News from A Forgotten Landscape
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Your May e-bulletin from A Forgotten Landscape

Summer is just around the corner now!
Here at AFL HQ we are looking forward to welcoming more wonderful volunteers.  This month will see us training water vole monitors and pond surveyors – both days fully subscribed!  The response from the community has been wonderful.  It’s a privilege to be so embraced by people up and down our project area.  We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.
As always, we’ve been up to lots and have more in the works.  And to bring you all the news, this e-bulletin.
In this edition:
* Our projects and amazing volunteer opportunities
* Upcoming family activities and talks
* The latest news
* Meet Stephen Judd, photographer
Happy reading!
Our projects - the heart of what we do
At the heart of what we do - natural and cultural heritage projects you can get involved in.  

Our amazing volunteer opportunities come with full and free training as standard. 
Try something new, follow an interest, help preserve, conserve, restore and explore your landscape!

In this section you can discover a selection of our projects. If you feel inspired to join us, 
more information including volunteer role descriptions and application forms are at 
Or contact Katie Scaife on 01454 863 043 or at

Please note that some opportunities are only open for a short time, 
so do make sure to get in touch by the deadline if one is given.
Tales of the Vale – community history research
A Forgotten Landscape’s history, both distant and recent, is rich and varied.  We know that it is treasured and loved by local people.  The purpose of Tales of the Vale is to help more people enjoy finding out about the past and to share what they learn with others. 
Interested in the past?  Always wanted to know more about your family’s history, old buildings, or your area’s history? We are currently seeking history research volunteers.   Our historian, Virginia Bainbridge, will show you how to discover the past hidden in archives, photo records, and other historical sources. As a volunteer in this project, you will have the chance learn from and be mentored by Virginia in a hands-on programme of doing research, collecting, and sharing the histories you find.  No experience necessary!  You’ll have help every step of the way. 

We will be running an introductory day soon, so if you’re interested do get in touch.  More information is at  Or contact Katie on 01454 863 043 or at

St John Ancient Chapelry, Aust.  Courtesy of Julian Kucharski

Events, talks, workshops, & activities
Find out about our fabulous free events
Booking may be required; if it is, it will say so in the activity details.
Family events

Animate it: Secrets under the Severn with Angela Frankham
Wednesday 1st June, 10-4
Lawrence Weston Community Farm, Saltmarsh Drive, Bristol, BS11 0NJ

Come discover what lies beneath the turbulent surface of the River Severn – all the fish, crabs and critters that answer to Sabrina, the River’s resident goddess. Create your own characters, sets and stories and produce your own animated film!  Sign up on the day for one of the 2-hour workshops.  Start times: 10am, 12pm, & 2pm.  Ages 5+
We’re thrilled to present another animation workshop with Angela. Watch the amazing results from the last one on YouTube

Geocaching workshop – part of the Festival of Nature
Saturday  11th June, 10-5
Bristol Harbourside

Ever wondered what the geocaching game craze is all about? Come and find out how to make and hide your own treasure for others to find. Hear about our own geocache waiting for you to discover at Severn Beach!
Also meet A Forgotten Landscape’s team at the amazing Festival of Nature at Bristol Harbourside – two days dedicated to exploring and enjoying the natural world. This huge event features more than 100 organisations with an exciting programme of hands-on activities, fascinating talks, live entertainment, a market bursting with local produce and much more.  For more about the festival, click here

Tuesday Talks

A summary of our last Tuesday talk, ‘Orchards, Apples, and the Noble Chafer beetle’ by Dr Adam Bates is now on our website at 

We are pleased to announce the speakers and dates for the NEXT Tuesday Talk series!

We are still working out the venue (we need a bigger space) but here are the dates for your diary:

Tuesday 6th September
Inspirational Eels!
By Andrew Kerr, Chair of the Sustainable Eel Group

Tuesday 4th October
The 1607 ‘Tsunami’
By Rose Hewlett, PhD candidate at Bristol University

Tuesday 1st November
Voices, dialects & words; the language of A Forgotten Landscape
By Phil Owen, Archivist at Arnolfini

When we have found a venue, we will start taking bookings for the talks.  Watch out for booking info in the next newsletter!
Kypes in the Severn.  Photo courtesy of Christabelle Tymko

An update from our orchard surveyors.
Our volunteer orchard surveyors can’t resist the better weather!  Results are starting to come in as they investigate the remaining traditional orchards in A Forgotten Landscape.  What?  Could we already really have some possible Noble Chafer beetle frass on our hands?  What’s frass?  Well, we’re too polite to say. 

Also delightful is the enthusiastic response we’ve had from the orchard owners we’ve contacted so far.  Which is in many ways the point of our project – to stimulate interest in and encourage conservation of the unique habitats that orchards present.  They’re funny things really, completely man-made so unnatural but also, when traditionally managed, a haven for wildlife including rare species like the Noble Chafer. We hope to restore (or create!) a small number of orchards and also encourage people to use the fruit they produce – watch out for our apple days and cider-making trainings!

New recruits for archaeology.

In April we trained up another fine group of volunteer geophysical surveyors who will join our existing surveyors in investigating Oldbury Camp (known as the ‘Toot’), the ancient monument that lies at the heart of Oldbury-on-Severn; the village’s lanes run around two of its sides.

Thanks go to Dr Phil Rowe from the University of Bristol who led the training, and also to David Lambie and Mary Lennox, two of our ‘old’ hands who assisted on the day.  The depth of the experience and confidence you’ve gained since November and your kind ability to support the ‘newbies’ was deeply impressive! 

Meet one of our volunteer photographers, Stephen Judd 

You may have noticed some of Stephen’s photographs in past newsletters.  He takes amazingly beautiful wildlife photographs, especially of birds.  We are very lucky that he’s one of our volunteer photographers!
Stephen has a long history working with cameras. “I started on film where portraits and social documentary were the speciality, and I worked semi-professionally doing CD and album covers for record labels in London. Later I expanded into travel photography when I spent three years in Asia. At this point I started diving and tried underwater film photography.”  Stephen decided to submit his underwater photographs in competitions and found they were very well received.  He began to combine his photos with articles and sell them to dive magazines.  And, with new technologies, his interest just grew. It was the advent of digital photography and its use underwater that eventually led him into wildlife photography and, after several safaris practicing, he began to concentrate on bird photography. 
What of the future for Stephen?  “These days I relish any challenge and have recently tried invertebrates and botany. I am particularly interested in supporting charity or volunteer conservation work, where there is a brief, or specific subjects  that need to be photographed or recorded.”  He adds “I'm particularly keen to work with individuals who can provide me with access to hard-to-find species and who can also guide me to take photographs without disturbing those species. Such as noble chafers or water voles!” 
Stephen is always happy to help – and we hope we might be able to help him in return, as we hope to see a few water voles or noble chafers ourselves! 
A small example of Stephen's bird photos

Connect with the team!

You can contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our website using  the links below. Please like or follow us for updates from around the project area. If you have something you'd like to share with the team - an old photo perhaps or an anecdote, a great picture of the area or a contact you think we should make, tag your tweet or instagram photo with #aforgottenlandscape.

You can email us at or call us on 01454 863 043.

Best wishes,

Rebecca, Miriam and Katie
The AFL project team

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