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Conservation Work - Past
The task today was to plant the heavy standards in their locations. There were 25 to be planted in four different places along the path. Some of them had to be moved from where they were delivered and to call them heavy was no under estimation. Yesterday we had prepared holes for the trees. Once the tree was planted we had to stake it and put on the tree ties. Not only the planting but the benches had to be installed and these were equally as heavy. The work was hard and heavy, especially moving the Ginko trees along Gaisby Lane and over the fence, but working as team we managed and it was a really impressive effort by all concerned. The other trees we planted were Rowan, Willow, Bird Cherry and Horse Chestnut. They will make a colourful display and add to the biodiversity of the area.
This finishes our work on the project and final result is really pleasing. Already the pathway is well used by local people and am sure it will be enjoyed in the years to come.
Today we were a group of 12.
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We prepared holes for the heavy standard trees. We worked along Gaisby Lane where 11 Ginko trees will be planted. We were joined by groups from Bradford College and Barnardos Bike project in Keighley.
Our work on the greenway is progressing and today we made further good progress. Two tasks were carried out, the important job of planting and replanting the whips. There is a good mixture of native trees including Oak, Hazel Holly and Birch which when they grow will make a significant improvement to the environment and biodiversity locally. It appears though that the dogs like to chew the canes, so this and other pressures will be a challenge to the trees developing.
We also worked on the seating area, but as the benches are not now being delivered until next week we concentrated on getting the surfacing in place. We found that we were a couple of bags short so will have to complete this next week. Everyone had to work hard to complete their share of the work today, but it was also a good day to be out and there were positive comments from local people. The days task was followed by a User Forum meeting and social that was also well attended and enjoyed by the group.
Today we were a group of 14.
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We continued developing the seating area today after yesterday we completed digging out the area. The group installed the timber edging, laid the ground fabric and moved several tons of crush and run. We managed this despite each job going on at the same time and local people being confused about what was being constructed.
Today we were a group of 9.
Today we travelled to Birk Crags on the outskirts of Harrogate to help Forest of Bradford with an ambitious planting scheme.
With a total of 8,000 trees to be planted in several fields we were able to make a contribution to an area of oak, downy birch and alder that was flanked by willow and hazel. There were still a few to plant when we left! All the trees needed deer guards, which adds extra work, but we like FoB’s new deer guard post driver that made the job easy.
In the afternoon the wind picked up as a reminder it is still mid-March. It was a longer drive home than our regular Fridays, and with fish and chip shops at nearly every junction I thought I was going to lose passengers to the temptation on several occasions.
Today we were a group of 12.
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To continue with the planting projects in the upper Aire valley catchment.
Leave Culture Fusion 9.30am
Today we joined with the Friends of St Ives to prepare an area that will become a meadow. It will be sown to commemorate the centenary of the First World War for visitors to the estate. Our task was to remove scrub from the area which was mainly brambles. We cut and raked the area, and with the cuttings created habitat piles. A machine will now be able to further prepare the soil ready for the sowing.
We also took our coppiced wood to the site, some of this was taken up to the kilns and the remainder will be pulled up the hill by the working horse.
Today we worked with 14 volunteers.
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Friday 28th Feb - Sunday 2nd March.
This was our third year running a residential supporting the Cumbria Wildlife Trust at their nature reserve at Hutton Roof. But the work site was on a different location to previously. We set off on Friday morning and were met by Wal the Warden who was able to load the tools and equipment in the trailer of his vehicle. The walk to the site was difficult owing to the wet conditions underfoot and the deep mud it had produced on the paths. When we got to site we were able to see the daunting task awaiting us. Coppice workers had cleared large amounts of Hazel from the limestone pavement; this had been stacked into windrows. Our task was to sort the piles into useful products like charcoal, firewood, bean poles, washing poles and walking sticks. Then burn the remaining brash. This clears the pavement to allow the violets to grow which is the food plant of the High Brown Fritillary. In fact last year other Fritillaries had been seen on the site as well.The plan is to develop a number of coppice coups around the site and then link them with limestone pavements by opening rides to allow the butterfly populations to move around the site. This is another of the tasks we started, which involved felling trees along a footpath track, but leaving strategic ones which are hand holds. We worked all through the weekend and could see a real difference in the work we had had done. But we would also need several more weekends to complete the work.
Our accommodation was at Arnside YHA which provided us with a great base. The weather was fantastic on occasions and meant we could work in t shirts, whilst at the same time seeing snow on the hills of the Lake District. The fires gave us a chance to cook potatoes for our lunch and we were joined by the regular CWT volunteers on Saturday to make a good group.
Already looking forward to next year.
We were joined by 14 volunteers for the residential.
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We were able to work in 4 different areas on site today. The willow structure that we started yesterday was reconstructed. This involved cutting out the old trees that had become inflexible and then replanting with flexible pieces of willow which were bent to form the shape of the structure. Then we constructed the side walls using thinner pieces of willow to weave between the uprights. At the end we had a willow structure which Negussie confirmed was constructed like a traditional Somali dwelling. We carried out the same process for the willow shelter over a seating area and in the nursery.
Whilst this was going on other members of the team were coppicing in the nature area. Several of the willow had started to grow sideways; this was causing more shade than necessary and overhanging the path. Several limbs were coppiced and were used to form a low barrier to define the pond. After several limbs were removed the space and the light to the area was noticeable and the barrier was beginning to take shape.
The outdoor facilities at the school are well developed. So for people who were new to the site it was an opportunity to show them how the outdoor education at the school has developed over the years and the potential it offers the pupils to get involved.
Today we worked with 12 pupils.
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