taunton wildlife weekTaunton Wildlife week

4th – 9th June for the weeks programme Click Here


green conferenceJoin the Urban Greening debate

The wet winter has forced us all to think about our environment and how we live and work in it. Here in the southwest we live close-by beautiful landscapes and countryside which form part of the fabric of our towns and cities.

Taunton, Somerset’s county town, for example, has many of these natural assets, Vivary Park, Longrun Meadow and a host of other green areas and open spaces. These weave through the town and together with the River Tone and its  many streams and rivulets provide a natural corridor for both people and wildlife.

Urban Greening is a term that is used to describe the various ways in which the local environment can be enhanced through the propitious use of public and open spaces. For the individual this may be simply by planting more trees and plants in the garden and using nest-boxes to attract birds. But there is also action that can be taken at the strategic level. This involves urban planners, architects, local councils and businesses working together to produce sustainable outcomes that marry urban and rural living into a package that enables and encourages residents to take advantage of safe walking and cycling pathways through green corridors where wild and green-park areas.

Somerset Wildlife Trust with support from the  Taunton Deane Borough Council and Somerset College is hosting a one day  Urban Greening Conference on the 4th June 2014 where delegates will be invited to take a closer look at the challenges of  managing our landscape.  One important issue here is how to maintain the balance between quality of life, which we all value here in the southwest, and wealth creation and the consequent environmental and social costs that are associated with it.

Four keynote speakers will explore how we might develop our landscapes into the future. Nigel Phillips, a local author and naturalist, will discuss the possibilities and potential for environmental networks. Fred Pearce, author of ‘The Last Generation: How nature will take her revenge for climate change’, will discuss some of the key issues in his book including the potential of existing brownfield sites for urban renewal. Rob Imrie, of Goldsmiths University, will consider urban governance, community development and the impact and implications of urban policy on the landscape. Simon Nash, the CEO of Somerset Wildlife Trust, will discuss partnership working with councils, government departments and NGOs which is necessary if such an approach is truly going to make as difference to daily life now and more importantly to the lives of our children.

This is an opportunity to be involved and make a contribution to this important debate. For further info see www.somersetwildlfe.org/events and to book contact Taunton Conference Centre email conference@somerset.ac.uk or phone 01823 252934

volunteering 1Longrun Meadow Conservation

The Friends of Longrun Meadow now have greater control over the management of the meadow as TDBC have given us a three year agreement.  We are looking after the fields, hedges, ditches and tree planted areas.  We have placed the two middle fields in a five year environmental scheme which will give us some funds to develop areas of wild flowers, manage the hedges to encourage biodiversity and enhance the two ponds.  As part of this agreement we need to take a hay cut in July so we have advertised the land with Mole Valley Farmers to find a farmer to work with us.

The conservation group, who meet on a Thursday morning 10am, have recently put up bird boxes and we are pleased to report that one box now has a resident blue tit family. We have helped to maintain the willow cathedral and also planted 200 wild flower plugs in field four.  Do come and join our group.  Contact Helen Lawy by email to find out more  helenlawy@gmail.com

LM Hedge Laying 27 March 2012Hedge-laying on Longrun

The Longrun Meadow Volunteers have started this years hedge-laying every Thursday morning 10.00am -12.00pm.  If you fancy helping out just meet at the willow cathedral and we will provide some training.  Contact Helen Lawy on 07877 519096 for more details


Family Fun-day

Over 1000 people attended the Family fun-day on Sunday 8th September enjoying the wide range of activities on offer.  To see more pictures Click Here




Memorial Tree Planted

An Oak tree was planted at the Family Funday on September 8th to commemorate the life of the late David Holmes. David was a local resident who was responsible for the mapping of Longrun Meadow for orienteering.  He was a member of the Quantock Orienteers.  His wife Jan is pictured with daughter Ruth and Roger Craddock representing the “Friends of Longrun Meadow” and the orienteering club.

parkrun at Longrun

Longrun Meadow launched its weekly free parkrun on Saturday 5th October.  parkrun is a National series of 5Km runs that are FREE to run in and will take place every Saturday morning at 9.00am.  The runs are designed to be social and low key and are designed for both serious runners and those using the runs to improve their personal best.  For more information go to http://www.parkrun.org.uk/longrunmeadow/

The Course will be just under 2 laps of the Meadow, starting and finishing near the Oak Barn.  Before you can take part in any parkruns you will need to register at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/

The events are run by volunteers so anybody interested in helping out on a casual basis with marshalling, timing, place recording then please email longrunmeadowhelpers@parkrun.com


Longrun Meadow Duathlon winners 2013 pictured with Jeremy Brown




The Environmental Agency have been busy clearing the river back along Longrun Meadow, removing dead trees and those that were blocking the River.

The Longrun Volunteer have been clearing the pond area and making log piles for invertebrates and small mammals

Taunton Deane / Project Taunton are still having discussions with the Environmental Agency regarding installing the 3rd bridge which will connect Longrun to the Silk Mills pond and “Park and Ride”.  Issues regarding erosion have been resolved, so hopefully the bridge will be installed in the Spring

The “Friends” have been working with Run England as part of their 321 initiative. A 2km and 1km route have now been installed with markers to show the way.  A 3km route is planned when the 3rd bridge has been installed.


The”Friends” are please to announce that they have been successful in securing a Barn Owl nesting box to be put up in the meadow as part of the Somerset Wildlife initiative.  Click here to find out more about the initiative.  The box has now been installed and is waiting for some new lodgers!!

Somerset College NCS students Build new pond on Longrun

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