Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)
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We are planning our Spring 2017 field meeting for Thursday 25th May to Sunday 28th May inclusive in South Northamptonshire.
The primary site will be the Yardley Chase MoD area which is still used by the military and police for training purposes so access is tightly controlled. ANYONE WISHING TO JOIN US MUST CONTACT ME AT LEAST A WEEK IN ADVANCE so I can send you details of access, meeting points etc. It is not possible to get onto the site individually and everybody will have to sign in, have a safety briefing and sign out. There are no live munitions on the site but there are a number of hazards to be made aware of. It is hoped that the visit will provide an update to the species status on the site and recommendations for future management.
We also hope that access to the private woodlands on Yardley Chase (e.g. Sane Copse, ) will be possible, but are awaiting confirmation from private landowners. In addition, we will have the opportunity to visit some of the nature reserves in the Nene Valley Special Area of Conservation, which contains a mixture of flood meadows and wet woodland. Our visit to some of these sites during the Autumn field meeting in 2016 indicated that these sites should be very productive for Diptera.
Please note that dogs are not permitted in Yardley Chase and only permitted on the Nene Valley Nature Reserve on leads on the footpaths.
Yardley Chase is a large area of ancient woodland, parkland and meadows that was formerly part of the deer park and forests of the Compton Estate prior to being requisitioned during the WW2. It contains the oldest trees in Northamptonshire, many of which are in advanced stages of decay. Much of the woodland was coppiced during the war, and although some parts are still actively managed, much of the site has not been re-coppiced. The majority of the woodland is oak/ash/field maple but there are wetter areas with extensive birch. The meadows are grazed by cattle throughout the year. In addition, there are many quality ponds, dug during WW2 to provide blast banks around munitions stores. These ponds are of high quality and offer great potential for interesting Diptera.
The Yardley Chase sites are located around the village of Yardley Hastings on the A428 Northampton to Bedford road. The Nene Valley sites run from Northampton to Rushden and beyond. Accommodation can be found reasonably close-by in the following places: South Northampton, Wellingborough, North Bedford, Sharnbrook, Olney, Newport Pagnell, North Milton Keynes. There are four TravelLodges around Northampton, the one at Round Spinney is the most convenient for reaching the sites, despite it being on the North side of the town.
Further details will be added to the DF website closer to the event. If you wish to join us or have any queries regarding the visit please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org