News archive

May 2011

Monday, 30 May 2011

East India Dock Basin - 30th May to 5th June

East India Dock Basin - 30th May to 5th June

On Tuesday 10th May (during our Mongolia talk - more of that in another News Item), Colin Bowen, the Project Manager of 'Wild Place, Your Space' gave us a brief overview of what was happening at East India Dock Basin. He said that one of the aims was to get people who don't normally visit our 'Wild Places' to discover what was on their doorstep.

However, he hoped that all would feel welcome and urged us to come along and experience this unusual Nature Reserve.

I've copied below some more information about this event.
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East India Dock basin, opposite London's 02 Dome, is the setting for a week full of FREE activities designed to help visitors discover more about the wildlife on their doorstep.

The half term event runs from Monday 30 May to Sunday 5 June, (10am - 4pm) and is organised by Wild Place Your Space, a partnership project created by the RSPB and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) to bring people closer to nature. The week overlaps with the RSPB's Love Nature Week, which aims to raise awareness and funding for nature conservation.

Activities vary but include a children's arts and crafts tent which will provide people with an opportunity to make bird hats, write poems and contribute to a giant piece of bird artwork made out of recycled materials.

Over the weekend of Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June the RSPB, East London Birders, Thames 21 and the Lee Valley Regional Park will be on hand to show people the wildlife in and around the urban landscape of the East India Dock Basin, which lies between the Thames and the busy A13.

Other activities during the week include a chance to see peregrine falcons, the world's fastest living creatures; a free guided tour around East India Dock Basin and Bow Creek Ecology Park on Wednesday 1 June from 10am to 12pm; making apple bird feeders, bird hats or having a go at a host of other children's activities - all of which are free!

For more information contact the Wild Place, Your Space Team on 020 8525 0547.
East India Dock Basin, Orchard Place, London E14 9QS

Established to bring together diverse communities in East London, Wild Place Your Space will work with more than 28,000 people, including 17,000 children and young people, through special class sessions and visits, introducing them to the rich variety of plants, animals and insects found throughout the Lee Valley, from Enfield to Tower Hamlets.
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Click on the http: link below to get more info about the East India Dock Basin Nature Reserve.

Click on 'Download file' to see a poster advertising the event.


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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Mongolia - Phil Farrer's talk was excellent

Mongolia - Phil Farrer's talk was excellent

Philip Farrer took us to a country which is six times the size of Great Britain;
where even the lowest valley is a mile above sea-level;
all the land is open - no hedges, fences or walls;
the only "roads" are wheel tracks of previous travellers and there are no place names or direction signs. This describes most of Mongolia.

I really enjoyed this talk and I wanted to let others know what they missed! I thought the way Phil and Ann presented the images was very entertaining - they held the attention of the audience. It was good to hear the appreciative chuckles throughout.

I have added four of Phil's images (Mongolian horsemen, Gers with solar cells and satellite dish, Pallas Sandgrouse and Getting water in the desert) into a document you can see by clicking on 'Download file' at the bottom of this News Item.

I'm sure I couldn't cope with travelling and camping in such a remote area - just keeping going is a major challenge, whether it be finding water, diesel or keeping the old Russian coach operational. However, Phil and Ann are obviously made of sterner stuff - making do with a rare shower or dealing with the hot and cold of desert temperatures.

The end result was some stunning images. Each image was annotated discreetly with the English and scientific names. This was also extremely useful for the shots of local plants which helped to set the scene and describe the environment.

Phil was able to get really close, pin sharp photos of many birds (helped perhaps by the birds usually having the place to themselves?!). The Black Woodpecker was one of my favourites - that white eye makes it feel as though it is really staring at you. Phil also captured some real 'star' birds such as Siberian Rubythroat.

I'm sure we will invite Phil and Ann back - so make sure you don't miss out next time.

Debbie


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