Upper Nidderdale News

Jan Robinson

01423 755233

januptdale@tiscali.co.uk

Nidderdale AONB: Information officer, Leanne Fox, reports: “Along with the Yorkshire Dales River Trust, we are undertaking a three year conservation project focused on the River Laver to tackle Himalayan balsam (impatiens glandulifera). The project is funded by the Environment Agency and aims to improve water quality and bank stability and to remove barriers to fish passage. One key aspect of the project is the survey and control of the invasive non-native plant, formerly introduced to the UK from northern India in 1839 and which has been amazingly successful in the wet British climate. The Laver Project hopes to work with local volunteers and landowners to survey and map the current extent of Himalayan balsam on the Laver and Kex Beck and to use the survey information to put in place a control programme, working from the top of the river catchment, to the bottom, gradually removing it from the river banks where it is particularly abundant and where it displaces native plants, contributes to bank erosion and prevents recreational use of the river. Dr Kelly Harmar, Nidderdale AONB development officer, states: “Himalayan balsam is a tall plant with distinctive red stems and large pink flowers. Though it is very easy to recognise in summer it dies back each winter, starting again in spring as tiny seedlings. It is hard to recognise at this time of year so we are asking for sightings to provide a starting point for the project.” If you have recently spotted the plant and would like to volunteer your help, then please contact Kelly Harmar at kelly.harmar@harrogate.gov.uk or ring 01423 556035.

Lofthouse School Quiz Night: will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday, March 23 at the Crown Inn, Lofthouse. The quiz offers the chance of winning a cash prize for first, second and third places, so please feel welcome to go along and join in the fun.

Annual General Meeting: of the Bishopside & Bewerley Memorial Hall will take place on Thursday, March 21 at 7.15pm at the hall. Chris Henderson states: “All members of the public are most welcome to attend. The meeting will review the work of the management committee over the past 12 months, and elect a new committee for the forthcoming year. The management committee is made up of members who are nominated by various local organisations, together with residents of the parishes of Bishopside and Bewerley who are directly elected at the AGM. There will also be an opportunity for questions and comments about the use of and the development of the hall’s facilities. The committee is continuing to work on further improvements and any additional help would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to volunteer please come along on March 21.”

Upper Nidderdale Parish Councillors: will be undertaking its annual litter pick on Saturday, March 23. Any parishioners willing to help are asked to meet at Wath bus shelter at 9am. Thank you.

Upper Nidderdale Flower Club: had a great evening of willow weaving with tutor, Ted Flexman. Around 20 members attended the fun workshop which, amidst much laughter, resulted in the creation of many garden plant supports, some a little too tall to get in the car so had to be taken home the next day! With some of the principles of willow weaving under their belt, the group then attempted to make a dragonfly to hang in the garden. There was much ducking and diving as workers tried to avoid each other’s flying willow stalks but everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event. Thanks go to Ted Flexman for providing the club with such an entertaining evening.

Ramsgill Art Studio: will be holding its Easter Show from Saturday, March 30-April 28, with the focus upon woodlands, rivers and lakes.

Discover Hartwith Heritage: at an illustrated talk on Tuesday, March 26 at 7pm at Pateley Bridge Methodist Church, hosted by the Friends of the AONB.

Led by local heritage enthusiasts Ann and Jim Stark, the talk will unravel the stories associated with the lives and livelihoods of our local people through the centuries. From quernstones to millstones and hand spinning to textile mills, they will explain how people’s lives have changed through time. The talk is free to AONB Friends, £3 for everyone else, although there is no need to book, just turn up on the night. For more information, please contact the AONB office on 01423 712950.