Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area

Environment Agency staff volunteering at Brackenhill ULAEnvironment Agency staff volunteering at Brackenhill ULABEES have a mangement agreement with the Council's Countryside and Rights of Way team to manage Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area. It is the area adjacent to Brackenhill Park in Great Horton and is managed to maximise the wildlife potential of the site. Our key jobs in the past year have been to repair the drystone wall along Greenfield Lane, to uncover and repair footpaths and steps and to control the litter and Japanese Knotweed.

In the forthcoming year we plan to further repair sections of pathway and to improve the quality of the pond. The Environment Agency carried out a survey of the pond last year and found, despite first appearances, that there is sign of invertebrate life in the pond. We hope to improve the amount of oxygenating and marginal plants.

Brackenhill Pond Survey

Geolocation

53.782423, -1.787295

Conservation Work

Fri 30th Jan 09 Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, Bradford

pleacherspleachersWe continued the stretch of hedge that creates the boundary between Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area and Old Corn Mill Lane. It was cold and wet and most volunteers seemed to previous engagements as there were only two volunteers, four of us in total, working on the hedge. Although on a bit of a slope we feel it is ideal that we can practice this traditional skill on one of our local sites. We will continue with the rest of the hedge next year.

Friday 29th January 2010: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, Bradford, BD7.

making a pleachermaking a pleacherToday we were clearing litter and hedge laying. We split into two groups and one group went off to inspect the site and find the litter hot spots. The hedge layers first cleared out the hedge line removing, litter, brambles and lower branches. Pleachers were then made which allowed the the tree to be bent over. By using a stake the trees are made to form an effective and living barrier. The cut trees will regrow from the cut stump and provide a habitat which has been severely reduced over recent decades. The other group found more than they expected cleareding fly tipping and litter from many areas of the park.

Today we worked with 21 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day.  

Friday 21st May 2010: Brackenhill ULA, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, BD7

attaching the railsattaching the railsToday we worked on the post and rail fence along side the hedge that we finished laying earlier this year. It was pleasing to see that the hedge was leafing up with only a few exceptions. This will provide a really good habitat for wildlife. We replaced the broken and damaged sections of the fence, which involved removing some rails, replacing a few posts and then securing the new rails. After this was completed we had time to go into the site to collect litter and remove Japanese Knotweed that has been growing in two areas.

Today we worked with 11 volunteers.

Click here for other photos of the site.    

Friday 19th Aug 2011: Brackenhill ULA, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, Bradford, BD7

Raking the cut meadow.Raking the cut meadow. Today we will started ambitious task of cutting and raking two of the meadow areas near Westcroft Road, this will benefit the annual flowers like meadow cranesbill and grasses by reducing the nutrients in the soil and spreading the seed. The area was cut using the autoscythe and then raked by hand. We also removed the area of japanese knotweed near the stream. We collected flytipping, which included 3 shopping trolleys, a bed, television and 40 bin bags, which were collected by the Council.

Today we worked with 14 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day including the shopping trolley revovered from the pond.

Friday 18th January 2013: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Bradford, BD7

Friday 18th January 2013The weather was a factor today with a cold blast bringing snow for us. Still a good number of hardy souls turned up for the task and we were able to get out as planned. But the Countryside Service was unable to join us due to the conditions. At site we were able to get warm with the work of cutting back the overhanging willow trees. These have been causing an obstruction for a while and someone had started to cut back in the summer causing all sorts of poor regrowth.  We cut the back the stumps using bow saws to allow the tree to regrow better, then we cut some of the bigger branches to allow more light into the area. At the end of the day the area looked much improved and we could see the wall and the fence line once again.  The timber that we cut was harvested and will be used for making charcoal later in the year. We also had time to collect several bags of litter and connect with a local resident who is a regular site visitor and will keep an eye on the site.


Today we worked with 7 volunteers.

Click here to see other snowy photos of the day.

Friday 30th August 2013 Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, BD7

We did not cut the meadow areas today because of ongoing repairs with the autoscythe. But that does not mean we had nothing to do. We were kept busy tackling Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam, controlling there spread gives the other ground flora a chance to thrive. The hedge along roadside was trimmed, it is good to see it growing well after it was laid. Pathways through the site were cut back and kept open, which makes the site more attractive for visitors. Then we repaired some of the steps and pathways, were the surfacing had been washed down the hill from previous heavy rain. The steps were really awkward to walk on but are now a bit safer.  Plus litter was collected and we had filled about 10 bags by the time we had finished.

Today we worked with 10 volunteers.

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Fri 24th Oct: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area

Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area 24 Oct 08 1Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area 24th Oct 08We spent the morning clearing litter and fly tipping from two parts of the site. It was really satisfying to clear the stream of tyres and gas bottles and see it running again. One tyre was so big it took five of us to lift it on the Clean Team's wagon. In the afternoon we concentrated on improving the previous work on the steps from the Havelock Street entrance and removing the Himalayan balsam from the edge of the meadow area. We had six volunteers on the day.

See other photos of the day in the gallery

 

 

Friday 21st Aug: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, BD7

Friday 21 August 2009 Brackenhill ULA: Hard at work on the stepsHard at work on the steps

 Another great turn out of volunteers today with 15 in total. We carried out a variety of our regular maintenance jobs at the site. There was the collection of litter with 12 bags, removal of invasive plant species at 4 locations, path and step clearance at Green Lane and the central footpath. We were able to complete a lot of work to improve the site. Worth noting that the hedge which we laid in the winter has leafed up and is looking in good condition, as are the trees which we planted 3 winters ago and the grass area has several native wildflowers including Knapweed.

Friday 5th February 2010: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Great Horton, Bradford, BD7.

Cutting the pleacherCutting the pleacherToday we returned to the same site as last week to further progress the work that was started. One group set off to the main site to the ensure the footpaths were clear, repair a wall and return shopping trollies. The other group carried on with the hedge. They quickly got into the work from the skills gained last week. First there was clearing and trimming to be done, then pleachers were cut and lastly trees placed into the line of the hedge supported by stakes. At the end of the day I am delighted to report that we completed the whole section, a great achievement for the group. The hedge will grow and provide a different habitat and we will return in a few years to relay it. 

Today we worked with 15 volunteers.

Click here for some other great photos of the work. 

Friday 20th August: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Great Horton, BD7

Steps after clearingSteps after clearingToday there were enough volunteers to split into smaller groups. One group concentrated on making sure the pathways remained accessible at the central steps and then the lane from the school. The next group focussed on the invasive plant species, with two patches of Japense Knotweed and two patches of Himalayan Balsam tackled. The others concentrated on collecting litter, which although did appear too bad still managed to collect over 12 bags, including two from the pond.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day.