Please contact the office if you are interested in volunteering and we will discuss details.
Conservation Work - Past
This was our second time working in the burial ground this winter. We continued to remove some of the younger trees - making the pathways and access to the graves clearer, but also allowing more light to reach the ground.
We are keeping a range of species to maximise the benefit to wildlife; there are oak, ash. silver birch, willow, hawthorn, a small number of rowan and hazel, some privet and a pleasing amount of fairly big elm trees.
During the summer we will make a better assessment of what further work needs doing to embed a ecological management plan. So far we have mainly concentrated on the obvious regrowth of previously coppiced trees, and cut back some of the bramble etc, but it may be beneficial to take a proactive approach to some of the larger trees. We plan to be back next winter to continue the work.
Residential postponed due to the Beast from the East.
We will go on 23rd March instead - there are now spaces so please get in touch if you are interested.
It was great to be able to work with the Low Moor and Oakenshaw Conservation group today, helping their efforts to preserve the lowland heath in Low Moor. This habitat is rare nationally and globally, and particularly uncommon in the north of England. Birch saplings had covered large areas of the heather so our job was to remove them. Some larger ones were sawn, but where possible we used mattocks to grub out the roots to reduce the regrowth.
Countryside Service were also working on site to remove a few larger trees to allow light on the heather. We couldn’t resist harvesting some bark as good kindling for the kelly kettle, thanks to Tim’s ingenious draw knife. We also took a few logs for the charcoal pile – an exhausting push and carry through the meadow at the end of a physical task.
Today we focussed on thinning out and reducing the height of some of the perimeter trees. It is important we do let these get too big as we do not want them shade the allotments. It also supports the allotment association’s aims to get better views across the allotments in a bid to improve security.
Thank you to the volunteers who helped transport volunteers and tools in the absence of the minibus.
We were on top of the world today. Not just pleased with our contribution to the planting of about 1000 trees, but with great views across to Pendle, the Dales, and the other way! We were last here in March 2017, planting a hedge.
We were helping Forest of Bradford to add a mix of broadleaved trees (oak, birch, rowan, bird cherry, alder, willow) to Back plantation. It is a haven for birds already with kestrels and owls attracted by the vole population. There were goldcrests around, and redpoll are regular visitors.
Whilst pleased the track wasn’t iced over , the wind was bitter and it was so cold that the battery on my mobile phone was not happy and had to hibernate.
A few more photos here.
This was our first working visit to this site. In the past the Calico Conservation group have worked here but it has been untended for several years.
Our task was to remove some of the trees, mostly the smaller stuff that has regrown from previous coppicing. As well as letting more light in, this will also make some of the graves more accessible.
There was a nice mix of trees which we wish to maintain; silver birch, oak, holly, hawthorn, willow and even a few well sized elm. There were a few robins around, and a couple were ferociously defending their territories. We will return on 9th March to continue the task.
You can see a few more pictures in the gallery.
We were working alongside the Forest of Bradford team planting a stretch of hedge above the hamlet of Thorlby near Skipton. Mainly hawthorn, with a few dog rose, bird cherry and hazel, we planted and guarded 700 trees today. There are another 300 to complete the scheme.
Cancelled due to ice, illness and flat battery in the minibus
We returned to the Reserve to continue with the tree thinning to allow more light onto the woodland bank and into the ponds. Coppicing the hazel and some ash on the bank has made a big impact.
On the woodland side of the pond we tackled the large overhanging willow. We successfully removed one large branch, but this was really at the limits of our ability and endurance with hand tools. There was one ash we had our eyes on but have realised that if we are going to tackle this we will need help from a chain saw (and operator).
Although things have improved a bit, there is still evidence of drug use. It seems sensible to seek some funding to buy in a cleansing service, a tree surgeon and some timber to place some of the benches.
New Year traditions – a day in the workshop to sharpen and clean the tools. All the sharp edged tools were filed and sharpened. There is still some work to do in completing the inventory and further organisation in the sheds. I hanker after a wardrobe, or hanging rail of some sort, for the waterproofs.