I wrote the following in April -"Things have been quite quiet recently as we wait for Spring and a reduction in the seemingly incessant rain!" - well, not much has changed as we head towards the end of May! There have been a few warm days but also plenty more rain. The Trust land is near the top of the Curry ridge above the levels, which is why our trees are so important in that they are already holding back water from the levels and will do so more and more as they grow larger.
Our next meeting is planned for June 21st on site at 3pm when we are hopeful of seeing some wild flowers in the plots that were seeded last autumn. We hope the plot results will help us to decide how to develop the southern end of the site, which has been designated as a wildflower meadow. All are welcome to come along! However, at our meeting in March our Chairman, Peter, reminded us that an original intention, documented in the Trust's constitution, was to plant a strip of land on the southern border with a suitable crop to provide seed for overwintering bird. It was agreed to investigate this further as we are aware that some birds, such as yellowhammers, have declined in numbers locally since the land stopped being used to grow thatching straw, with seed heads often left on the ground.

 The photo shows members of the Levels Scouts helping to plant trees in February. Peter's  article describes a busy morning of planting and also discusses the early blossom to be seen on the CWCT site./peter-s-blog/scouts-sloes-and-spring

Tree planting is particularly important right now, as we see the effects of climate change on our county. Somerset has a very low coverage of trees and the Somerset Council has recognised this fact, and how tree planting on the hills can help to alleviate flooding on the levels by appointing two people to work on getting more trees planted. Peter explains more about this in his  blog - click on the link to read it:/peter-s-blog/torrential-rain
James Chapman is leading the Somerset tree strategy, with ambitious plans for planting trees in the county, The Trust is very involved and hopes to plant more trees in Curry Rivel. We are so well positioned, being on the ridge above the Levels to north and south, to slow down the flow of rainwater from the ridge to the Levels by capturing it in our trees, which will also capture carbon and increase biodiversity.

December saw a couple of events for the Trust. Our Open Evening and AGM was held on Friday, December 8th at 7.30pm in Curry Rivel Old School Room, The Trust AGM was brief and the three reports, from Peter Goodenough, Chair, Alan Cockerell, treasurer and Sylvia Goodenough, Secretary can be seen by following this link:/agm-2023
After the more formal business of the AGM there was a chance to ask questions and discuss points raised in James's very interesting talk. Tea, coffee and cake were available and the good urn out of people soon demolished the cakes! We were also very grateful for the donations made at the time.

Just before Christmas a group of Somerset Rivers Authority staff had an "away day". I gather some big firms send staff to exotic places for these, but the SRA (very sensibly!) sent theirs to several of the sites where trees have been planted with the help of a SRA grant, with the Trust being their first port of call. We were very very pleased to meet them and tell them about our progress.

Our trees from the 20/21 and 21/22 plantings are already showing well above their guards in many cases and we have been very pleased with the survival rate. Congratulations to all our volunteers who planted -the schoolchildren and their teachers, the Scouts, the WI and many others. We also received some more trees in late December, mainly to replace the failure, and the local scout group is going to help to plant those as soon as the weather is favourable. They are safely "heeled in" for the time being.

The other development that has been in progress over the winter is the building of a storage facility on site,. Alan, with Jeremy's help, has been busy converting the area under the "roof" above the water tanks into a shed to store tree guard, netting etc.

Then, finally, having welcomed Jeremy as a trustee at the AGM, we now bid goodbye to Paul, who has been a trustee for three years and has made a massive contribution during that time. He now lives in North Curry and is tied up with volunteering there. A big thank you to him for his contribution - we are sure he will lend a hand when he can and keep an eye on progress here!