Sunday, 15 October 2017

Richard Shilling's Film

Come and experience the beauty of wild Lancashire, the fascinating River Roeburn and the semi ancient woodlands at Backsbottom Farm see Richard's film:

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Dark Skies Workshop © F.O.B./ Robert Ince

Video © Robert Ince
The Forest of Bowland A.O.B is one of the few dark sky areas in Britain where light pollution is at a minimum so it is a perfect place to go stargazing and within this area there are 4 sites to choose from, the nearest being Crook O'Lune near Caton . The others are Beacon Fell Country Park, Slaidburn and Gisburn Forest Hub where this workshop took place.  Incidentally, Gisburn Forest  by day is a fantastic place to explore by bike with all the forest trails available. There's one more star gazing site that is nearer to home: Roeburndale just up from the cottage or Roeburndale West at the cattle grid where a 180° view of the night sky can be seen. For a list of Robert Ince's stargazing workshop He is also available for booking an event.
For more details about Dark Sky Discovery Sites here is the website

Friday, 4 August 2017

Doing Our Bit for Nature

The natural world needs our help so at Roeburnscar, we try to garden with nature in mind. That means not mowing,
weeding, tidying etc. as much as possible. We have put a small insect hotel in the flat garden,
 we leave brushwood piles
around for small mammals and insects to hide in and they will eventually rot  down creating another beneficial environment for soil microbes. Small mown patches

help insects that like smaller grasses and we leave mowing if the lawn has clover growing in it as bees love it. We don't like to kill wasps as they are beneficial to pollination so the waspinators you see hanging around are pretend hornet nests and hopefully deter wasps from settling in the wooden outside of the house.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

From Tree to Door

 Some of the lovely conifers that were a potential hazard in fierce gales re the cottage roof had to be felled. Rod's father planted them in the early 1960's. We are putting the timber to good building use starting by replacing the old hardboard doors in the cottage with lovely pine ones.

Rod preparing tree felling

felled trees with Roeburnscar in the backgound

back of laundry shed -the trees have gone now

Ben up a tree removing branches before felling
the beauty in a tree slice

felled tree

the logs are taken from Roeburnscar to the saw bench on the farm

storing the planks with wedges in between to season the timber in the solar wood store drier

Ben pondering the task ahead

one of the almost finished doors
kitchen door in place showing the beauty of the grain

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Silverdale A. O. N. B

Monday, 13 February 2017

Forest of Bowland Raptor Persecution

The North West Raptor Group are making an appeal to combat the illegal killing of Peregrine Falcons in Lancashire's Forest of Bowland, situated in the North West of England.

Classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it covers 808 square Kilometers of rural Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

The Forest of Bowland is internationally important for its upland bird populations and under the Habitats Directive "Bowland Fells" are designated a Special Protection Area for specific birds of prey.

The Forest of Bowland may be an SPA, but raptors like Hen Harrier and Peregrine Falcon receive no protection.

In 2009 - 25 Peregrine territories in the Forest of Bowland were examined by the NWRG. 17 sites were occupied, 6 nests failed following the loss of eggs, chicks and adult birds. A total of 11 territories produced 24 fledged young.

In 2010 the Government’s Wildlife Adviser, Natural England, withdrew Peregrine licenses for use in the Forest of Bowland from members of the NWRG, following the group’s disclosure on social media of wide scale raptor persecution throughout this moorland region, where Red Grouse are shot. Other licenses issued to group members since 1974, covering additional raptor species including Peregrine for areas outside the Forest of Bowland remained unaffected.

By 2016, 99% of Bowland Peregrine nesting territories were found abandoned.

The loss of an entire regional population of Peregrines (18 pairs) from the Forest of Bowland is unprecedented.

To protect these Peregrines, the NWRG need your help to purchase the following urgently needed kit: Go-Pro camera - 2 mountain bikes - radio transceivers & infra-red night vision goggles.

Throughout the last 43 years members of the North West Raptor Group have self-funded their work.

If the killing of Peregrines continues, they will be lost forever, not only from the Forest of Bowland but also from the rest of England's northern uplands, where Red Grouse are shot for sport.

Help spread the word!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Crowdfunding appeal for new raptor satellite tag project © R.P.U.K.

The campaign group Birders Against Wildlife Crime has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help support a new project to fit satellite tags to raptors in northern England, set to begin later this year.
Satellite tagging has revolutionised efforts to detect raptor persecution crimes, and has also helped draw public attention to the illegal killing of raptors. The power of satellite-tagging was really first realised in 2009 when a young satellite-tagged golden eagle, ‘Alma’, was found dead on a grouse moor on the Millden Estate in the Angus Glens. She’d been poisoned. It’s highly unlikely her corpse would have been detected had she not been fitted with a satellite tag, which allowed investigators to pinpoint her body as she lay face down in a vast expanse of heather moorland. The resulting publicity about her death was phenomenal, and even though nobody was ever prosecuted, this crime turned the spotlight on to an industry that had escaped scrutiny for so long.
Since Alma, there have been many other illegally-killed raptors, including golden eagles, white-tailed eagles, hen harriers, Montagu’s harriers and red kites whose satellite tags have given the game away. These days, the raptor killers are wise to the game and now it’s far more common for a sat-tagged bird to simply ‘disappear’, with all the evidence (carcass, sat tag) simply destroyed to avoid detection, although occasionally there won’t be a ‘clean kill’ and the wounded bird is able to move some distance before succumbing to its injuries and investigators are able to collect the corpse, conduct a post mortem and record it as a confirmed persecution crime.
Some within the grouse-shooting industry have recently been trying to discredit the use of raptor satellite tags, and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve slurred the professional reputations of highly experienced and licensed raptor researchers and have used some photographs of a young golden eagle with what appears to have a ‘slipped’ tag harness as evidence that the tagging experts don’t know what they’re doing. Now, of course, it’s possible for a sat tag harness to slip, and it does happen on occasion, but it’s a rare occurrence. What the accusers don’t mention is the circumstantial evidence that suggests tagged raptors are being caught inside crow cage traps, providing an opportunity for the trap operator to cut one of the harness straps before releasing the bird, with its tag now dangling and looking like it has been badly fitted. There is also evidence of at least one tagged hen harrier being trapped, its harness removed and transferred to a free-ranging corvid, presumably with the intention of disguising the fact the hen harrier was illegally killed.
Strangely, the grouse shooting industry has not tried to vilify the satellite tagging of non-raptor species, such as woodcock (GWCT project) or cuckoos (BTO project); it’s only the tagging of raptors they seem to object to. Can’t think why.
Here’s a photo (taken by Stephen Murphy) of Bowland Betty, a sat-tagged hen harrier found dead on a grouse moor on the Swinton Estate in Yorkshire in 2012. A post mortem revealed she had been shot.
The new raptor satellite-tagging project in northern England is being undertaken by highly experienced and licensed experts in an independent research consortium (all voluntary – no salaries are being paid). The beauty of this independence is that sat tag data will be put in to the public domain very, very quickly. No more waiting for weeks/months/years to find out what happened, which will allow timely and targeted publicity every time one of these raptors ‘disappears’ or is found shot/trapped/poisoned. Greater public awareness of raptor persecution is key to bringing it to an end.
The crowdfunding target is to reach £10,000 by mid-March. It’s ambitious but it’s do-able. If you’d like to make a donation, however small or large, please visit BAWC’s crowdfunding page HERE
Thank you