Baildon Moor

Cutting Bracken - August 2008
Cutting Bracken - Aug 2008

We have concentrated on an area that had underlying moorland plants - heathers, sheep sorrel, heath bedstraw, bilberry and crowberry.

The control measures have involved cutting the bracken three times a year.

The results have been very encouraging and we continue to expand the areas we are managing.

Geolocation

53.862119, -1.784162

Conservation Work

Baildon Moor

meeting at top car park

This was our first visit to the moor this year as we embarked on our fourteenth (!) year for bracken control. As usual with our first visit, we returned to some of the patches we have cut before. We like to concentrate on some of the sparser areas so there is no risk of disturbing nesting birds. Our next visit is on 21st August so all nests will be complete by then.

We were pleased will be able show Dave Key form Natural England and John from the golf course our approach and our achievements.

There were plenty of Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterflies and several Small Heath. We found an Oak Eggar moth caterpillar and a large frog. The grouse, oyster catchers and meadow pipits were our audio backdrop, but I don’t recall seeing or hearing swifts and swallows which is unusual.

Baildon Moor Bracken Cutting

Baildon Moor

This was our final cut of the year and we managed to cover a good area with both the auto scythe and the hand tools. We cut the larger bracken at the top of the hill, and worked down the slope to connect the patches of heather and bilberry to the open area at the bottom.

There were plenty of small heath butterflies about, as well as bumblebees, grouse and swifts.

10 volunteers

Baildon Moor

meet top car park.

Today with Cumulonimbus clouds filling the skies, we continued the summer maintenance on Baildon Moor. Using scythes, sickles and the mighty auto-scythe we began to cut back the Bracken. Similar to our last encounter we split into groups and began to work on different area on the moorland. Thankfully the group remained dry throughout the day and we managed to cut a large area of bracken. The group also saw 7 grouse and two voles during the task.

 

We will be returning for our final visit on the 5th September to complete this year management.

 

Today we had a group of 8

 

Click Here to view the rest of the day pictures

Click Here to view the BEES Flickr page

Baildon Moor

meeting at 'top' car park.

This was our first visit of the year to Baildon Moor to begin the fun task of cutting bracken to encourage more moorland plant species. When we set off it was a glorious day with the sun blazing, and we arrive ready and able to do battle with the bracken.

Once we hiked to the site we set off to work, making sure that each person was well away from another for safety reasons. 3 members took to scything the bracken whilst the rest used the sickles to clear the smaller patches.

After lunch a massive operation was taken to rake up the cut bracken and pile together. This also allowed us to make bracken parasols which gave some much needed shade as we carried the bracken to each pile.We will be returning later in the summer to continue the work.

Today we had a group of 8

 

Click Here to view the rest of the day pictures

Click here to veiw the BEES Flickr page

Friday 16th July: Baildon Moor.

area of cleared bracken allowing grass to recolonisearea of cleared bracken allowing grass to recoloniseThis was our first visit of the year to Baildon Moor and as we arrived the moor promised do do what it does best. Weather!. However it turned out not too bad - very windy but not too wet. (on our Wednesday Wildlife Wander we were greeted by thunder, lightning and a soaking downpour).

We are working in the same area of moor with have managed for a decade - on the slope facing towards Sconce - but we are now focusing our extension work down hill rather than back towards the road. We will work in this direction to join the existing heather patches near the fairway. The gradient is too steep for the auto-scythe, which concentrated on the upper areas, so scythes and sickles were the main tools used, raking the arisings into large piles. Friends of Baildon moor used a strimmer to increase the impact of the work.

Swifts, oystercatchers, skylarks and pipits were present through the day, and a nest (probably swallow) was spotted in the shelter. The ling is just coming into flower and the first few bilberries were ripening.

Friday 2nd Sept: Baildon Moor, Top Car Park, Bingley Road, Baildon

Cutting BrackenCutting Bracken

A group of seventeen worked on the moor today, including 14 volunteers. This was our final visit of the year and we had a very successful day working effectively with the auto scythe and hand scythes and sickles. The cut bracken was raked and piled - as well as removing it so it does not prevent regeneration of moorland species, we hope the piles will make compost and they also act as markers of the extent of our work.

The impact that the bracken control BEES have undertaken is considerable and encouraging - the hillside now has good patches of bilberry, heather, crowberry as well as sheep's sorrel and heath bedstraw. We identified areas that we plan to work on next year and identified the need to instigate more monitoring areas. We have noticed that young heather plants are appearing amongst the grass which is to be expected as this is the natural succession of the moorland, but it would be good to monitor the speed and spread of the heather regeneration.

As well as enjoying the work we were able to enjoy the presence of bees in the heather, swallows feeding over the hillside and a covey of partridges numbering 13 or 14, disturbed from their roost in the bilberry.

Friday 26th July 2013 Baildon Moor, Top Car Park, Bingley Road, Baildon, BD16

We returned to the moor side for the first time this year and to continue the control of bracken and restoration of the moor vegetation. This was carried out using our hand tools of scythes and sickles and then raking off the cut bracken.  The group concentrated on the areas that we have cut previously and along the pathways. The work is appearing to have a positive effect on the vegetation and we will return again next month.

The weather was good for this visit and there was not the plague of midges that we encountered for the first visit last year.

Today we worked with 10 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Friday 27th August: Baildon Moor, Baildon

Our third and final visit of the year to the moor. The group split into two work groups: one group cut over the areas that had been previously cut and another concentrated on cutting bracken in an area where Heather is established. This required carefully cutting away from the heather patches, we hope to link up these areas of Heather.  By the end of the day a lot of bracken had been cut which gives the other plants a chance of reestablishing.

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers 

 

 

 

 

Friday 20th July 2012, Baildon Moor

It was good to see so many swifts flying over the moor today. However there were not nearly enough to have an impact on the midge population - we have never seen (or felt) anything quite like it. A damp, still, muggy day was obviously ideal for them, and they made the most of our presence, with people leaving the moor at the end of the day ranging from mildly irritated, covered in red spots, to swollen faces looking like we'd done a few rounds in the boxing ring. What we are prepared to put up with in order to encourage biodiversity!

A survey of 'our' patch of the moor earlier in the week showed that there are quite a few meadow pipits and sky larks around. Because of the poor weather this summer, and potentially delayed fledging, we decided to be cautious regarding the areas of bracken to work in. We concentrated where the bracken is less dense, revisiting areas that are well under control and just extending the patch in one top section.

We continued to be encouraged by the emergence of heather and bilberry, as well as the bedstraw and sheep's sorrel, amongst the grass where the bracken has been cleared.

Today we worked with 13 volunteers