Category Archives: Events

Apple Day 2019

Our Apple Day was thoroughly enjoyed by those who came, and despite the weather forecast we had very little rain during the event – even if it was very wet underfoot!  We borrowed the apple press from Stamford Community Orchard Group and made our own apple juice.  Great fun was had by all crushing the apples and then pressing them into a delicious healthy juice – which people could take home.

apple press
Great fun was had by all crushing the apples and then pressing them into a delicious healthy juice.

There were plenty of delicious cakes from the homemade cake stall, with teas and coffees to wash them down.

Children had craft activities to try, and a quiz around the orchard, answering apple related questions.  Children and adults could make applejacks out of apples to hang in the trees to ward off evil spirits, and we finally had a winner for our guess the name of the scarecrow – who was called Buck.  There was also a craft stall, a second hand book-stall, and a plant stall. The Bourne Wood booklet was also available.

We had the results of our photographic competition with the entries and winners on display.  The first and second prizes were handed out to Steve Goddard and Martin Barnatt (received on his behalf by his wife), and the third prize winner, Jason Richardson was not there.

a selection of apples and pears
The Friends had picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.

The Friends had picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.  There will be more punnets available for the next few weeks during opening hours in the orchard, on a Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to  all our volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.

Photographs by Jayne Blackbourn

Fruits of the Forest Walk 2019

On a very pleasant sunny afternoon around 30 people gathered for a walk to look for the different fruits and nuts present in Bourne Wood.

people looking at woodland fruit
Around 30 people gathered for a walk to look for the different fruits and nuts present in Bourne Wood.

Bourne Wood has a great diversity of trees and shrubs and we were hoping to see a range of fruits and nuts or seeds on the walk.

Despite it not being one of the better years (at least in Bourne Wood) for the crop of fruits and nuts, we did manage to see a good range of different types.

Blackberries, hips (dog and field rose), haws (common hawthorn) and sloes (blackthorn) were generally widespread. The fruits of these common shrubs are very familiar to many people. Sloes are used to make sloe gin and sloe jelly but, according to Richard, eaten raw they have the disconcerting effect of drying out ones mouth!

sloe berries
Sloes are used to make sloe gin and sloe jelly but, according to Richard, eaten raw they have the disconcerting effect of drying out ones mouth!

Other berries we encountered included dogwood, the familiar elderberry and black bryony – the only British member of the yam family! We found honeysuckle but unfortunately no fruits were in evidence. The leaves of this species are the food plant for the caterpillar of the rather rare white admiral butterfly that is on the wing in the Wood in July.

ripe black bryony
The berries of the woody climber, black bryony. Beware the berries are poisonous!

Although we found a few acorns from English oak, hazel nuts and beech mast proved elusive. Clearly despite there being a large beech tree near the car park this was not a year of plenty (a mast year) and no masts were found. The lack of hazel nuts is probably down to the severe depredations of hazelnuts by grey squirrels, small rodents and jays.

Finally Richard was able to locate a wild service tree with its rather unappetising-looking brown berries. The leaf of this species forms the logo of the Friends of Bourne Wood and its fascinating ecology and cultural uses are set out here: http://www.friendsofbournewoods.org.uk/wild-service-tree/

Photographs Steve Goddard

 

Bug Hunt July 2019

Around 40 adults and children joined entomologist Dr Keith Porter for this popular event run by the Friends of Bourne Wood.

The weather was mostly warm but cloudy but nonetheless a wide range of insects and spiders were found by the group using various collecting equipment including nets.

people on bug hunt
Some of the 40 adults and children who joined entomologist Dr Keith Porter for this popular event run by the Friends of Bourne Wood.

One of the more exciting observations was that of a purple emperor butterfly flying around the top of an oak tree, although not everyone in the group spotted it! This large colourful butterfly appears to have only colonised Bourne Wood in the last few years and the caterpillars feed on goat willow or sallow. Other butterflies seen included large numbers of ringlet butterflies plus large skipper, gatekeeper, comma, meadow brown, silver-washed fritillary and a few people had a brief glimpse of a white admiral.

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As its name suggests, the Large Skipper is bigger than the similar-looking Small Skipper! It can be seen in summer, resting on the long grass of grasslands, woodlands, verges and sand dunes.

Of other insects, numerous common soldier beetles were in evidence – these orangy-red beetles feed on nectar, pollen and aphids and were particularly numerous on the flowers of hogweed. A range of different species of true bugs were also found, including the woundwort shield bug, the larvae of which feed on hedge woundwort and white dead nettle. The colourful 7-spot and 24 spot ladybird were also discovered.

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The common red soldier beetle is also known as the ‘bloodsucker’ for its striking red appearance, but it is harmless. It is a beneficial garden insect as the adults eat aphids, and the larvae eat other pests.

A number of different species of spiders were collected but Keith explained that he wasn’t an expert and that there are numerous species in Britain (around 650 species) and identification is a very specialist job!

Some very long-legged spider-like creatures with a rounded compact bodies were collected in the nets. Although resembling spiders they were in fact harvestmen – a group distantly related to spiders that feed on insects but unlike spiders, do not spin webs.

Thanks are due to Keith for an interesting and informative afternoon.

Photographs Pauline Knox, Richard Jefferson, and Sarah Roberts

Orchard Open Day 2018

The Community Orchard Open Day, organised by the Friends of Bourne Wood, was thoroughly enjoyed by those who came, and despite the weather forecast we had a sunny time!  There was live music from Dean Hardy and Friends  who play regularly at the Masons, Bourne and the Hare & Hounds at Haconby.  They played two sets of lively music – a  mix of Irish, Folk, Country and traditional tunes.  People could either sit and listen, or wander and enjoy the ambiance of the orchard – and the children managed a little dance!

There were plenty of delicious cakes from the homemade cake stall, with teas and coffees to wash them down.

pond at bourne orchard
Despite the weather forecast we had a sunny time!

Children had craft activities to try, and a guess the fruit competition as well as traditional games, which adults also enjoyed, and became quite competitive.  These were supplemented by a craft stall, second hand book-stall, and a plant stall. The Bourne Wood booklet was also available.

The Friends had picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.  There will be more punnets available for the next few weeks during opening hours in the orchard, on a Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm.

pears
The Friends had picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Dean Hardy and the other musicians for their entertainment and to all our other volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.  The event was supported by PPL PRS Charity and Community Discount Scheme.  PPL PRS licences the use of copyright music across the UK, giving businesses and organisations the permission they need to play the music they want.

The Friends next event is a Fungi Foray on Sunday October 21st, at 2pm in the main car park.

Photographs by Steve Goddard

Children’s Activity Afternoon 2018

We had a lovely sunny and warm day for the Friends of Bourne Woods first children’s activity event in the Bourne Community Orchard on Saturday.

There were plenty of activities for children to try their hands at – painting butterflies which could fly in the wind, making caterpillars, building their own bug hotel to take home, and a treasure hunt around the orchard.  Taking part in the treasure hunt gave the children a chance to win a copy of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ book by Eric Carle.

children making butterflies
Making butterflies!

There was also the chance to relax in the orchard with some homemade cake and a hot or cold drink.

The children had great fun – making lots of noise, running around looking for clues and making a sticky mess!  The event also helped raise awareness of the existence of the orchard, the need for volunteers to help tend it and funds to maintain it.

gathering information
The event also helped raise awareness of the existence of the orchard, the need for volunteers to help tend it and funds to maintain it.

Thank you to all that helped on the day both setting up and during the afternoon.

Photographs Roland Smith

Mini Beast Hunt 2018

A large group of around 25 adults and children joined bug expert Dr Keith Porter to hunt for and identify insects in Bourne Wood.

We were blessed with fine weather as we have come to expect in this extraordinary 2018 British summer!

Before setting off, Keith demonstrated the various equipment we were going to use to seek out bugs and beasties. This included two types of nets plus beating trays. The latter is a framed square flat piece of fabric which is held underneath a bush to catch insects dislodged by striking a branch or bush with a stick.

group on bug hunt bourne wood
A large group of around 25 adults and children joined bug expert Dr Keith Porter to hunt for and identify insects in Bourne Wood.

We had a successful afternoon and found a wide range of insects and spiders on the margins of the main ride through the wood.

Ten species of butterflies were seen including several silver-washed fritillaries, which is Britain’s largest resident butterfly and particularly striking with its orange coloration and streaks of silver found on the underside of the wings.

brown argus butterfly
Although one of the “blues”, the Brown Argus is actually brown!

At one stage, two brown hawker dragonflies observed us from above. This species is a large fast-flying dragonfly with distinctive golden-brown wings and which probably breeds in the ponds in the wood.

Other insects we encountered included several types of hoverflies, 7-spot ladybirds, shield and squash bugs and grasshoppers.

A Silver Y moth was captured and Keith explained that this day-flying moth was an annual immigrant from continental Europe. And finally, a very strange looking pale yellow-green spider was found. This turned out to be a crab spider. These spiders don’t spin webs instead relying on camouflage and ambush. They hide in flowers, where they prey on flies and bees. Some species can even change colour to match the flower they are on.

bee on thistle

All in all, it was an interesting and enjoyable outing for the participants, and we are very grateful to Keith for sharing his expertise and enthusiasm with us.

Photographs Steve Goddard