adults joined in the session to prepare for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.

Whilst everyone congregated, the children completed a sheet which incorporated such questions as:
What birds do you know visit your garden?
Which bird would you most like to see in your garden?
How might birds be encouraged into the garden?

We then talked about the details of the Birdwatch and all the children were provided with a RSPB recording sheet.

They then all created a poster to display in a prominent place, to try and encourage people to join in with the Birdwatch. They included the relevant details and tried to make an eye-catching design.

Once these were complete the children made their own ‘Bird Bingo’ cards, showing nine birds of their choice from the recording sheet. They could write, draw or cut out pictures of the birds they had chosen. We then had two games of Bingo, with Colin providing a clue to each bird drawn so that the children learnt some bird facts whilst enjoying the game. One child won the first game and the second was an amazing draw between the remaining children, so they were all able to choose a sheet of stickers as a prize!

To finish there was a choice of three activities and all the children managed to complete as many of these as they wished. The activities were:

A bird feeder ‘kebab’, threading food items onto a wire kebab, which was then twisted into a hanging circular feeder.
A half coconut shell feeder, which was filled with a mixture of fat, oats and various items to tempt the birds.
A bird i-dial identifier to help with bird ID during the Big Garden Birdwatch.

All the children were encouraged to bring and share their Birdwatch results at the next meeting.