News and events 4 – 11 April

Forestry Commission announces new head and rural areas get connected, plus rangers tour of rare cattle and kayaking in Cornwall



New head of Forestry Commission announced


The Forestry Commission have announced that Dr John Morgan will replace Roddie Burgess as head of the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service. Having already worked with the commission for 20 years, Dr Morgan told the Forestry Commission that he was honoured to accept the position. The appointment, commencing from 4 April, sees Dr Morgan moving from his previous position held for 13 years as Head of the Commission’s Plant and seed supply business.

Beavers stand against cuts

The RSPB has reported that 24 West London Beavers received the Bronze Wildlife Action Award for trying to save their local education centre in Bushy Park. Having heard that the centre was to be closed, the Teddington Beavers, aged six to eight wrote letters to their local MP Vince Cable. Unfortunately Dr Cable was unable to make any guarantees, but did apologise and hope that as many of the activities would be kept as possible.

Rural areas receive broadband connection
The countryside is getting more connected, thanks to BT so far delivering on its promise to get 80% of the UK on broadband by the end of 2011. Aiming for the fastest broadband network in Europe, a Guardian report says that communities will have to push councils if they hope to get there. But with villages in South East Cornwall receiving fibre optic broadband last week, so far things are looking promising.

Pembrokeshire Badger culls opposed by Brian May
The Farmers Guardian today reported anger in The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) after anti culling remarks from Queen guitarist Brian May.Animal rights activist May suggested that farmers avoid TB hot spots and called culling policies ‘deeply flawed’. The FUW however, found his comments ignorant of rural Welsh life, and spokesman Brian Walters told the Farmers Guardian, “The audacity of the man fathoms belief” and continued to say, “Brian May should stick to playing the guitar, rather than speaking about things which happen in a different country which he doesn’t understand and do not affect him.”


Ranger guide to rare cattle

Blue Albions, white and black Galloways and stunning spring flowers; Ranger Colin Nankervis leads a walk on 10 April along the breathtaking coast and moorland of Penwith. Showcasing the rare breeds of cattle in the area, the walk is free and lasts around an hour and a half, and is easy (and fun!) enough for children to come along aswell. National Trust countryside manager, John Brookes, says Ranger Nankervis is very committed, and it will be an entertaining walk.

The walk starts at 12 midday, and for more information or to book, call the National Trust on 01736796993.

Helford kayaking
If you fancy a little adventure, why not book yourself onto the National Trusts Kayaking series this April?
Working with family company Waterborne based in Porthleven, the trip has been running for three years and is suitable for beginners. Visitor Services Manager Layla Astley, says the two hour trips usually start from the sailing club, and are tailored for each group. Groups can go to Tremayne Quay, where everyone can get out and stretch their legs or head back to Helford village, via Port Navas if they chose. Layla says, “We potter about listening to the birds and paddling in and out of the big oaks that line the creek.”

The trip costs £30 and it is recommended that you book early, as numbers are limited to eight per group. Book online or call 01325558424.

Game’s On at Derbyshire Fair

Walton-on-Trent’s Catton Park hosts a two-day Gamekeepers Fair 9-10 April.
The event boasts gundog and pigeon plucking competitions and air rifle and clay shooting, as well as trade stands and the Game’s On Food Hall. The Game’s On campaign from the BASC is to promote eating local game meat as healthy and nutritious. The organisers are hoping their event will attract the general public and country sports enthusiasts alike.

Specialized family cycling
Get on your bike! If you’re in the Nottinghamshire area, head out for a cycle ride along the Trent Valley 10 April. To join in just arrive at the Groves Sport Centre car park in Newark at 10am, where you can head off on a three, or if you’re feeling keen, five hour cycle. Cycling trips sponsored by Sustrans and Specialized are popping up all over the country this summer, with 14 local authorities involved in the project. Coined as ‘Fresh Air Miles’, Sustrans Communications Director says that the aim of the bike rides is to inspire freedom and a sense of neighbourliness.

For any extra information call 01636 672408.

Twilight tour of Greenway House
Agatha Christie’s ‘loveliest place in the world’ is open to the public on 6 April for a two hour twilight tour, complete with canapés for the bargain price of £25. The tour is led by knowledgeable volunteers, and promises to be an exciting night.

To book call 01803 842382.


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