Golden Cap Association (West Dorset)

a local association of the National Trust

Golden Cap Association (West Dorset)

a local association of the National Trust

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In Search of Green Winged Orchids

We were very fortunate to have the services of John Newbould a Specialist Nature Conservation Volunteer and his associates to lead us on this particular walk on the Golden Cap Estate. Their knowledge about the various flora and fauna of the area was invaluable. As we met beside the Stonebarrow Shop for a short briefing on what to expect we were relieved to find that the promised rain was holding off.

The Green-winged Orchid is a short orchid of unimproved grasslands. It flowers in May or June; the flower spike carries a cluster of pinky-purple flowers (sometimes white) and the hood formed by the sepals is lined with green veins - which give this orchid its name. They are classified as Near Threatened on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain but can be found in their hundreds (possibly thousands) at NT's Westhay Farm.

We were not disappointed although this year the first week of May was towards the end of their flowering period and had been even more spectacular a couple of weeks earlier.

We were disappointed though, to realise that the meteorologists were not wrong with their forecast of rain - it started slowly then built up to becoming torrential. Some of our numbers made a hasty escape towards shelter whereas the rest of us battled on too interested in our quest to be put off by a little rain - actually, a lot of rain! We were amply rewarded and thoroughly enjoyed the experience despite getting a soaking.

Photos by R Dunford & C Senior

10/06/2019 12:42 · admin

A damp day in Tyntesfield

The weather was dreary and damp as a group of members joined the coach for our visit to the NT owned Tyntesfield house, gardens and grounds near Bristol. Fortunately the weather didn't really interfere with our enjoyment of this fascinating house. There was even a little sunshine although you had to be fortunate to actually enjoy it. There was also hailstones so you can appreciate the the unreliable British weather was doing its best to make our visit 'interesting'.

Due to the complications of the new legal restrictions on photographing individuals the following pictures are from the house and its surroundings. Thanks goe to Veronica Smith, Rob Dunford & Chris Senior for supplying the pictures.

The house and a small selection of areas of interest inside the building:

There is a small chapel with some beautiful stained glass windows:

Outside the grounds are fascinating especially the beautiful spring flowers and kitchen garden.

07/04/2019 16:20 · admin

2019 AGM

Members met in March for the 41st Annual General Meeting. Proceedings went through rapidly as there was nothing contentious to discuss.

We welcomed a new member to the Committee who has agreed to be our Vice-Chairman - Rob Dunford. The remainder of the previous committee members were all elected for a further term of office. Most have been in position for well over the statutory maximum 7 years but, like other organisations, we are finding it almost impossible to attract people prepared to volunteer to help. This is of considerable concern as should the situation not improve it will not be long before we have to disband despite experiencing excellent attendance at all our events and a membership in the region of 400 members.

Members waiting for the proceedings to commence.

Rob Dunford, our newly appointed Vice-Chairman being welcomed by the members.

Our chairman, Gordon Simmons, flanked on his right by Rebecca Burton, NT South West Regional Director and our speaker for the evening; with Hannah Jefferson, General Manager North & West Dorset NT, is on his left.

Hannah accepting a £3,000 donation cheque from Gordon which is the surplus income from our 2018 activities. This money will be put towards equipment for the Ecology Team which carries out vital work on the Golden Cap Estate.

07/04/2019 15:37 · admin

Annual Spring Lunch 2019

Sixty-five members made a happy return visit to the Eype's Mouth Country Hotel, which, at its name suggests is set in the small Dorset village of Eype, near Bridport. It is a family run 17 bedroom hotel where we are always sure of receiving a warm welcome. The March weather outside may not have been particularly pleasant but nobody was concerned as they enjoyed an excellent meal amongst excellent company. Judging from the sound of the conversations and laughter a good time was had by all.

09/03/2019 16:00 · admin

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