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The DCRT team are all off on leave next week (22nd-26th June) to have a well-earned break. If you need to contact the office during this time please leave a message or send us an email and we'll be in touch the following week.
An exciting newsletter this week as we announce the winners of our River Art Competition, judged by Sprotbrough artist Sheila Bury! Thank you to all who took part!

We also learn fly-tying with DCRT trustee David Rowley, get an update on our volunteer Barry's wonderful rain garden (it's working!) and find out all about social wasps in our Nature Journal. Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not take part in the Great Yorkshire Creature Count?

Next issue will be out on  Friday 3rd July and from there we will be moving to a monthly basis to match the easing of lockdown. We hope you've enjoyed From Home the River these past few months as much as we have receiving your contributions and putting it all together for you. Remember you can catch up on past newsletters on our
News & Activities webpage!
River Art Compeititon
We are delighted to announce our Art Competiton winners this week! The competition was judged by  local wildlife and river artist Sheila Bury from Sprotbrough:
“There are many ways that people become aware of nature, and many artists use nature for their inspiration. Personally, I love the way weather, seasons, light and shade, can completely change our view of a landscape, fields and woodlands. Think of the wildlife, and the colours in a wildflower meadow in Spring, completely changed a few months later.” Thank you Sheila!
Please see below for winning entries and you can check out all the entries on our
online gallery!
Category: River Rembrant (ages 17 and above)
WINNER 1st prize (£50 vouchers) – ‘Field Mouse’ by Janice Drakeford
2nd prize (£25 vouchers) – ‘We’re Going on a Fig Hunt’ by Christine Welburn
3rd prize (£10 vouchers) – ‘Sunday Afternoon on the River Dearn’ by Helen Smyly
Category – River Guardians (ages 16 and below)
WINNER 1st prize  (£50 vouchers) – ‘Nosy Newt’ by Olive Preist
2nd prize (£25 vouchers) – ‘River Scene’ by Rowan Critchlow
3rd prize (£10 vouchers) – ‘King of the River’ by Alice Priest
Fly-fishing with David
The river close season has come to an end and the river is now open to both coarse and fly fishing! For this newsletter's activity we are learning all about fly-tying and fly-fishing with DCRT Trustee David Rowely  who has been fishing the river for an incredible 40 years!
Hi David, thank you for taking the time to teach us about fly-fishing today and the wonderful art of mimicking riverflies!

How is fly-fishing different to other types of fishing?

Fly fishing as the name suggests uses a fly to attract and catch fish. Trout and Grayling feed on both the nymphal and adult stages of invertebrates. So artificial flies are made to fool the fish into trying to eat them. The main difference between fly fishing and other forms of fishing is that the means by which flies are propelled to the fish. The flies weigh almost nothing so the energy imparted into the fly line by the fly rod makes the fly fly through the air into range of the fish. Other forms of fishing use some form of weight attached the end of the line to get the bait to the fish.
 
What species of fly are you trying to mimic?

Trout and Grayling will eat any insects in the river. So all the mayflies, we call them upwings in the UK and reserve mayfly for the very large Danica that hatch in May and June (particularly here in the North). Flies are tied to imitate the nymph and adult flying stages of river insects. Sedges, baetis, stoneflies, blue winged olives, heptagenids. Tying nymphs to remain under water and winged flies to float on the surface is a further complication.
How do you make a fly?


Flies are made by binding pieces of hair or feathers onto a hook to mimic an invertebrate, the natural food of fish. Watch my video to learn how to tie a fly known as the Black & Peacock Spider. Flies are tied from all sorts of materials both natural and artificial. The most common natural materials are feathers, pieces of fur and hair. You can buy these from specialist shops/the internet either natural or dyed in a variety of colours. These are coupled with synthetic materials from the carpet makers or haberdashers such as threads and wires

How do you make a fly?
Flies are made by binding pieces of hair or feathers onto a hook to mimic an invertebrate, the natural food of fish. Watch my video above to learn how to tie a fly known as the Black & Peacock Spider... CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
 
Between 12pm on Saturday 20th and 12pm on Sunday 21st June you can help discover and record all the wildlife species you can in 24 hours! Why not watch Matt's video below to find out what a Creature Count involves.
Want to take part? Make sure to sign up using the link above.
Matt does the Great Yorkshire Creature Count
Check out the video to spot newts, frogs, bumblebees, birds and other beasties with DCRT Catchment Officer Matt Duffy! Plus learn how to get your finds identified and where this important data ends up...
Rain Garden - update!
When our volunteer Barry built his rain garden a few sunny weeks ago, the prospect of seeing it kick into action felt like a long way off. Several deluges later, however, and all systems are a go! Both water butts and the rain garden that collect runoff from half a garage roof have now filled from empty. As Barry says this shows just how much water actually falls in a small space and the capacity there is to slow down flows if we all capture a little bit!  Click Here to read Barry's blog on making a rain garden, a great example of how to volunteer from home!
Nature Journal
This beautiful image is from the jounal of Olivia Tonge, who in 1908 embarked on her first solo trip to India. She documented her finds in several beautiful books (now housed in London's Natural History Museum). As you can see from her paintings, she was clearly as fascinated by wasp nests as our NFM Officer Debbie Coldwell, who has found out all about them in this week's Nature Journal feature!

Have you been inspired to keep a nature journal?  We'd love to hear about it!
Nature's Architects
Last week I caught a clip of Chris Packham carefully covering his mouth while approaching a wasp on a shed door (as you do!). “Wasps don’t like mammal breath” so the hand to mouth was necessary to get a good look at what the wasp was up to. It was a queen wasp harvesting wood to turn into pulp used for building its delicate paper nest. A few days later I was sat in the garden when I heard a sound that seemed suddenly familiar. Sure enough, I turned round to see a wasp edging its way down some wooden shelving. I couldn’t believe my luck or just quite how loud the munching mandibles were! The wasp wasn’t at all bothered by my taking videos or close ups (careful not to breathe!) and it, or perhaps its sisters have come back time and time again since. These will be female workers helping to expand the nest as the queen stays put to lay more eggs. It’s fascinating watching them roll up the building material and I can now spot the tell-tale signs of multiple harvests all over the shelves.

Wasps really are quite an underappreciated species unlike our now much loved bumble and honey bees. Not only are they also important pollinators of crops and flowers but they feed on other invertebrates and pests, helping to keep their numbers in check. Keep an eye out on outside wooden surfaces and see if you can spy any wonderful wasps in action!
SOAK UP NATURE online training courses.... COMING SOON!
We've got some exciting online courses planned for summer, focusing on Bumblebees, Fish ID and more! Keep your eyes peeled for booking in July's newsletter!
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Don Catchment Rivers Trust · Churchill Business Centre · Churchill Road · Doncaster, DN2 4LP · United Kingdom

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