CREST is contributing to 'The Big Canopy Campout' - we'll have a team of climbers up in the trees overnight at Yarner Wood, with the support of Natural England, and we'll be part of a global initiative raising funds for the World Land Trust to purchase land along the Kinabatangan River in Borneo with a long term plan to protect the rainforest. This is particularly relevant to CREST as we will be leading an expedition to Borneo in 2018 which will include a boat trip along a stretch of the river - this is part of a new long-term project assessing and monitoring the health and biodiversity of the world's forests. We have set up a 'Just Giving ' account if you wish to contribute to this important initiative http://www.justgiving.com/CREST-Devon Also if you are interested in joining us next year, the expedition will be from 31st July to 18th August 2018 (start and finish dates may vary by a day as final arrangements are not yet in place) - please register your interest by email at email@example.com or by using the link on our 'Contact Us' page and we will keep you informed of progress - full details will be available soon.
The Woodland Festival organised by 'Moor than Meets the Eye' has been running throughout May starting with a conference (Our Steve contributed to that) and continuing with a range of workshops and other events. CREST contributed on Thursday 18th May with a workshop on 'The Natural History of the Oak'. We talked about the Oak from the bottom up! So the fungal symbionts associated with the tree roots right up to the canopy ecology. We then looked at the characteristics of the 2 native oak species, plus the hybrids in between, then we went on to identify some of the lichen epiphytes associated with oaks and finally we measured some oak trees and assessed their capacity for storing carbon. The day went very well, and the participants enjoyed the activities (the hailstorm notwithstanding!).
Everyone enjoyed the day at Slapton on Saturday. We had an enthusiastic bunch of participants who collected samples from traps we'd set out a few days previously in the woods, then developed identification skills using a range of techniques from 'old fashioned' books and keys, plus up-to-date imaging technology and microscopes.
Yarner Wood - Natural England - put on their first lecture seminar this year. This was a resounding success, with 9 fascinating and well-presented talks (Steve gave one of these). The event was superbly organised thanks to Sarah Edmundson, Albert Knot and Linda Corkerton, it was well attended and everyone enjoyed the day. Looking forward to next year's event! Sarah.
We had lots of people come and engage with our demonstrations on compost organisms and on tissue culturing and the youngsters made a colourful job of big countryside and garden scene pictures that we put up for them (thanks for the awesome drawings Gemma). Robyn and Gemma who were helping out on the stand have both attended CREST courses in the past and we are pleased to have them working with us now. Here are a few images (NB. we obtained permission from the parents of the children in the colouring-in image).