Baildon Moor

Cutting Bracken - August 2008
Cutting Bracken - Aug 2008

We have concentrated on an area that had underlying moorland plants - heathers, sheep sorrel, heath bedstraw, bilberry and crowberry.

The control measures have involved cutting the bracken three times a year.

The results have been very encouraging and we continue to expand the areas we are managing.


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Conservation Work

Friday 2nd Sept: Baildon Moor, Top Car Park, Bingley Road, Baildon

Cutting BrackenCutting Bracken

A group of seventeen worked on the moor today, including 14 volunteers. This was our final visit of the year and we had a very successful day working effectively with the auto scythe and hand scythes and sickles. The cut bracken was raked and piled - as well as removing it so it does not prevent regeneration of moorland species, we hope the piles will make compost and they also act as markers of the extent of our work.

The impact that the bracken control BEES have undertaken is considerable and encouraging - the hillside now has good patches of bilberry, heather, crowberry as well as sheep's sorrel and heath bedstraw. We identified areas that we plan to work on next year and identified the need to instigate more monitoring areas. We have noticed that young heather plants are appearing amongst the grass which is to be expected as this is the natural succession of the moorland, but it would be good to monitor the speed and spread of the heather regeneration.

As well as enjoying the work we were able to enjoy the presence of bees in the heather, swallows feeding over the hillside and a covey of partridges numbering 13 or 14, disturbed from their roost in the bilberry.

Friday 26th July 2013 Baildon Moor, Top Car Park, Bingley Road, Baildon, BD16

We returned to the moor side for the first time this year and to continue the control of bracken and restoration of the moor vegetation. This was carried out using our hand tools of scythes and sickles and then raking off the cut bracken.  The group concentrated on the areas that we have cut previously and along the pathways. The work is appearing to have a positive effect on the vegetation and we will return again next month.

The weather was good for this visit and there was not the plague of midges that we encountered for the first visit last year.

Today we worked with 10 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Friday 27th August: Baildon Moor, Baildon

Our third and final visit of the year to the moor. The group split into two work groups: one group cut over the areas that had been previously cut and another concentrated on cutting bracken in an area where Heather is established. This required carefully cutting away from the heather patches, we hope to link up these areas of Heather.  By the end of the day a lot of bracken had been cut which gives the other plants a chance of reestablishing.

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers 





Friday 20th July 2012, Baildon Moor

It was good to see so many swifts flying over the moor today. However there were not nearly enough to have an impact on the midge population - we have never seen (or felt) anything quite like it. A damp, still, muggy day was obviously ideal for them, and they made the most of our presence, with people leaving the moor at the end of the day ranging from mildly irritated, covered in red spots, to swollen faces looking like we'd done a few rounds in the boxing ring. What we are prepared to put up with in order to encourage biodiversity!

A survey of 'our' patch of the moor earlier in the week showed that there are quite a few meadow pipits and sky larks around. Because of the poor weather this summer, and potentially delayed fledging, we decided to be cautious regarding the areas of bracken to work in. We concentrated where the bracken is less dense, revisiting areas that are well under control and just extending the patch in one top section.

We continued to be encouraged by the emergence of heather and bilberry, as well as the bedstraw and sheep's sorrel, amongst the grass where the bracken has been cleared.

Today we worked with 13 volunteers

Friday 23rd August 2013 Baildon Moor, Top Car Park, Bingley Road, Baildon, BD16

Following on from our previous visit to the site the group continued with the project to control the bracken on the moor side. A couple of areas were concentrated on in the morning working on areas that had previously been cut. After lunch we worked on a patch that had not been cut before. The idea here was to uncover existing ground flora and allow this a chance to spread. In this area both crowberry and bilberry are growing. Plus we cut along the pathway as this had overgrown and was becoming impassable.

Again we were lucky with the weather and there was no return of the midges, but we have another visit still to carry out this year.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers.

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Friday 28th Aug: Baildon Moor, Baildon

Friday 28th August: Racking cut bracken in very strong windRacking cut bracken in very strong wind Today was our last trip of the season and we concentrated our efforts on ensuring we removed regrowing bracken from previously cut areas and raking the bracken litter. It is noticeable the amount that we have managed to cut over the past five years and the range of plant species that are recolonising the area. We are going to take advise over the winter on how best to proceed with the project. Although it was August we were exposed to some severe weather and had to result to the Lifeboat matches to get the kettle alight!

Today there were 6 volunteers.

Click here for other photos of the day .

Friday 15th July 2011: Baildon Moor

looking westlooking westThis was our first visit of the year to the area of Baildon Moor where we have been controlling bracken for a decade. The impact we have had in enabling the moorland vegetation to thrive, rather than be swamped by the bracken is significant and noticeable. When we clear a patch the first plants to arrive are the heath bedstraw and sheep's sorrel, closely followed by the wavy hair grass. Heather and bilberry are now encroaching into the grassy areas giving a perfect example the plant succession on moorland. There are few small rowan and birch trees which will give perching points for birds, as well as food and shelter.

It feels wrong to complain it was too hot -we have had many a drenching on the exposed moor - however it was very warm! Good for the butterflies - the small heath were most numerous but there were also plenty of meadow brown, ringlet and large white. The crossleaved heath was in flower and going over and the ling (common heather) is just about to open. There were many bees visiting the heather and the bilberry.

We had a walk on the moor on Wednesday evening and there were quite a few birds in the longer bracken and a pair of hunting kestrels. On both days we disturbed a pair of partridges. Because of our observations we concentrated our cutting efforts today in some of the areas we have cut previously. We used scythes, sickles and slashers to cut the bracken and raked into to piles to make compost. Today we worked with 17 volunteers.