Norfolk Mistletoe Survey

An appeal for the locations of mistletoe in Norfolk

Norfolk Wildlife Trust would appreciate your help in promoting our Mistletoe survey. The survey will begin at the end of November 2007 and be completed by the end of December. If you feel able to include one of the articles below in your parish magazine/newsletter or website we would be very grateful. We have produced three different sized articles; hopefully one of these will be of suitable size for your newsletter.

If you require further information on the mistletoe survey or would like us to supply the text to you as a computer document, send you a NWT logo or an appropriate photograph please do not hesitate to contact Gemma Walker on 01603 625540 or email Gemmaw@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

Article One

The Norfolk Mistletoe Survey

This is the time of year when the pea sized white berries of Mistletoe (Viscum Album) are ripening, making them very attractive to birds who assist in their dispersal.

In days gone by Mistletoe grew on Oak trees and Druids considered it to be a sacred plant as it grew on their ‘sacred and wise’ tree. They would harvest the Mistletoe with a golden sickle, catching it with a large white cloth so it never touched the ground. They believed it would protect them from evil and witchcraft.

With the grubbing up of our traditional fruit orchards, an important habitat for mistletoe, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust are interested in mapping Mistletoe numbers within the county. We are calling on all citizens of Norfolk to help us monitor the locations of mistletoe within the region. Please let NWT know by completing an online survey card at www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/naturalconnections or by sending an A5 SAE to Norfolk Mistletoe Survey, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Bewick House, 22 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1RY and we will send you a survey card.

And for all you ‘born and bred’ Norfolk people here follows a poem to explain how you can help us:

Hev yew got any Mistletoe? Thas what we want a know

Tis called a hemi-parasite and on trees it do grow

Sticky white berries you will see yonder up high

Birds take these and spread em bout as they pass by

Taint that common in Norfolk, we think it might be spreadin

Could be that global warmin stuff is to what we’re headin

So when you in them woods a walkin

Keep you lookin bor, keep you a gawkin

See if you can spot it in Poplar, Apple or Lime trees

Cause these hint got leaves on now, so it need some expertise

Hev yew got any Mistletoe in your trees?

Then fill in our survey and let us know please!

Article Two

The Norfolk Mistletoe Survey

Mistletoe is often used today as a symbol of peace and joy. This idea may have transpired from ancient Druid times. It is thought that when enemies met in forests and passed by some mistletoe, they would lay down their arms and make a truce until the next day. From this we have created the custom of hanging mistletoe and exchanging kisses underneath it as a sign of friendship and goodwill.

Have you seen any mistletoe growing in Norfolk? Perhaps you have some growing on trees in your garden? If you do, perhaps you could let Norfolk Wildlife Trust know by filling in an online survey card at www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/naturalconnections or send an A5 SAE to The Norfolk Mistletoe Survey, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Bewick House, 22 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1RY and we can send you a survey card.

Article Three

The Norfolk Mistletoe Survey

Help us to find out how much Mistletoe we have growing in Norfolk. It’s easy and fun to do, just complete one of our survey cards giving us details of the tree it’s growing on, the nearest town and grid reference if possible. If you would like to receive a survey card then send an A5 SAE to The Norfolk Mistletoe Survey, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Bewick House, 22 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1RY. Or alternatively, you can complete an online survey card at www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/naturalconnections

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