Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Andy Tasker

What a landmark year 2012 has been for Britain, the Queens Diamond Jubilee, the London 2012 Olympics and The Wildlife Trusts Centenary. 

This year also marked a personal milestone, twenty years ago I joined Warwickshire Wildlife Trust as an employment trainee and it was life changing. Ever since then I've been lucky enough to have the lions share of interpretation projects throughout Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. 

More sadly, this year also saw the loss of Dr. Andy Tasker, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's Chief Executive Director. Andy was the driving force behind the Trust for over thirty years, from when he became the youngest Chief of Council in 1982 and then the first paid Trust director in 1988 until his premature retirement in 2010. His achievements and sheer inspiration were extensive and remarkable, within the Trust and beyond.

His death in January came as a great shock and sadness to all who had the privilege to know him. He influenced my life so fundamentally, I'm only doing what I do now because of Andy. I just wish I'd told him that. 

Andy Tasker and David Attenborough. Brandon Marsh 1992. 

Photograph reproduced with kind permission from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust


Welches Meadow Local Nature Reserve

Welches Meadow LNR
Radford Road, Leamington Spa
OS Grid Ref: SP 325 657
The reserve flanks the River Leam, a traditional flood meadow in existence for nearly 200 years. 

Many locals remember skating on it in winter, many moons ago. How lovely to return myself, on a bright crisp February morning, a mere thirty years later, no longer a teenager. I remember lazy slow summers along the river path, the deep soft buzz of dragonfly and silent Demoiselle. Open grassland, birds flock. Some things don’t change.

Met some lovely WWT volunteers, working hard to maintain eager bushes keen to colonise. 

The design work for the interpretation panel is complete and currently in sign manufacture production. It will be installed shortly. In the meantime, here is another preview illustration. The reserve is managed using traditional methods dating back to medieval times. The willow trees along the river bank are pollarded, as seen here. A means to maintain growth and longevity.

Willow Pollard and wagtails