Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Biodiversity excitements in Derbyshire!

Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Partnership Forum 2012
17 November 2012
9.45 - 16.00
County Hall, Matlock
A programme of talks, workshops and displays showing how you can get the message about biodiversity
across to a variety of different audiences in fun and imaginative ways.

Free but places need booking

More information:
Get the biodiversity message across!
In our world of 24 hours-a-day media, and with many demands for our attention, we need effective and imaginative ways
Each year the Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Partnership holds a themed Annual Forum for partners and community groups. This year that theme is about Communication.
Our event will look at a number of imaginative ways being used to encourage others to appreciate and respect nature, or to become active volunteers or members of local groups.
The workshops on offer will be wide and varied. You can pick up to three, so it’s easy to try out different activities in a safe environment and learn from experienced practitioners. Details of the workshops are on the next page of this flier. Please select your preferred choices of workshop when you complete this booking form.
By the end of the event, we hope you will be inspired to try out some different ways to communicate your passion for nature to others. The workshops are designed to give you a range of different techniques to take back to your work or voluntary projects, so you’ll be contributing to the ‘educational’ part of the Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Action Plan, too!
There will be plenty of opportunities during the day to share experiences amongst like-minded individuals, as well as to meet other groups and individuals within the county.
How much does it cost?
Attendance at the Annual Forum is
free, but places must be booked in advance using the attached form.
Who is the event aimed at?
The event is aimed at partners, parish councils, landowners, schools, volunteers, community groups, students and anyone else who wants to find out about different ways of communicating a biodiversity-related message. Anyone can attend the event, but priority will be given to organisations in Derbyshire, or who are already part of the LBAP Partnership.

A world gathering worth joining

It's a bit of an unwieldy title but WEEC2007 was one of the most exciting events I've been to in ages!

The 2007 WEEC was in Durban and I came away with new friends, new experiences and a bucket full of ideas to think about
things to see

2013 is a bit closer to Europe - Marrakesh in Morocco. We're right on the deadline for submissions and for early bird bookings but do take a look, have a think and maybe plunge in! (Images are from Durban)
time and places to stop and chat

Don't think too long, like jumping into the water, it's better just to leap!

Hope to see you there!

things to handle
And we visited an aquarium so, of course, I got very excited about the animals!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Stories from the woods

Stories that grew out of a beautiful autumn day in Plas Power Woods for the Woodland Trust with some 40 people visiting us through the day, along with several friendly dogs, a possible bear and occasional breezes

storytelling camp
We listened to all sorts of stories - of ducks and rabbits and friendly monsters and discovered that you should always be kind to Conker Trees as they remember when they used to e able to run around the dance and play
one of the Hundred-handed Giants

the Witch
Deep in the woods, an old witch lives
If you are careful you might find her,
Putting on make-up down by the stream
Mud for lipstick,
Berry eyeshadow,
her hair is leaves and grass
Her eyelashes twigs
Stick eyebrows arch over
Eyes as dark as a forest pool
In skin as green and grey and rough as bark

You might see her there,
A shadow by the rapids
Sharpening stones on the riverbank
Fitting her mouth for teeth

The Lost Fairies
One bright autumn day, two woodland fairies, Stephanie and Jasmine, were out exploring the forest. They should have been busy flying the Royal Butterflies but were fed up up with the Butterflies because whenever the girls took them out, the insects all flew in different directions and the little fairies felt as if their arms were going to be pulled off!

So today, they had tied the butterflies to a bouncy tree branch and gone off looking for an adventure

Stephanie and Jasmine went deep into the woods. Here, they could hear the rushing of the river and the rustling of the leaves. They felt the roughness of bark and smelt the dampness of water and mud and moss

In the middle of the woods, in a pool of sunlight by the river, they met a beautiful blue dragonfly.

The dragonfly told the girls about a wonderful white deer that had been seen in the woods, a rare and magical animal

Through the woods,
Under the oak trees,
Over the logs,
Beside the stream,
Across the river on the stepping stones
The fairy girls went hunting

But somewhere
Between one tree and the next,
Between daytime and night-time,
Between sunset and moonrise,
In the mist and the woods,
Where the squirrels look down from the branches,
And the hedgehogs look up from the bushes,
The fairy girls disappeared and
No-one has seen them again. Yet…

Bob the Duck

One sunny and windy afternoon, a very hot duck was swimming in the river trying to cool down, when suddenly a huge holly leaf blew down on the wind and landed on his head! The leaf was very spiky and knocked some of his feathers out.

Bob the duck went swimming away down the river. At a very loud waterfall he stopped and listened to some birds singing. A girl came to look at the waterfall and the birds. Bob didn't want the girls to see him so he swam further and further down to the very bottom of the waterfall.

But as swam down, he could smell delicious pie. The smell wasn't coming from the bottom of the pond but from up where the girl was. Bob decided that he didn't care if the girl stroked him - he just wanted pie!

Bob swam up to the top of the pool and the girl said, "What are you looking for?" and Bob said, "I'm looking for pie". So the girl showed Bob the way to the pie. But as they walked through the woods, a giant spiky conker fell on the girl's head. It hurt.

So Bob helped the girl through the wood and forgot that he was missing some feathers. When they found the pie, they both felt better and stayed together to have pie for tea

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

More Big Drawings! Buxton Museum

Revealing the world through drawing
Wednesday 31st October
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
10 am - 12 noon
1pm - 3pm

Shells, fossils, wonders and marvels: join artist and storyteller Gordon MacLellan (that's me!) and make your own collection of drawings and prints using tiny treasures, wonderful artefacts and fabulous fabrics from around the world

This is a Big Draw event: part of the world's biggest celebration of drawing. Buxton saw a colourful draw on Saturday 13th in Pavilion Gardens. For our next pencil-driven adventure, come to the Museum on 31st and enjoy the latest exhibitions as well as our event. Look, peer, handle and maybe even sniff objects to handle: from African masks to ancient fossils, Australian seed pods to deep sea shells: a chance to draw, sketch and scribble your own set of pictures of a fascinating world. 

Can you draw your way around the world in 10 pictures? 
Or span the history of the Earth in 20? 
Or why not just pause in a busy day, take up a pencil and relax for a few minutes!

No booking needed: just drop in (but give yourself 30 minutes to work in so don't arrive right at the end of a session!
Children under 8 years old need to bring a grown-up with them!

Free: materials supplies

Where: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrace Rd, Buxton, SK17 6DA

Monday, 15 October 2012

Woodland Story event

Tree Telling

Saturday 20th October 2012
Plas Power Woods near Wrexham
Meet Nant Mill Visitor Centre
11am - 3.30pm
arrive anytime - after 11, there will be a self-guided storytrail to take you down to our camp in the woods

What are we doing?
I'll be telling woodland stories and tales of trees: of dancing birch trees and sad cedars, of the dramatic history of horse chestnuts and why we need to be very careful around oak and willow trees

The walk through the woods will give us new stories, as well, building new adventures for visitors to the woods out of the sounds we hear, the smells of autumn, fallen twigs and floating leaves: anything might feed into new tales!

To find out more and get directions, visit the Woodland Trust site

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Hugh Miller, stonemason, geologist, writer

Book of the moment

Hugh Miller, stonemason, geologist, writer 
by Michael A Taylor, 
National Museums of Scotland, 2007 ISBN 1 905267 05 3

"the quiet enthusiasm of the true fossil hunter"

Hugh Miller would seem to have been one of those careful Victorian gentlemen* who peered and probed and revealed county flora and folklore, geology and palaeontology and who mixed science with culture and religion in an intriguing, if sometimes patronising, whole.

He was much more than this: a complex mix of pride and humility with a strong sense of his working-class Presbyterian roots and values that guided his out look and informed his attitudes through his sadly shortened life

Pterichthyodes milleri
From the environmental side of things, Miller's collections of fossils from the early 1800s are invaluable as he found, named and laid bare to our fascinated eyes the fish of the Old Red Sandstone of northern Scotland. (They are still fascinating now)
P milleri, revived 

This books weaves it way through this intriguing life and the connections and companions that inspired, helped and frustrated him. While  "quiet enthusiasm" seems right, he was also clearly ready to wade into issues and, as the editor of The Witness , Edinburgh's second-best-selling newspaper of his time, his words on suffrage, land-owneship, the Clearances and the Disruption of the Church of Scotland carried influence. 

A good read!

(* for adventurous Victorian ladies, I would recommend the outspoken and sometimes appallingly judgemental Isabella Bird - Adventures in the Rocky Mountains; and the much more sympathetic Mary Kingsley's The Congo and the Cameroons - both available in Penguin Classics edited versions)

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Big Draw in Buxton

autumn colours and inspirations
autumn leaves could set our art-ideas buzzing

Saturday October 13th
11am - 2pm
meet by the Bandstand 
in Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, SK17 6BE
Materials provided

October is the month of the Big Draw so why not warm up your pencil fingers, wriggle those painting hands and give your art legs a shake down and join us for a Big Draw in the Pavilion Gardens

Inspired by the colours and patterns of autumn in the Gardens, we'll do a big picture in front of the Pavilion working on a long roll of paper with chalks and oil pastels

Everyone is welcome - you don't need to be "an artist" - enjoying autumn is enough for us to get you drawing!
early morning dew might inspire a scribble

Artists: Sarah Males and Gordon MacLellan are two of the leading artists from Exploring with Stories. Based in Buxton they both work to find ways of celebrating the places where people live, work and play.

Wet weather? we'll still work together but indoors and on a smaller scale - find us in the Conservatory!

NEXT EVENT: after this there will be another Big Draw workshop on 31st October in Buxton Museum. Details to follow

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Kelp enchantments


Abandoned on the shore,
Wet leather shrivelling in the sun, 
Knotted club holdfasts useless now.
But even so, breeding flies and rot,
Oarweed, kelp, ribbonweed and wrack,
Still wrap themselves,
In a second skin,
Around my heart.

Serrated wrack as the tide ebbs