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by Gill Smith

It was a pleasure to be able to get out and about again after the problems of foot and mouth last year. We had a full programme of field trips, many of which were well attended. Although I started working more or less full time I still managed to get out for a lunchtime walk, and found it fascinating to watch the changes through the seasons of a relatively small patch of countryside.

We have a variety of articles in this issue, ranging from whale watching to Fifty Years of Rudland Birds as well as the Recorders’ reports, and some interesting weather records from across our recording area. The reports confirm that Ryedale is still a rich area for natural history, with 120 bird species occurring in our area, although sadly not as many mammals as last year (which may simply reflect the difficulties of recording rather than a loss of species). Botanical highlights were the records of a burnt orchid in flower and of shepherd’s needle near Keldholme.

My personal highlights were seeing glow-worms for the first time (on the trip to Rudland) and hearing nightjar churring on the same visit – worth the midge-bites!

May I encourage readers to send in your observations and records over the next year, however trivial they may seem. We can always fit a few tit-bits into the Newsletter, and indeed put them on our website. If there are any budding artists out there please consider producing illustrations, whether these are plants, animals, birds, fungi or other wildlife. As you see, we can now run them in colour.

Finally, if you have internet access, don’t forget to visit our website:


Gill Smith, February 2003

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