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March 12, 2017

Our volunteers photographed this fine old crabapple tree on one of our guided walks in March. Volunteers pointed out the rows of hairs on the edges of the bud scales that assist winter identification. Unusually this tree was one in a loose row; they usually grow singly in hedgerows. Black birds were seen under the trees eating the fallen fruit and the caterpillar of an eyed hawk moth was spotted in a crevice.


We were delighted to supply copy writing & images to Juno Enterprise Charitable Association for community education resource sheets, this work will benefit over 10,000 people. In addition we printed for the Association community education resources, including foraging bags to benefit several hundred people in 2017. pictured below, Juno Enterprise Charitable Association partnership project with SEND Nottingham.

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Our volunteers installed a new observation and recovery pen, it will be a great help. It is occupied at the moment by a friendly young wood pigeon who was picked up after a RTA.


We have a forest of basil in our Dawn Chorus Educational Initiative trials garden, for our Grow-How: “helping to grow” project. Volunteers are kept busy watering in the hot weather.

We are arranging a visit by mental health service users and young people with learning difficulties to the office of the Nottinghamshire Crime and Police Commissioner, as part of our community awareness project.

We helped with shelter building and story telling activities for preschool children, brewing up hot chocolate, hammering with wooden mallets, tying ropes, telling stories, practicing communication and teamwork skills and getting lots of fresh air.


This years annual volunteers valentine snowdrop walk took place in the Framland villages, where we watched the kites playing in the wind.IMGP5902

Before Christmas, our community learning group discovered the history, meaning and origin of some sixteenth century carols . Our volunteers  interpreted the project to provide information and tree decorations, following a woodland theme for the community tree festival at All Hallows Gedling. We were delighted to again take part in the festival along with other community groups; information on our work was displayed and a high level of positive community feed back was obtained to feed into our rolling community consultation.


Above: our “post an angel” Christmas project.  Ethiopian angels have been distributed on request: “to spread some light” in the words of  our supporter Shawn. Bunny, donkey and pussy cat angels were popular with the children.

Between 2015 and early 2016 we are helping our partner Juno Enterprise, to celebrate thirty years of delivering outstanding community benefits. We work together on a range of significant projects. Two examples being:

a) species recording: on a visit to the Lincolnshire coast in September, our volunteers recorded Red-footed falcon, Spotted redshank, Whinchat, Marsh harrier, Stonechat and Whimbrel.

b) our “Tremendous Trees project”: on which we have cooperated since 1985.

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This year we have a great crop of Lincolnshire snake beans in the Dawn Chorus garden…we will be saving the seed for projects in 2016, the UN year of the pulse. Other bean seeds have been received from members of the community, such as our supporter Mark. Our volunteers have been helping children to check insect hotels, we are comparing designs to find out the preference of species for various designs. (Below: insect hotel on a sycamore tree)


We are appealing for donations of cat food and cash to buy food to feed abandoned cats and kittens in desperate need. We are experiencing a crisis with this project and help is very much needed. Please make cheques payable to Dawn Chorus Educational Initiative: ring 0775 8847089 for posting details. Thank you for your kindness.

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Volunteering publicity continues to be sent out. A story about the work of our wildlife welfare & rescue volunteers was very well received by the public, highlighting the appreciation for and realization of the importance of this work. Our volunteers do an inspiring job, with great passion, contributing to all aspects of our work. We celebrate the vital work of our volunteers during Volunteers Week and the value & impact that it has on people’s lives and our communities. Glossy ibis, lesser spotted woodpecker & little owl, spotted in same field at same time by Dawn Chorus volunteers on this years volunteers valentine snowdrop walk, well done volunteers of all ages. Pair of dippers, pair of barn owls, pair of ravens and a little egret spotted on one of our guided family walks. Dawn Chorus was delighted to contribute to a Spring study on bluebells by the Radical Honey project, for community creativity, delivered by Jacqueline Woodward-Smith; see link at the right of this page.

Great things happen in the Dawn Chorus organic trials garden, including growing globe artichokes and other heritage vegetables from seed. These are delivered to preschool children’s educational gardens & other community organisations and supporters. Dawn Chorus volunteers are busily feeding underweight, hungry little hedgehogs in the resident hedgehog emergency winter quarters. Dawn Chorus hedgehog hibernation quarters built by our volunteers have all had hedgehogs in residence. The design of the nests has been distributed national. We have campaigned to raise awareness of seasonal risks to hedgehogs, encouraging the public to check before lighting bonfires to prevent sleeping hedgehogs from being burned alive. We advise that people move  and re-site piles before lighting or push broom handles into the base of the wood heap to lift it & shine a torch in and look & listen. We are also asking people to put out water & cat food (not bread & milk as it can kill them) to help them survive. As our communities see the vital importance of our work, we continue to see a steady rise in the number of people supporting us. If you want to support our work, please check below to see our new delivery of very special bespoke Dawn Chorus catalog items by Simply Inspired hand-made clips. Each wildlife & pretty bird themed non-slip clip is individual, just for the little princess in your life. We have extended our range of bespoke Dawn Chorus jewelry,  with three new items becoming available from our popular designer and supporters at Spectral Creations. Dawn Chorus was a very close runner-up in a regional public vote for best community environmental group. We were nominated by Crown Estates. Only a very few votes decided the winning outcome. We enjoyed the activity and gained a huge amount of positive feedback. Laura Norton from Crown Estates said: “Everyone was really impressed with all the fantastic work that you do so a big well done. “ We wish to thank every one who voted for us and all of our supporters, we value every one of you. Below: a colourful inflatable beetle from the recent sustainability event.


We hope that you like this picture of Black Rocks, Derbyshire. It was taken at a Dawn Chorus & Juno Enterprise partnership activity to support access to social, industrial and natural heritage. Our volunteer who took this photo said: “today helped me to understanding that places have special meaning”.


We recently facilitated popular community discussions, around community safety, in relation to statutory and private partnerships, under the Dawn Chorus community & well-being programmes and in partnership with the Juno Enterprise Understanding Democratic Systems programme. Following the great success of Volunteers Week, we have joined up with many friends & look forward to cooperating with them throughout the year. We directly delivered messages to 169,404  individuals during volunteers week, on the vital work that our volunteers carry out, in the current economic climate. Further updates on our work have sent out to every county and city third sector infrastructure organisation in the East Midlands. “Communications” continue to be a theme at Dawn Chorus. We are working with target online communities, on natural and cultural heritage, human and animal well-being, community education and third sector issues. We look forward to reporting positive news from this exciting project. Dawn Chorus campaign information has been networked to 71,197 individuals, through face to face contact at conferences & with individuals & via social networking. Our consultations with stakeholders have received positive feedback from 420 individuals on specific issues & feedback from over 910 individuals on general issues. Dawn Chorus has 2,024 supporters and 659 partners of which 336 are working partners and 323 are in our active co-operative network, some have been with us since 1985.

Showcased: We were delighted that One East Midlands chose Dawn Chorus as the subject for a Case Study and target for promotion. The Case Study can be viewed on the One East Midlands website. Bricks and Bread, the sustainable hub project based in London, has chosen Dawn Chorus as “hub member of the day”  “in recognition of (our) hard work and support”, we feature on the “bread line” website.  Please follow the links to support our partners. Two issues of concern to Dawn Chorus that grabbed the headlines: the positive news that the badger cull was partially postponed in some areas, thanks to the huge campaign on behalf of the badgers (we have been proud to have played a modest part in this achievement) and secondly the terrible news that the bio-security threat to our Ash trees is becoming more evident. This will have grave consequences for the East Midlands where Ash trees are so characteristic, especially in the “Mercian mud-woods” and the Dumble areas. Dawn Chorus is engaged within a number of forums and partnerships that are considering the best action to take to assist in the situation. How now do we “maintain & improve by management, existing mixed ash dominated woodland”? (Notts. BAP) What a difference volunteers can make! For example, Dawn Chorus volunteers have released birds that have recovered from treatment and rehabilitation, including garden birds that have been attacked by cats; our volunteer Andrew said: “it is great to see them flying high above the trees, healthy and free”. So a big thank you to our volunteers for helping to make this year a huge success! Our supporter & volunteer wildlife photographer Ellie sent us the picture below of a cute little fox; Ellie said: “Nothing like a bit of urban wildlife”.


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