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  • Writer's pictureKatie Scott

Passion, Pollinators, and Pastels. This week's Rothbury CAN's events. May 2024.


Mark Welfare showing a pollinator to the group.


At the end of the pastels workshop.

A closer look.

Experimentation with pastels.


During 2024 Rothbury CAN has several events planned. All are welcome. These events are to broaden our knowledge, especially of ecological relationships. But also to help with our wellbeing. Being conscious of the ecological breakdown and the consequences of climate change, can make us feel helpless and depressed. To counter this, we are making links with positive-thinking people who can help us learn new knowledge and skills. Most events are free, but donations are welcome.


Rothbury CAN hosted two events this week.

The first one was A Pollinator Walk and Talk with Mark Welfare, who describes himself as a 'keen amateur'. We found him to be a most enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and engaging Group Leader.

Mark began by explaining about the different kinds of pollinators we have, what they do, what they eat, and what eats them. He explained the process of pollination, and how insects got involved in it.


Charlie taking an even closer look.


We learned such a great deal from Mark. We discovered that plants and pollinators developed together. Before flowering plants, all the plants on earth were fertilized by wind, with no need for insects to help them. These were ferns, conifers, etc - this was during the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs lived.

It was about 125 million years ago when broadleaved plants evolved, along with flowers, and so also, insects, including bees.

Bees are fantastic pollinators, but so too are hoverflies. If you want to know more, here is a good website: Eden Project



Marjorie's beautiful garden, she let us search here for pollinators.


What made the biggest impression on me was Mark's knowledge of plants, and plant families. From this information, he then knows what kind of pollinators will be found there. His knowledge of which plants will be out in which season, and the consequence for the pollinators, was fascinating.


This Rothbury CAN event was well attended. We are grateful to Jordann Dixon for allowing us to meet in the Queens Head. This is where Mark gave a most informative, illustrated, talk. Everyone was delighted with the information and the following field work. Seeing the creatures Mark had been explaining about, was so engrossing.

We thank Mark so much, and also Marjorie, for the kindness of letting us tramp around her astonishingly lovely garden.


From Pollinators to Pastels


The next event was led by the remarkable artist Pam Stevenson. Pam has a studio in Felton, Gallery Forty5 and all of us who attended would whole-heartedly recommend her workshops.


Pam gave her time and materials for free - and we all spent a most joyful morning learning and experimenting with colour and texture, making our own compositions using pan pastels.



The pastels can be layered onto the special paper very thickly.

Avril's fantastic flower picture.


Carey found time to make two, both excellent!


Marianne made an sea-inspired one first, then made a beautiful flower picture.

Valerie spent a long time creating this magical flower.


Aria made time for two, and loved the experience.




Pamela explaining the qualities of the medium.


Thank you so much to Pam, for the very generous workshop. It was a lovely morning spent in great company. Very good for our mental health! You can find Pam on Facebook


Passion Rothbury CAN is passionate about the environment, biodiversity, trees, water - in fact all of the natural world. We all want to do our bit to help.


If you would like to know more about Rothbury CAN, and our events, you can find out more here www.rothburycan.org












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