Happy New Year!

We started our 2022 programme on January 11th with an excellent talk from Peter Thomas of Keele University on the “Internal Clock of Plants – Keeping Track of the Seasons”. It sounds a rather dry topic but he really made it come alive, like having our own David Attenborough in the room, with his easily understood explanations of how plants function and measure the length of the nights to determine when they should start to re-grow in spring. Temperature is a factor and also the reason behind the folklore “oak before ash we’re in for a splash, ash before oak we’re in for a soak” as oaks respond to warmer spring temperatures, which we are seeing more often as a result of climate change. He helped us to understand how the practical effect of global warming will impact the survival of so many things from food crops to bluebells. As gardeners we are aware of the practical results and it was fascinating to explore the science behind them in a very relatable way.

Peter chatting with Mandy & Roy after his talk

After his talk Peter drew the raffle then chatted with members and answered more questions. He gives talks on other subjects and we hope that he will be back in the future to share his knowledge with us. The opportunity for members to join Zoom meetings either directly or via YouTube continues and details are on our programme page. But we are really looking forward to seeing Hayley Dorrington of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at the Village Hall next month talking to us about our very own Gentleshaw Common!

New Year’s Day Viburnum Tinus
New Year’s Day gorse on Hednesford Hills