Our projects

As well as day-to-day management, the Friends have the occasional special project around species that are at risk. WE also have a rolling annual list of work – for a copy please contact us.

Save Our Sparrows (SOS)
Tree Sparrows have seen a sharp decline nationally in recent years but the copse has been home to a number. By providing nest boxes in the communal style liked by Tree Sparrows, and with regular winter feeding, the Friends hope to halt the trend, in the Meadows, at least.

Our friends at Wheatear have asssited by making boxes and assisting with their erection and monitoring. We’ve also bought a number from Brunswick Organic Nursery in Bishopthorpe.

Putting up bird boxes

Grow More Tansy (GMT)
Tansy beetles (find out more about these great creatures on our wildlife page) occur only along the River Ouse in the UK and Rawcliffe Meadows is home to quantities. By increasing the numbers of Tansy plants, the Friends hope to increase the numbers of beetles.

It may also be possible to plant the Tansy grown from local seed on other riverside sites. The Friends are being assisted in this project by Brunswick organic nursery in Bishopthorpe who are growing plants from our locally collected seed.

Tansy Beetle

Elm Trees

Having inherited a number of diseased elm trees in the Copse when we took over the site, we planted some trees early on to compensate. Then, having identified White Letter Hairstreak Butterflies in the area, we decided to plant more elm across the site to encourage butterflies and increase biodiversity and variety across the site. We did this with the support of the Great British Elm Experiment . The trees are being monitored and the data recorded on the Conservation Foundation’s website.

Elm leaves & seeds in Copse

Elm leaves & seeds in Copse












Bringing Back the Barn Owls

With a number of reliable sightings in 2015 we applied for a grant from the Transpennine Express/Forestry Commission Green Grant Scheme, which we were awarded. The money was used to commission Brunswick Organic Nursery to make three Barn Owl nest boxes, buy telegraph poles to erect them on and pay a contractor to help erect them. The first two boxes were erected in late February with the assistance of volunteers, but the third had to wait due to boginess of much of the land.

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P1070053 (768x1024)


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