We had 25 people at our recent members’ evening. We gave a presentation on the proposed methodology and timings for the photographic and species monitoring, and discussed training needs. A useful and sociable get-together and since then, the surveying teams have begun planning their own team meetings and work schedules. Work has progressed on the aerial mapping and creating an access path around the new quarrying site. The tree planting begins shortly by the Reserve volunteers and the local Open Country group – later we will get the children involved.

Publicising our project is vital to get people involved. We have adopted a logo, put a page on our website, tweeted and linked to other groups and organisations. At our local Drop In session on 10th February there were displays, a slide show and the chance for a chat about the project. Despite poor weather, we had a good response, signed up some more volunteers and some subscribers to our project news feed.

Working with our partner North Stainley Primary School we begin school sessions next week and visits to site the week after. Changes to the quarrying timetable means the use of the mobile hide being built by volunteers will not be possible until 2019, so we have diverted our activities to restoring a donated portacabin to be used for public events and school visits. Meanwhile the work of the Reserve goes on with our regular band of volunteers braving some challenging weather, and our bird feeders working overtime.