Guardians' Meeting 

9th Oct 2013 by admin 

A reminder that our next Guardians' (members') meeting will be held on Saturday.  Updates from the education project, photography project (illustrated!) and history project will be tabled and future work discussed.  To join, and join in(!), visit our Get Involved page – our Charity is entirely volunteer-led, so your input and interest is vital!


Fungi at Orchid Glade

6th Oct 2013 by admin

A fruitful working party at Orchid Glade Open Day also found abundant fungi.  You can read a report of the day via the Seasonal Diaries, and see new images in the Orchid Glade gallery.


Open day – Orchid Glade, 5th October

27th Sep 2013 by admin

After a fabulous open day at Simpson’s Fromus Valley, come along to Orchid Glade to see the seasonal changes and to help the work party.  Bring loppers and saws to help clear the glade for grazing.  Any wood you chop can be taken away as firewood.


Open Day Report 21.09.2013

21st Sep 2013 by admin

We enjoyed a well attended open day at Simpson’s Fromus Valley.  Although the meadow flora have been cut with the hay, interesting species are still around, dragonflies are abundant above the pond and a few butterflies are still flitting about when the sun emerges.  The berry crop is superb this year and progress has been made unearthing the history of this fascinating site.  See beautiful images in the Fromus Autumn gallery, and read a report within the Seasonal Diaries for more details.



18th Sep 2013 by admin

We are looking forward to the Open Day this Saturday at Fromus Valley.  We have just tested the blackberries in the garden and they are perfect – so you should be able to collect plenty for your crumble or jam this Saturday.  Blackberries are very good for you – as well as being a great butterfly attractor in our hedgerows this summer.

While at their peak season, indulge in blackberries for a nutritious snack or dessert.  One cup of fresh blackberries has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fibre, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium.  Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating blackberries —

1. Blackberries are one of the top ten foods containing antioxidants.

2. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

3. Blackberries are filled with anthocyanins (antioxidants which give blackberries their deep purple colour) which help in memory retention and the risk of hypertension.

4. Blackberries are said to strengthen blood vessels, help fight heart disease and help improve eyesight.

5. The high tannin content of blackberries help tighten tissue, relieve intestinal inflammation, and help reduce haemorrhoids and stomach disorders.

6. Ohio State University found that blackberries may protect against oesophageal cancer, a cancer caused by gastric reflux disease.

7. Blackberries have shown to protect against other types of cancers. They contain phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens), a compound believed to play a vital role in preventing breast and cervical cancer.

8. Blackberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese and fibre.

9. The high fibre content of blackberries help reduce risk of intestinal disease and the risk of developing diabetes.

10. They are a great way to refuel after a hard workout and help aid in fighting obesity.


September report – Orchid Glade

16th Sep 2013 by admin

Autumn has arrived, and we are thinking of our hedgerow harvest at Fromus Valley.  However, for our botanical recorder, Laurie Forsyth, the last vestiges of summer persisted for his most recent visit to Orchid Glade and you can read his excellent report within the Seasonal Diaries.


Big butterfly count: results

15th Sep 2013 by admin

The butterflies have been counted and it’s a great boost in numbers this year.  This correlates with what our recorders found: hedgerows alive with butterflies!

You can see the full results here.


Sloe Gin

13th Sep 2013 by admin

We have been wondering what the best sloe gin recipe in the world might be: we do the research, you reap the benefit when you pick your sloes on a Fromus Valley Open Day!

So far, we discover that there is much folklore surrounding the making of sloe gin, but more recently some science — and of course there are a number of classic sources for your sloe gin recipe (here, here and here).  All said, it’s a matter of taste and preference but, since we hope there won’t be a frost before our September Open Day,  we go for the “science” version — freeze the sloes to burst the fruit.  If we get enough sloes, we can try two more traditional recipes for a proper double-blind randomised tasting comparison session when it’s ready!


Simpson’s Fromus Valley August Report

11th Sep 2013 by admin

Our new botanical recorder’s first impressions of the Fromus Reserve are captured within the Seasonal Diaries.


 1310 coprinopsis lagopus   1310 fairy ring champignons   1310 shaggy inkcap1

 1309 fools watercress   1309 redshank   1309 branched bur reed

 1309 blackberries   1309 Blackthorn sloes   1309 migrant hawker