Nottinghamshire Environmental Association

by | 1 December 2023 | Environment, Gainsborough, Hobbies

Indoor meetings recommenced for Nottinghamshire Environmental Association (NEA) on 5th October, with an Environmental Quiz set by Treasurer Adrian Blackburn.

Adrian managed to achieve a slightly easier quiz overall, but with some more difficult questions for the more expert members present. At the easier end were leaves of the common Holly Tree but he balanced this with an example from a Turkey Oak – which only very few managed to name. He also presented a mounted preserved Merlin, which again proved difficult for most. He managed to inform and entertain when going through the correct answers.

On 2nd November the subject of a talk by Chris Hewis was ‘Along the Foss Canal’. Chris surprised the 26 members present by, at the outset, scotching two firmly engrained beliefs.

The first was in the name. It should be called The Foss, not Fossdyke (as it is officially named by the Canal and River Trust) as foss means a ditch or channel. To call it Foss Dyke is to call it Ditch Dyke!

The second belief is that it was built by the Romans around AD140. Records show that it is more likely to have been built in 1121 by Henry I – although there is the possibility that this was a very major restoration of an older Foss. So! The mystery remains – did the Romans build it? The idea of the Romans having built it is thought to have grown following the discovery of a Roman statue – now in the British Museum – in the canal.

Its main claim to fame today is that it is the oldest canal still in use. Its 11.3-mile length stretches from Torksey on the River Trent to the River Witham in the centre of Lincoln via Brayford Pool, one of the original wharfs on the canal.

Chris showed many photographs and this was a fascinating talk which was very well received by the audience!

Thursday 7th December has an appropriately Yuletide topic: ‘The Robin Red Breast’, which will be followed by seasonal refreshments. The first talk of 2024 will be 4th January and is named Pit to Park.

Meetings start at 7.30pm at the Hallcroft Community Centre on Randall Way, Retford. Doors open at 7.10pm and there is plenty of parking. Refreshments are served after each talk when members get the chance to chat.

For further information contact Adrian Blackburn – adrian.blackburn@sky.com or 07718 766873 – or Paul Willcock – paul@paulwillcock.com or 07581 531595. New members are always very welcome to join – this is a friendly bunch! Fee for non-members is £3.50 per talk.