Message from Blogmaster.

Hi everyone…
I felt that I should inform you that there has been an update to the WordPress text editor and you may find that things work a little differently, when using it to create posts to the Blog.
Apparently, the cut and paste facility has been improved to allow the importation of external documents and an improved drag and drop facility has been introduced for adding photo’s.
Viewing of the Blog should remain unaffected by the update.

Carnival Wildlife Quiz

Although not quite as successful as the previous quiz, which we held at last year’s Food Festival, we never the less had 14 entries at this years quiz and the scoring was very high.
There were 3 entries tied for first place, with each having 35 points out of a possible maximum of 45 points and we had to determine a winner by selecting the person with the highest number of correct and fully defined answers.
The eventual winner was Andrew Jones who received a Guide to Britsh Birds book – well done Andrew.
Just edged out of the frame were Elwyn Cook and David Archer – again, well done to you both.
Thanks to all who entered the quiz and we hope that you enjoyed taking part.

The correct answers to the quiz are shown below.

Answers to Wildlife Quiz - 2014

Answers to Wildlife Quiz – 2014

Newtown Carnival – Photo Competition

I am pleased to announce that the River Severn Custodians will be having a stall at the Carnival on the 14th of June 2014.

This year, we thought that it would be interesting to get young people involved with the river environment by way of a photo competition, which will be open to anyone up to and including 16 years of age.
The photo can be taken with a digital camera or mobile phone etc. and emailed to the address shown below.
Any subject that involves the river can be used, e.g. wildlife, people enjoying the river, views of the river, your dog playing in the water or whatever you feel would make a good photo.
A panel of Judges will decide the winning photo(s) on the day of the Carnival and there are prizes to be won.

This is a fun competition and therefore we need to keep the rules simple.
1. You must be 16 years of age or younger to enter.
2. The picture must be taken along the River Severn between Mochdre Brook (Vaynor) and Penarth Weir.
3. The River Severn must appear somewhere as part of the photograph.
4. Email your entry to    secretary@riverseverncustodians.co.uk.
Include your name, age and type of camera used.
5. The Judges decision will be final.
6. Closing date for entries is 12th of June 2014.

There are a few minor considerations…
The river can be a dangerous place as well as an enjoyable one – please take care out there.
If photographing specific people that you don’t know, please ask if they are willing to be photographed. (Some people do not like having their photo taken).
Please take care not to damage property or disturb wildlife when photographing.

Enjoy the competition and have fun.

We are now on Facebook

Hi everyone….
I am pleased to announce that we are now on Facebook and cordially send out an invitation to everyone, to contribute to our Timeline and/or Blog.
The Facebook address is shown in the Useful Information panel on the right of this screen, for your reference.
There are numerous photo albums available, which show the RSC at work, the area that we cover and the wildlife that can be seen along the river.

Facebook users
If you are already a Facebook user, you can become a ‘friend’ of the Custodians and this will allow you to post directly to our Timeline.
The page will not reveal your friendship to anyone else, but by making contributions to the Timeline, normal Facebook ‘tracking’ would come into play.

Non-Facebook users
If you do not have a Facebook account, you will still be able to view the Timeline and add comments to the posts, but you will not be allowed to make a post yourself.
In order that the public can make posts, I have created a ‘Blog’ page that will allow the general public to make posts to the RSC on Facebook.
There are instructions on how to use this page in the ‘About’ section of the Blog page.

In summary, you need to be a Facebook ‘friend’ of the RSC to post directly to the Timeline, otherwise anyone can post to the Blog page.
It may appear a little daunting to non-Facebook users, but please take time to have a look and offer suggestions if you think that there are improvements which could be made.

Severn Uplands Partnership Workshop

This received from Mike Morris, Severn Rivers Trust:

YOUR RIVERS NEED YOU!!!

The Severn Uplands Partnership is hosting a public workshop about the Severn Uplands Catchment. Do you live, work or play within the area in the map attached? Come and have your say about how we manage it, play in it, and live in it. 

The discussions will influence the Severn from its source on Pumlumon down to Shrewsbury and all the rivers that flow into it in Wales such as the Afon Vyrnwy, Afon Rhiew, Afon Tanat and Afon Mule and rivers in England such as the Rea Brook and its tributaries.

The event will be held on Wednesday 12th March at  Welshpool Livestock Market,  Buttington Cross, Welshpool, SY21 8SR

 From 10am to 3pm

Tea and Coffee and lunch will be provided 

We want to explore how we can work together locally to better understand:

Why is the Severn Uplands important for wildlife, people and the local economy?
What can be improved to benefit local people, visitors, wildlife, water and business?
What can we do together to make the Severn Uplands better?

The workshop is the ideal way to get your views across to decision makers to influence future plans, in particular the forthcoming River Basin Management Plan, about how we manage the entire catchment to the benefit of everyone.

Do you have an interest in flooding, water quality, angling, farming, walking, photography, art, canoeing, wildlife, tourism, forestry, planning, green infrastructure, climate change, education, the great outdoors or anything else? Then your say is important. Please pass this invitation to anyone who might be interested. Let you neighbours, colleagues and friends know.

Newtown Food Festival

RSC at Food Festival 2013The RSC stall at the Newtown Food Festival went well.  We had many visitors and were busy all day.

The wildlife competition to identify birds and plants attracted 38 entries, many of them with many correct answers.  Prizes of binoculars and a Badger video have been presented.  The videos of otters and kingfishers were viewed by many people, as was the DVD of 11 months of the river and the river fly larvae that were collected that morning.  Great interest was shown in the Himalayan Balsam and the fact that all parts of it are edible.

We displayed information about the various invasive species of plants and animals that infest the river.  Unfortunately, we were unable to catch a specimen of the American Signal Crayfish to show.

Two riverside walks took place and were enjoyed by groups of visitors who learned about the flora and fauna along the river.

Thanks to all those who made this event such a success.

RSS Feeds now available

It has been suggested that the Blog could be improved by adding the ability to monitor it remotely via RSS Feeds.
This suggestion has been taken onboard and now both Posts and Comments can be monitored using this method.
The URL for the RSS Feeder is http://riverseverncustodians.co.uk/blog and you will note that it has been added to the newly named Useful Information section, on the right-hand side bar of the Blog screen, to remind members who wish to utilise RSS Feeds.

The RSS Feeds from the Blog have been tested via Feedreader and found to work successfully.
Feedreader software is available at www.Feedreader.com and is free to use after initial registration.

We need your feedback

Hi Everyone
In response to Mike’s recent email to all Members regarding the low usage of the Blog, I am creating this Post as a focal point for you to add your Comments.

From the usage information that I am receiving for the Blog, it appears that there are only 5 members who have made contributions via Posts and only Mike and Russ who contribute on a regular basis. Our worry is that people are put off contributing, because they don’t know how, and if that is the case, then we will have to take the necessary steps to provide the appropriate help.
However, even if Members are not making Posts, I would have expected more Comments to have been made on the Posts that currently exist.

What you can do to help.
1. Log In
Logging In when you use the Blog helps to identify you as a Member.
You don’t have to do this every time you visit the Blog, but having logged in once, the system will thereafter recognise you as a Member, even if you are only viewing the Blog and are not logged in.
This will help to identify the Blog usage by registered Members.
2. Add Comments.
By making a Comment to a Post, you give the Blog some ‘life’ and also provide valuable feedback that the Post has been viewed.
A Comment could be a simple phrase, such as “Well done”.
3. Create Posts.
Create a Post about things that concern you on the river, such as wildlife sightings or environmental issues. Don’t leave it to someone else to do it and don’t worry if someone else has already created a Post on the same subject.

It is quite surprising how many (worldwide) ‘hits’ our Blog receives from Internet Search Engines.
They are usually made by members of the public who are researching environmental issues and from that point of view, it makes the Blog well worth the effort.

So, either by a Comment to this Post or via a separate email, please tell us why you love/hate the Blog and make suggestions as to how we might improve its usage.

Many thanks
Russ Edwards – Blogmaster

Well done Joan…

Well done Joan – I think that we can class our presence at the Carnival a complete success.
The gazebo, with your banner, looked fantastic and the rota ensured that there was sufficient cover at all times.
I’m sure that we would all wish to thank Peter for providing the early refreshments, Sue and Lisa for putting on their special display of river insect life, David for providing his DVD and Sally for providing the Crayfish (which actually created a lot of interest).
Not forgetting all the other members, who contributed on the day and helped make this first public venture such a success.

I’m not sure of the number of people who actually signed up on the day, but it was certainly beyond my expectations and our presence as a group, has definately been raised within Newtown.

This shows just what can be achieved with teamwork.
Again – very well done.

dates for your diary

In addition to the River Severn Custodians there are a number of other groups in the area dedicated to improving the health and accessibility of our local rivers.  The charity, Severn Rivers Trust is coordinating much of the work of these diverse volunteer groups, such as the Custodians, and helping us to obtain funding and to  be more effective.  There are a number of upcoming events involving our group and some of the other groups that you might wish to attend.

June 8th – River Severn Custodians  has a stand at the Newtown Carnival

June 12th – Severn Rivers Trust holding a meeting to set up a group for the River Vyrnwy, 7pm at Pontrobert Community Centre.

August 10th – Cain Valley Group at the Llanfyllin Show.

August 26th – Cain Valley Group at the Llanfechain Show

September 7th/8th – River Severn Custodians at the Newtown Food Festival.

New Video – Kingfishers

A new video of Kingfishers has been added to the Video Gallery/Wildlife section.
They were filmed at Pwll Penarth by Russ Edwards, but the Kingfishers are actually catching fish in the river around the Penarth Weir area, as there are no suitable fish in the Pwll Penarth waters.
It endorses the important work that the RSC is carrying out to protect the river environment for these birds and our other wildlife.

Hate Hogweed May 4th 2013

Today a dedicated RSC team tackled the Giant Hogweed near the Mochdre Brook.  This is the area that we tackled twice last year and it’s good to report that we are making progress.  The infestation is definitely less this time.  The proof will be when we re-visit the area later in the year.  We were glad to welcome two new members, Abbie and Jasmine, to this event.  They joined in wholeheartedly to tackle this dangerous invasive plant.

028 small 023 small 011 small

River clean up

Following Russ Edwards’ sterling solo effort on May 1st, RSC and Keep Wales Tidy did 2 more days of rubbish retrieval from the river between the Halfpenny Bridge and the Dolerw Park Bridge.  Concentrating only on rubbish actually in the river we took out over 1.5 tons including bikes, scooters, many long metal bars, sleeping bag, car battery, Argos catalogues, and sundry other items.

severn clean-up 001

After finishing the Friday clean up, crossing the Halfpenny Bridge, we noticed that another childs’ scooter had taken the place of the wheelbarrow taken out the day before.

Rubbish in the river

Since the water is now so low, I pulled the wheelbarrow and the sheet of metal near the Halfpenny Bridge out of the river.  The water was too deep for my wellies to get to the kid’s bike.  Sue Newham, Paula and I are going to complete the removal exercise, with waders on, from this stretch of the river Wednesday.  We’re meeting at 10am under the Halfpenny Bridge at 10am and would welcome a few more bodies if anyone is available and interested.  Sue will arrange for PCC to take all this junk away so it doesn’t just end up back in the river.

We have now changed this clean up to Thursday morning at 10am, not Wednesday.  Sorry for the change.  Other details remain the same.

Meeting to discuss Newtown Carnival

There will be a meeting to discuss the Custodians’ involvement in the Newtown Carnival on 25th April, 7 pm at Roseholme. This meeting will be to organise members to publicise our activities and raise the awareness of the general public of the fantastic resource we have here in Newtown. All are welcome to attend the meeting and to join us on Carnival day, June 8th, 2013.