Making the most of the sunshine at the Crouch End Festival
We had a great day at the Crouch End Festival as did many children who took part in our 'Design a Butterfly' project. It was a great opportunity to showcase our new display boards and to explain the ideas we have for creating a 'Wildlife and Nature Trail' at the Highgate End of the Walk.
Haringey Local Planning Authority approves Construction Management Plan that advocates heavy lorries and skips on the Parkland Walk
Despite 335 objections and a petition that has now reached 2,510, Haringey Local Planning Authority has approved the CMP for 3 Francis Place subject to site meetings to be held between the contractor, Haringey Planning and Haringey Transportation departments. The Friends have made it clear to the Planning Department that as this meeting is to clarify details that are not contained in the CMP, the text of the resulting agreement must be made available for public scrutiny. MORE...
A petition with as many signatures as we have received should qualify for a hearing at a full Cabinet Council meeting. Currently the officer in charge of such arrangements has been trying to set up a meeting outside of this. We believe our concerns should be expressed publicly and are challenging this approach as undemocratic.
A good turnout and 24 members providing proxy votes, meant that we were easily quorate for our meeting. All items on the agenda were passed unanimously.
As of January 2017, membership of the Friends will be through an annual subscription of £5 a year (or £20 for 5 years). A new committee was elected as follows:
Simon Olley, Chair (re-elected)
David Warren, Vice chair (newly-elected)
Chris Mason, Secretary (re-elected)
Cathy Meeus, Treasurer (re-elected)
David Charie (re-elected)
Michael Radford (re-elected)
Elizabeth Sutton-Klein (re-elected)
Emma Walmsley (newly-elected)
Illustrated talk by Professor Kate Jones
Using a variety of techniques, but notably tracking devices and camera and sound traps, scientists around the world are collecting staggeringly large amounts of data on animal behaviour and movements. We are talking 'Petabytes per second'. So much data in fact, that Kate found herself talking with NASA about how to process it effectively. Once gathered and processed all these findings help inform ecological decision making and assist in the protection of declining species.
Much of the material Kate showed us was taken from projects conducted by her students at UCL. The work extends from very small locations to global migration routes, but to solve problems of species decline you have to take in the bigger picture.
You don't have to be a post-grad student to help in the kind of research Kate was describing, and you don't have to go any further than the Parkland Walk to start making a difference. Many findings are increasingly processed by the public (citizen scientists). Sometimes it involves linking your computing power overnight to global networks or, and this is where it gets interesting, by using a myriad of free apps on mobile phones when you're out and about. Next time you're browsing the app store, see what you can find. There are apps for recording bats, ladybirds, dragonflies and more. ChirpOMatic will record and identify birdsong. Leafsnap UK will help you identify trees. Also Instant Wild, Echometer and Ashtag and not forgetting http://www.ispotnature.org.
We were delighted to discover that using a 'camera trap', Kate has found the presence of hedgehogs in her own garden in Muswell Hill. We're now talking with Kate about how we can use readily available and affordable technology on the Parkland Walk, and how we can then present findings and video on our website. Some of the methods might require us to need local wifi access. So if your house backs on to the Walk and you would like to be a part of this really exciting research project, please let us know.
Kate is Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity, Genetics, Evolution & Environment, Div of Biosciences at University College of London.
Friends to receive £10,000 grant from Tesco's Bags of Help initiative to develop a nature Trail on the Walk
You can read more on the project on our Nature Trail page
View our Prospectus document as a pdf
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