Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boars Well pond clearance in Oct 2005Boars Well pond clearance in Oct 2005Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve sits on the hillside above Canal Road. It is council land and the responsibility of the Countryside and Rights of Way team. . Our key tasks involve keeping the pathways acceBEES have been involved in the management of the Reserve for the past 8 yearsssible, controlling the spread of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, management of the wildflower meadow and the pond.

The Reserve is on a south facing slope and is a popular site for butterflies and birds. Kestrels nest on or near the site each year and can often be seen hunting over the hillside.


53.807309, -1.752372

Conservation Work

Friday 10th September: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Clearing the pathClearing the pathToday we continued with our management programme at the site, concentrating on the control of invasive plant species. Not so much Japanese Knotweed was found but there was plenty of Himalyan Balsam on the site. We also cleared the edges of the pathways. Click here for other photos of the day.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers. 








Friday 8th July2011: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

cutting balsam under the central pyloncutting balsam under the central pylonNine volunteers braved the heavy summer showers today to continue with our summer management of the site.

We returned to the three areas of Japanese knotweed between the central entrance and Coleman Street, though there had been very little regrowth since our visit in June. Having had success in reducing the amount of Himalayan balsam along the path we ventured up to the extremes of the slopes, in the depths of the willowherb, nettles and brambles to catch the last plants at that end of the site. Of course there some will have been missed but when we think back to the time we were using a scythe to cut through meadows of balsam we have come a long way in efforts to eradicate it.

The path was cut and over hanging branches removed and general litter clearance was undertaken.

Despite the rain there were many butterflies, mostly ringlets and large white, and many species of moths. The chiff chaffs were keeping us company.

Friday 14th Oct 2011: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

the congested pond at beginning of the daythe congested pond at beginning of the dayToday we completed the annual tasks of clearing some of the reed sweet-grass from the Boar's Well pond, and meadow cutting.

The meadow was cut with the auto scythe and then the arisings were raked off - this is essential to prevent a build up of the fertility of the soil which would benefit the grasses in the meadow and reduce the number of wildflowers as they will not withstand the competition.

We also undertook the usual patrol to collect litter and remove overhanging branches from the footpath.

The noisy jays were present again.

See more photos here

Friday 6th July 2012:Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, BD2.

My how it rained today! It was raining as we loaded up the tools and set off to site. But a group of 7 volunteers were undeterred. Some of whom had not been to the site before, so there was a brief reminder of the local history to the site and the key conservation features. Our main task today turned out to be the cutting back of the pathways along the site. It was surprising but since our last visit some sections of the path were impassable. The branches were weighed or beaten down by the rain while the grass, nettles and brambles had grown up and over the pathway. This all was cut back so that the pathway would be useable again. Also we cut the areas of Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam that we are working to control. On the plus side there was little litter on the site, probably due to the weather recently there had been fewer visitors. The rain did not let up all day and it was still coming down as we put the tools away. So well done to all for seeing the task through to the end.

Due to the conditions, no pictures were taken.

It was Kaz’s last today, so we all said goodbye and wished him well for the future and his return to Japan.

Friday 2nd November 2012: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2.

Our task today was to prepare the hedge line that we will lay later in the season. This meant that we cut the lower branches of the hawthorn and removed the dog rose.  Also we started to prepare the coppice area of Hazel close to the hedge.  By doing this we open up the pathway to light, allow other vegetation to develop as well as create a different habitat on the site. After this preparation it was noticeable how much more light was entering the area. We also used the scythes to cut back the nettles along the pathway which will help us for when we mow the edges next year.

Today we worked with 6 volunteers and it felt like winter had joined us.

Click here to see other photos of the day.


Friday 19th July 2013 Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Our work at the site continued today, and we soon got organised with the tasks. The edges of the path were mowed and branches cut back, this improves the access to the site. Some areas of himalayan balsam were pulled up, but it is noticeable how this year there is less about on the site than other years. Litter was cleared and taken to the entrance where the Council’s Clean Team came and removed it. The area adjacent to Spink’s Well was cut and by doing this it opens the area up and gives other plants a chance to establish, currently the meadowsweet is developing well. The meadow area is looking different to other years with hogweed the dominant plant, but there is also yellow rattle and knapweed present, which are good sources of nectar. It was also pleasing to see that the hedge we cut and layed in December is growing well and there is a photo of it.

Today we worked with  7 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Fri 7th Nov 08: Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boar's Well 07 Nov 08 2Coppicing cornus at Boar's Well  Today we worked with 5 volunteers and have been clearing an area of footpath that has become overgrown, on one side by a large willow tree that has fallen over, and on the other side by a dogwood shrub. The willow was cut back so that when it grows back it will grow straight. The dogwood was coppiced so that when it grows back the new growth will give impressive colours to visitors of the site. As the task was large we have not completed the work and we continue this task next week along with clearing encroaching vegetation on other parts of the site.

To see more images of the day visit the gallery page and in particular look out for Tschillis with a South African home made rake!

Friday 4th October 2013 Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD1

There were several tasks undertaken on this visit. The entrance meadow was cut and raked off, this will enable to flowering plants to grow again next year. At last count there were over 20 different wildflower species, so this is worth maintaining as it is in such a prominent position. On the site the pond was cleared of the plants that are least beneficial and this will give the others a chance to grow next year which provide nectar sources for visiting insects. Further cutting and raking was carried out on the meadow area. We also cut the Japanese knotweed and some remaining Himalayan balsam.

Today we worked with 8 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day and site.

Fri 27th Feb 09 Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD1

Boar's Well 27 Feb 09 Boar's Well 27 Feb 09  

Today we continued with the repair of the steps in the central area of the Reserve and now they are almost complete. We had to replace some risers, continue weeding and refilling with crusher run. We pruned back the dogwood that grows over the steps.

We also worked in the woodland area on the slope above the entrance. This area has not had any managament done for several years. We started by clearing the blackthorn that was blocking the gate and then selectively thinning some dead and crowded trees. We high pruned others and will continue with the thinning task next winter.

Friday 17th July, Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Day of the TriffidsDay of the Triffids

Another wet Friday but 10 volunteers successfully completed tasks to maintain open pathways and to remove invasive species. 

BEES have been cutting Japanese Knotweed in several areas of the Reserve for 9 years. Although we can record success it does still continue to grow. The task of controlling it is now made more difficult by the colonisation of other species - nettle is dominant and makes the task uncomfortable. 

We also work to control the Himalayan Balsam. This plant is easier to get under control than the Japanese Knotweed but eradication will be difficult as many of the plants are on inaccessible slopes. The site was once used as a rubbish tip and the ground is uneven and unpleasant.

 Not much sign of the wildlife that we usually enjoy at the Reserve today, all sensibly hiding from the elements.