Saturday, 15 August 2015

Words of thanks

As our three year Heritage Lottery Fund grant comes to an end, it is time to celebrate what has been a very successful project and to say a 'thank-you' to the people and organisations involved.
We'll do this over at least two blog here goes with part one!
First, way back in 2011, Tim Brooks at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust coordinated and led on putting our bid for £49,000 together. While he is no longer with DWT, we owe him a debt of gratitude for his hard work getting the bid approved - never easy these days!
Our success with the bid was announced in May 2012 and work began in June of that year.
HLF Grant launch June 2012: the Deputy Mayor of Derby, a Cathedral
Quarter ranger, Nick B, The Dean and an HLF trustee.

Nick Moyes was taken on as our 'Technical Consultant' - though of course he has been the key player in this project right from the beginning - and much more than a technical adviser too!
Nick set to work in 2012 redesigning the blog, making a massive improvement to its previous format. Cathedral Quarter, a partner in the project kindly helped by designing a new logo and header for us (see the header above!)..
He also dreamed of getting a  new wide-angled camera...but more of that later.
Nick Moyes in abseil mode

Project Logo

Meanwhile, over the winter of 2012/13, we advertised for a Peregrines, People and Places Engagement Officer and Ian Layton was selected. Ian began (part-time) work in January, quickly getting to grips with what he was being asked to do.
Ian Layton - an engaging fellow!
He set about contacting both minority communities in Derby and also groups and institutions catering for people with disabilities.

Over the following three summers, he drew many new audiences to our project. Too many to name here, the photos below give an idea of the range of people who learned about peregrines and their presence on the Cathedral. Ian also ran the series of Watch Points each summer - assisted by our wonderful band of volunteers!

Ian (left) talks to and with refugees at Derby Refugee Advice Centre
Eritrean lad with harris hawk at Peartree Library
Eagle owl meets local resident at Peartree Library
Never too young to be wowed by a peregrine!
Woodlands School hearing impaired unit
visit at Watch Point
Lad from St Benedict's School sees his
first peregrine falcon
A busy Watch Point 2015

Engaging people at a Watch Point event
Note Ian at the far end on his knees!

In addition to this work, Ian organised the production of a number of excellent Schools Education Resources boxes which have proved very popular with schools across the city and county.

Education Resources box contents displayed

While Ian was carrying out all this engagement work, Nick Moyes completely redesigned the blog layout and design. He also fixed a wide angled camera to the back of the nest platform which gave excellent views of the birds: 

In the first spring with the new camera in place, it snowed
heavily just before the eggs were due

Three eggs and a tiny chick, May 2015 as seen
from the wide angled camera

Nick also created a display to go in the window of the Cathedral cafe in Irongate. This allowed passersby to see a live streaming view of the nest, a mock up of the platform with eggs and gravel and a time lapsed display of the various stone faces which peer down from the tower;

                                                               Cafe window display

Nick also maintained the IT and cameras, abseiled down each spring to clean the platform and adjust the cameras and also collected the chicks for ringing each May.....stalwart work!

More about the project and how the HLF grant enabled us to do so much more than we would otherwise will appear in a later blog post.

For now though - a hearty thank-you not only to Nick Moyes and  Ian Layton, but also to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Cathedral staff (especially the vergers, Jackie Croft and Rachel Morris) to Cathedral Quarter (especially Ashley Lewis) and to a host of staff at the Wildlife Trust who helped Nick and Ian in so many different ways throughout.
We must also thank our splendid Watch Point volunteers who stood out there in rain and hot sun and helped so many people to see the birds 'up close and personal' through our telescopes. You are all Champions Without you we wouldn't have been able to run Watch Points at all!

Nick B (DWT)



Joyce S said...

Lovely round-up Nick! Thank you for that :-)

Helen said...

A very big thank you to yourself Nick B as well, for keeping the blog so up to date all through the year and for the hours and hours of work that you put in behind the scenes making make the peregrine project so successful and such an inspiration to so many people. Thank you!

Linda said...

Yes Nick, thank you to you too. Hope the project continues for many years to come.

Heather said...

A very big thank you to the two Nicks, Ian and all the others involved in making this project so entertaining and informative. Let's hope the donations continue to come in to keep the show on the road so to speak. I think we should also thank Mr and Mrs P for their wonderful dedication each year in so successfully raising their chicks and unwittingly giving us all an insight into their lives. Occasional siting (if somewhat blurred) of peregrine on tower but unable to tell if it's Mr P reclaiming his usual overnight spot or a juvie. Glad to hear the whole family have been spotted around the Cathedral.

Nick any news of Cathy the rescued peregrine from several years ago and now in the care of new owners. Does she still visit schools etc. hope she's still thriving.

Heather said...

All cameras seem to have stopped just after 5pm yesterday (Thurs), just like our so called summer this year!

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

Major rewiring inside Derby Cathedral is affecting our cameras. We do not know when this situation will be resolved. Had hoped today, but it could be much longer. Blog post to follow once we know a little more, I think.
Nick Moyes
Project Team

Lorraine said...

Thanks for the latest news roundup team - lovely to read and very interesting.
Still seeing one of the birds regularly on the tower at night, but don't know which one, but nice to have a quick look in every now and then and catch a glimpse.

Anyone had any sightings of the juvies from the ground lately?

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Lorraine: sorry, I have been away and haven't been down to look for the juvs. and I don't think anyone else has either. I would expect them to be moving away any time now so wouldn't be surprised not to see them all when I do go down next.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know if our baby birds have flown away yet ? Haven't seen anyone except Mr and Mrs P recently...

Unknown said...

female on scrape this evening at 20:00 (02/09)..equinoctial trigger for broodiness ?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Down at the cathedral this morning there was no sign of any juvs - just the two adult maybe they've departed now.
Ps Vic: the equinox is still 20 days off by my reckoning - but you could well be right!

Heather said...

Mr.P having a 'wash and brush up' on the cleaner end of the scrape. Looks from Nick's comment that our feisty juvs have finally gone their separate ways and I'm sure we all wish this rather special group good luck in establishing their own territories.

Nick - did wonder if you have any news of Cathy the injured peregrine being looked after by her second family and if she is still visiting schools etc to educate the younger generation? Will be watching with interest the birds of prey display at Chatsworth Country Fair this weekend.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Hi Heather: sorry not to get back re. Cathy sooner but one of her keepers has been quite ill this summer and I didn't like to bother her. I have now asked again and will let you know when I hear.
There were also problems getting the appropriate licence from Defra to enable them to 'show' Cathy at public events and schools so I hope to hear about that too.

Unknown said...

Well I logged on this morning at 7am and saw two birds up at the top. One was an adult eating and I knew it was an adult as it was grey in colour and it had her (or his) spotty dress on. The other bird was brown, VERY large and a bit scruffy (baby bird?) The picture was a bit fuzzy but the large bird was sitting there watching..then it looked liked the adult put something in the big baby birds beak ? Is this still possible ? The rather large baby girl will never leave if this is the case but it's lovely to see though....... I can only say what I saw but if anyone can tell me any different then please do !

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Hi Jane: I suspect you were quite right. Individual juvs may return occasionally to the cathedral and solicit food from their parents. Usually though they are all gone by October/November.....
Apologies (again) for the quality of the camera that looks towards Jurys Inn. A replacement has been bought but for various technical reasons its installation can't happen immediately.

Heather said...

Hi Nick - thank you for the info regarding Cathy and I'm sorry to hear that one of her keepers has been unwell. Also quite understand that you do not wish to bother her at the present time. I hope she will soon be feeling much better.

I see from Jane's comment that what looks like the larger female juvie is still around but as you say she will probably depart in the next few months. At least it's good news that she's ok even if she is still scrounging off her parents!

Heather said...

Watched "Britain's Biggest Adventure with Bear Grylls", ITV 9pm yesterday. Interesting piece regarding peregrines nesting on limestone cliffs in Yorkshire Dales. Featured a 3year old peregrine hand reared from 3 months old, and showed some spectacular shots of the bird chasing Bear Grylls on a bike with some meat attached to his back. The idea was to see how quickly the peregrine could catch him. Despite Bear Grylls being given a 20 second start the bird caught up with him in just 9 seconds. Well I think we all knew it would be no contest!