Please contact the office if you are interested in volunteering and we will discuss details.
Conservation Work - Past
Today was the day for the annual meadow cut and pond clearance. The cutting task was quite daunting with no power scythe, but we set to work with our three scythes and several sickles. Without the help of the YBS staff team, who were present today as part of their commitment to allow staff to volunteer in community settings, we probably wouldn’t have got finished. However all areas were cut, raked and the arisings removed.
The pond was equally successfully cleared, and it was great to work from the bridge we installed earlier in the year.
Final touches before Apple Day. The last bench, for the moment, was installed, and another had new legs installed. Final bits of grass cutting, weeding and removal of fallen apples made the orchard vaguely presentable. More apples were harvested – we had to take these away as the shed was full of ones ready for the juicer on Sunday. They will come back on Sunday. If only we had a storage shed for the apples….!
We had another couple of bags of hardcore delivered today and have finished levelling the shelter area. We will assess how it goes on Apple Day, perhaps we will run a whacker plate over it when we get a new one or can borrow one. Bothe the tables/work surfaces are finished under the shelter and we are looking forward to them being transformed into cake and falapple stalls next weekend.
Three of the four news benches were installed by the espaliers. The timber legs are rather larger than ideal but we worked with them and the space is looking inviting.
Most of the grass has now been cut though we will need to finish this off next week. Despite not having a mower we are doing a good job. We also did the inevitable job of collecting windfalls and harvesting from the trees.
This is our second visit to the school this year, working in the wildlife area. Today we gave the meadow a thorough cut, including cutting back brambles that have grown out across the grassland. All the arisings were raked and removed. The meadow is dominated by grasses as it has not been cut often. We plan to return I n spring to give a further cut, and hope to introduce some more flowers.
The pond had not ben been cleared for many years so there was very little open water. A mat of roots had formed and these were cut with a knife (very carefully!) to enable them to be cleared. Hard work.
Lots of frogs today, including some very big ones.
A great few days during which we have managed to make a big impact on the state of the orchard. The path through the main part of the orchard has been cleared of bark (this has been reused near the shelter) and vegetation and replaced with hard core. Thanks to Forest of Bradford Volunteers who were a great help getting the majority of the stone barrowed up from the gate. We may top it off with some fine stone but that will have to wait until after Apple Day as we still have a few other jobs on the go which we need to complete.
We have almost finished the construction of a couple of work tops/tables under the shelter. These will be useful for events, school groups and just in general. Let’s hope they don’t attract the attention of the fire starters.
Progress has been made with reducing the height of hedges to the permitted 5 foot, this should be completed on our next visit. Already we can see how much more light is getting to Katy. We have prepared a bed to plant with nectar rich flowers, and made a start on cutting the grass. There have been quite a lot of apples falling from the trees, many before we would expect that variety to be ripe. We have cleared a lot, hoping some will last until juicing at Apple Day.
I really feel we have a significantly smaller harvest his year, so make sure you get along to harvest sessions, work sessions, Shipley Alternative market or Apple Day if you want to buy some apples.
Keep a breast of dates on the Operation Orchard page.
We will add more photos to the gallery as we progress
Please arrive at CF by 9.30am
We are continuing to tackle the infrastructure improvements at the orchard, with the aim of installing the new benches, paths and shelter tables and ‘floor’ before Apple Day.
If you plan to come today it would be useful if you could let us know. Thanks
Please arrive at CF by 9.30am
We are continuing to tackle the infrastructure improvements at the orchard, with the aim of installing the new benches, paths and shelter tables and ‘floor’ before Apple Day. There will also be hedge cutting, grass cutting and harvesting.
A wet and muddy day. We had scheduled this pond day for today hoping for a repeat of last year’s September visit when it was dry enough to dig without getting wet. But it’s been raining recently! Even with waders it was hard to stay dry but volunteers went beyond the call of duty in our attempts to dig out silt and leaf litter in order to maintain some areas of open water.
We emptied the silt traps again, both had filled about half way since we emptied them in July.
The midges were an unpleasant accompaniment to our work but we did see an attractive Pink-barred Sallow moth.
We made a start in levelling the ground under the shelter today. The job itself wasn’t too hard, but we were using up left over stoney soil from the carpark so getting the bags there was pretty gruelling. We also made a start adding some more support to the shelter to extend it’s life.
There were also apples to pick, onions to dig and general planning and measuring to do.
Our final visit for this year. We are getting tantalisingly close to some edges of the blocks have bracken that we have been cutting for all these years.