Newtown Food Festival

As usual, the River Severn Custodians will have a stall at the Newtown Food Festival on Sunday 3rd September.  Come and join us or, at least visit if you can.  Chris Kinsey will be leading a short nature walk between 1 and 2pm, suitable for all ages and abilities.  Hope to see existing and potential new members then.

RSC at the Food Festival 2015

Hi!
For the third year, the River Severn Custodians had a stall at the Newtown Food Festival. It was another very well-attended and exciting day. We had American Signal Crayfish on display and samples of Himalayan balsam to eat. There was a colouring project on a large drawing, done by member Geoff, for kids. The nature quiz was won by Rikki Renshaw with a nearly perfect entry.
There were also two nature walks led by Tilde which were well appreciated.
We welcome a few new members who joined at this event.
Thanks to all (and the weather) for making this such a good day out and publicizing our activities.

Just a reminder to take a look at our web site from time to time and to contribute interesting sightings or comments to the blog (http:​//riverseverncustodians.​co.​uk/blog/​) or Facebook page (https:​//www.​facebook.​com/severn.​custodians​).
Regards – Mike Davies (RSC Secretary).

A crowd gathers.

A crowd gathers.

Signal Crayfish display.

Signal Crayfish display.

A general view of the RSC stand.

A general view of the RSC stand.

The colouring-in board.

The colouring-in board.

A general view of the RSC stand.

A general view of the RSC stand.

River Clean up Monday

If you are able, please join us and Keep Wales Tidy on a clean up of the river and river banks on Monday 15th September.  We meet at 10 am at the Halfpenny bridge.  Bring along wellies and hip waders if you have them.  If you have chest waders, please let the secretary know, as you will need to be supplied with a flotation device.  We can’t imagine the river will warrant such extreme wellies though!
If you would like to participate, but don’t fancy a dip, please come along and help with picking up litter on the banks. It will only take a couple of hours or so and is lots of fun.

Note to Blog Master.  We had to add wellies to the dictionary.  It kept changing the spelling to willies.

A very successful Food Festival

Our presence at the Food Festival on Sunday 7th of September was a great success.
It took quite a while to set up the stand this year, as we had a lot of different exhibits to attract peoples attention. After a slow start, things started to liven up and the stall was well attended throughout the day thereafter.

Setting up and a steady flow of visitors.

Setting up and a steady flow of visitors.

The star of the day was ‘George’ the Crayfish, who attracted both young and old alike.
It was a little surprising how many people were aware that they are a pest, but had never really seen one, close up. Mike also brought a Coracle along, which can be seen behind the fish tank.

George the Crayfish in his tank.

George the Crayfish in his tank.

Another great attraction was the display of river bugs, provided by Lisa from the Severn River Trust and this again was enjoyed by both the young and old visitors.

Lisa shows some river bugs to the children.

Lisa shows some river bugs to the children.

Our display of information on river wildlife and plants was enhanced this year with some posters that had been created by the children at Penygloddfa School. The children are undertaking projects on maintaining a better river environment and the posters reflected their feelings on this theme.

The information board and some of the Penygloddfa School posters.

The information board and some of the Penygloddfa School posters.

This year, Tilde carried out 2 very successful Nature Walks which again proved very popular and were well attended. I showed my video of the river, which was watched and enjoyed by a number of visitors.
As usual, we had a wildlife quiz which was closely contested.
The winner, with 43 points was Mike Waller, but he very generously declined his prize and requested that it be given to the runners up, who were Anne & Mike Allen, with 31 points.
The answers to the quiz are shown below…

Answers to the RSC 2014 Food Festival Quiz.

Answers to the RSC 2014 Food Festival Quiz.

Finally, I am sure that our Secretary, Mike Davies, would wish to thank all of those Members who gave up their time to make this event the success that it was. The weather was very kind to us and we had a great day out.
Oh – and many thanks to Judi for providing those delicious home grown apples and grapes!

RSC at Newtown Carnival.

Once again, the Custodians had a stand at the Newtown Carnival on Saturday, 14th July 2014.
There was a good turn out of RSC Members to help set up the stand and we had a prime location adjacent to the main arena, so there was plenty of passing ‘customers’.
One major disappointment was that we failed to catch any Signal Crayfish. This was a significant blow to our crowd pulling ability and had been quite an attraction with the children at last year’s event.
Luckily however, Lisa Barlow of the Severn Rivers Trust was on hand and kept the children amused by getting them to make decorative fish instead – well done Lisa.
A new video of views of the river and its wildlife was shown by Russ Edwards, using our new projector and this was enjoyed by many people. The video also has a section showing the work of the Custodians and this helped to make people aware of the type of work that we carry out.
The Wildlife Identification competition was held again this year and although entries were down on last year, it was closely contested and had some fairly high scoring – (see previous post for more details).
Unfortunately, we did not receive any entries for our Photographic Competition and this was probably due to inadequate advertisement on our behalf, prior to Carnival Day.
Chris Kinsey carried out her Riverside Walks and saw enough wildlife to be out for an hour!

Given the wide range of activities available at the Carnival, there was a lot of interest in our stand and we managed to enroll some new Members to our group. The event definitely acts as a showcase for the public to appreciate the type of work that we carry out and overall, we can consider the day a success.
Thanks to all Members who gave up their time to help out and particularly to Joan Avery, for organizing the rota etc.

Due to the traffic continually passing our stand, it was almost impossible to take many photo’s once things got under way, but here are a few that we managed to capture.

RSC at Newtown Carnival

RSC at Newtown Carnival

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.

RSC at the Carnival


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I shot this short video, to give those members who could not attend the Carnival, an idea of how our display looked on the day.
Peter, John & Kath, Joan Avery and myself soon had the gazebo erected and were joined by Joan Davies, Sue, Lisa and Sally soon after.
Inside the tent we had a Red Signal Crayfish on display, which created a lot of interest and static displays of information relating to the invasive species such as the Signal Crayfish, Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed.
2 TV displays were running continuously, showing David Pugh’s DVD of the river over the past 11 months and my own videos of the Kingfishers and Otters.
Outside the tent there were display boards and leaflets provided by Lisa Barlow from the Severn Rivers Trust and also a tray containing an assortment of local river insects, which were provided by Sue Newham and Lisa.
Joan and the team – (now joined by Liz and Martin) – worked very hard at getting people to sign up as members.
I talked with a couple of them who appeared to be willing to join in with the physical aspect of our work, such as river clean-ups and Hogweed clearance.
The flyers proved very useful for directing people to our website and I estimate that we handed out about 60-80 in all.
The real star of the show was the weather – we could not have asked for anything better!

In summary, I think that we achieved a great deal through this event.
It has made the RSC more visible to the people of Newtown and thus more appreciative of the work that we carry out.
Quite a number of people referred to the ‘River Clean-up’ article in the County Times, but admitted that they didn’t know anything about the RSC or the nature of the work that we carry out.
If the people that we have signed up will spread the word of our existence to their friends, then who knows where that might lead.