Kites flying high again

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MEMBERS of Lancaster Park WI welcomed Chris Menzies and Cecilia Brown of Barnabas Safe and Sound to their May meeting and Sylvia and David Jones of Friends of Red Kites to their June meeting.

Barnabas Safe & Sound provides ‘Safe’ accommodation and ‘Sound’ advice/support to young people between the ages of 16 to 25 who are experiencing crisis, stress and anxiety. For various reasons youngsters can have been made homeless. If accommodation is available it can be occupied by the same person for up to two years. During this time it is hoped that, with support, their potential may be reached.

Many examples of the support being given and the work being done were given in the talk by Chris and Cecilia and left the WI members with much to think about, this charity relating to Morpeth and surrounding rural areas.

Referring to the June meeting, an excellent presentation was given by Sylvia Jones, on the subject of red kites, with assistance from her husband David.

The red kite is one of Briitain’s rarest and most spectacular birds. It was in 2006 that they began to breed in the region for the first time after an absence of 170 years. Members were informed that a red kite can live for 15 to 20 years if not poisoned and that they feed on dead things and earthworms.

Between 2004 and 2007 the Northern Kite Project re-introduced 94 Red Kites into the Lower Derwent Valley (semi-urban). People may now walk to admire these birds and yet still see the silver roof of the Sage, Gateshead.

The Northern Project finished in 2009 and The Friends of Red Kites was established to encourage active interest in protecting the red kite population.

The next meeting is on Thursday, July 7, commencing at 7.30pm. Non-members and new members would be most welcome. Further information can be obtained from Carol Wilkinson on 01670 519102.