A landrover pulling a brush harvester in a wildflower meadow

Reflections on 2022

These are my (incomplete) recollections of the year 2022, as remembered in December 2023.

I suppose this was the first year since stopping work in 2019 that my life completely restructured around a whole new set of priorities. Covid restrictions are well in the rear view mirror, and my calendar is filled with activities with the various organisations that I associate with.

The start of the year saw tree planting with FWAG as well as the usual habitat management with Glorious Grasslands. Wild Acres continued to get developed and I went there on most Tuesdays.

In the spring and summer there were work parties with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust fixing fencing and kissing gates. The summer was very hot, and the seed haul from Glorious Grasslands was a record – 2,000kg. This was enough to create 65ha of new meadow.

The tree survey along the canal finished this year in about August. It took six of us nearly a year to complete. We assessed and documented nearly 3,000 trees along the Stroudwater canal from a safety and risk perspective. But in the process we collected species, photos and other information which create a valuable habitat record.

I joined two new organisations during the year. The Gloucestershire Vale Conservation Volunteers have been around since the 1980s and they go on work parties every other Sunday up and down the vale. I also joined the admin team of the Stroud Wildlife Survey Group to help them with their data records and technical organisation.

During this year I realised I was building up a pretty big network of contacts in conservation across the county. This opened new doors of opportunity for projects to get involved with, so will be something that I actively develop going forward.

I discovered Keld up in North Yorkshire as a fantastic remote walking area. There were tree walks in Stonehouse, jubilee celebrations, an appearance on Gardener’s World and countless outdoor meals and picnics.

In October I organised my second Dursley walking festival along with others. We made quite a few changes, including the introduction of linear walks with a free bus laid on to the start of the walk. I also became more heavily involved with the Visit Dursley group at the council which opens more opportunity to get involved with the local community.

And finally, it’s worth noting that I froze my LinkedIn account in the middle of this year. The main reason was that I was spending too long on it and wanted to have more focus on developing my network locally rather than virtually.

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