News: March 2022

Bumblebee recording; carbon neutral beef produced in the YDNP; Demand wilder national parks; Earth Day 2022; IPCC Sixth Assessment Report: Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability; Litter Pick 3rd April 2022; Raydale farmers: voice heard in ELM test; Sustainable Swaledale Volunteer Group email; Swaledale Woodland advice; Group Meeting 

Here are a few quick updates on what we’re up to…if you’re on Facebook, please join our group and get involved in the conversations.

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Bumblebee recording

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is looking for volunteers to record sightings of bumblebees.  There are a number of activities available:

  • Beewalks – suitable for anyone with basic bumblebee identification skills, and there is a free app you can download. Choose a walk of one mile and walk it every month between March and October and send in your sightings. More information on the survey is available on the Trust’s website as well as the Beewalk report for 2021.
  • FIT counts – if you can’t spare an hour, an alternative is  the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) which requires you carrying out short FIT counts (observing a patch of flowers for 10 minutes and seeing what turns up). More information available on the PoMS website 
  • IRecord can be used to record adhoc sightings of wildlife including bees. Check out the IRecord pages for further details.

Carbon neutral beef produced in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Richmondshire Today article 1 March 2022 on a couple farming near Orton, who are producing certified carbon neutral beef. They have reduced their sheep numbers and lambed later, increased cattle numbers and stopped buying in fertilisers and feed, adopted new grassland management techniques and planted trees and hedges.

Ghyll Bank Farm was one of 14 farms in the YDNP/Nidderdale AONB participating in the Farm Carbon Project funded by YDNP, the AONB, Yorkshire Water and York & North Yorkshire LEP. A full report is available: The Climate Friendly Farm Carbon Project.

Demand wilder national parks

Rewilding Britain has a petition asking the National Park Authorities to put more land aside for rewilding. The petition is calling on the governments of the UK to 

  • Create core rewilding areas on public land across 10% of the national parks. 
  • Ensure another 50% of the parks become nature recovery areas – with a mix of habitats, wildlife corridors and land uses, and government financial support for nature-friendly agriculture.
  • Modernise legislation to empower national parks to upscale their efforts for nature’s recovery.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority are currently working on an updated nature recovery plan which is expected shortly.  Find out the progress made so far on nature recovery in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.   

Earth Day and Earth Hour 2022 - turn your lights off

The theme for Earth Day 2022 this year is ‘Invest in our Planet’. The organisers cite a Harvard Business Review article that shows a direct correlation between sustainable business practices, business success and happier employees.  

You can also support the Earth Hour by turning off all your lights on 26th March between 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm to spread awareness about sustainability and climate change. 

Check out the Earth Day website for details of events and online resources. A weekend of family friendly environmental activities are taking place at the Dales Countryside Museum.

IPCC Sixth Assessment Report: Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its latest report assessing the effects of climate change such as extreme weather, drought, floods and temperature rises. It concludes that agricultural productivity is lower than it would be without climate change and that this already affects food supply and prices for everyone. 

Litter pick 3 April 2022

The Two Dales Litter Pick, part of the Great British Spring Clean campaign, is taking place on Sunday 3rd April starting at 10am. If you want to join in, let Adele know via the Facebook page or email info@sustainableswaledale.

Raydale farmers: voice heard in ELM test

The Yorkshire Dales National Park website carries an article about the experience of 10 neighbouring Raydaleside farmers/landowners who have participated in a year-long ‘test’, which has been carried out by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The farmers have met several times to discuss ways they could collaborate and what would incentivise them to do so. The findings will help to inform the design of Defra’s forthcoming ‘Local Nature Recovery’ and ‘Landscape Recovery’ schemes, which are two of the three components of Environment Land Management (ELM). ELM will replace existing farm payment schemes in England by 2027.

Sustainable-Swaledale Volunteers Group email

The Together for Trees planting has finished for spring but a mailing list has been created for everyone who has turned up to do some planting.  It is not intended to be used regularly but provides an opportunity to alert people to opportunities such as volunteer days at the Castle Heggs cluster or sphagnum moss planting. If you want to be added to or removed from the list, contact 

Swaledale Woodland: free advice

Owners of Swaledale woodlands, which are not being actively managed, have been invited to free online consultancy meetings courtesy of a project funded by the Forestry Commission’s Forestry Innovation Fund. The Woodland Management Focus Area project aims to identify woodlands that are not currently managed but could be easily managed to improve biodiversity, reduce soil erosion, provide shelter for buildings and stock and even provide income from the timber. 

Source: Richmondshire Today article 9 March 2022

Core Group Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7 April at the Two Dales Bakery starting at  7pm. Please get in touch if you’d like to join us.

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