WI News for February 2014



We all learnt a lot about the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust on Tuesday 11th February when Michele Gard came along to speak about the WWT and to show us a very interesting DVD on the work the Trust does, not only in Wiltshire but all over the country. She told us their aim is to help create a healthy natural environment as this is foundation for everything that is of value to people – food, water, shelter, flood prevention, health, happiness and creative inspiration. They want to inspire people about the natural world so that they value it, understand their relationship with it and take action to protect and restore it. Everyone in Wiltshire lives within a 10 mile radius of a Nature Reserve so they would like to encourage people to come along and explore and to encourage the younger generation to find out what is around us in our fantastic county. One if their objectives which I think we all found inspiring is the number of young unemployed people between the ages of 18-24 who do work experience with the Trust for 18months.  They found that at the end of this period 80% were not going back on benefits and were able to use this experience in other fields. Also it is an aim to work with people with mental health problems as this can help especially working outside and getting involved.

They currently have seven Local Supporter Groups in Wiltshire, run by dedicated volunteers, who give their time, energy and expertise to help do a range of things such as organising events for the public, raising valuable funds and encouraging people to come along to their open days, not just the young but all generations. One special place is Blackmoor Copse their very first nature reserve – which they have been looking after since 1962. It’s one of the most important woods in Wiltshire for wildlife and is criss-crossed by woodland paths making it easy to take tranquil walks. Summer walkers can see many butterflies, which include the pearl bordered fritillary; a rare woodland species. Woodland wildflowers can be seen from spring through summer – violets, primroses, bluebells, wood anemones and common spotted orchids. This is all on Wiltshire’s doorstep.  Michele encouraged us to support their work whenever we can.

Our normal WI business was then discussed with various events to sign up for. Ideas were asked from members on any speakers they would like to have on our programme for 2015. The fund raising lunch held last November, was not only a very enjoyable event but helped us raise a good profit. The amount of £5 we were all given last year to hopefully increase our funds was also an excellent and interesting way of raising money, especially the different ways people had increased their initial amount.

The Weavers Group Meeting is being held at Dilton Marsh Memorial Hall on April 30th when Dee Dee Wilde will lead us in dance participation – could be fun also a few laughs! A visit to Stonehenge was discussed for May also anyone interested in a theatre trip to see Betty Blue Eyes. We have a Fun Skittle Match with Bratton British Legion on the 11th April at the Jubilee Hall in Bratton. There is a folder in the local Farm Shop which will contain our WI recipes also the newsletter, so lots of information for everyone if they cannot get onto the local website. Next month our speaker will be telling us about the Almshouses at Melksham.

Pam Perry