Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boars Well pond clearance in Oct 2005Boars Well pond clearance in Oct 2005Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve sits on the hillside above Canal Road. It is council land and the responsibility of the Countryside and Rights of Way team. . Our key tasks involve keeping the pathways accessible. BEES have been involved in the management of the Reserve for the past 8 years, controlling the spread of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, management of the wildflower meadow and the pond.

The Reserve is on a south facing slope and is a popular site for butterflies and birds. Kestrels nest on or near the site each year and can often be seen hunting over the hillside.

Geolocation

53.807309, -1.752372

Conservation Work

Friday 6th November 2009: Boar's Well Urban Nature Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

6th November 2009: Meadow area cut and rakedMeadow area cut and raked 

Today we carried out a number useful tasks that will improve the potential for wildlife for the site. The two remaining meadow areas were cut and raked following the management technique of an upland grassland, the wildflowers and grasses will of set seed and removing the vegetation will allow them to regrow next next year. Further work was carried out on the pond removing the dominant species which will give more open water to allow insects to visit the habitat. We also tidied up the trees that had been chopped down poorly by vandals, these were coppiced to a suitable hieght that will allow them to regrow.   

Today we worked with 11 volunteers.

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Friday 9th July: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Removing Himalyan BalsamRemoving Himalyan Balsam

Today we continued with our management programme at the site. Some members of the team cut the borders of the path and maintained the pathways so they are open and able to be used by people using the site. While others concentrated on the path up to Bolton Road, which after repeated work is beginning to be more accessable. The rest of the group tackled the invasive species of Himalyan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed.

Today there were 16 volunteers. 

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Friday 29th October: Boar’s Well Urban Nature Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

autumn coloursautumn coloursToday our work was to manage the vegetation on the site. We cut and raked off three areas of grassland, these were the central meadow area, which showed some signs of grazing, the area at the site entrance and the area near the old car park. They will benefit from this management technique to keep the fertility low and create the right conditions for a mixture of wild flowers and grasses to grow next year. We also worked in the pond to clear the encroaching vegtation and keep areas of open water which will be a benefit to species like damselflies in the future. Three frogs where spotted using the pond which is a good sign of the health of the pond. There was also a litter collection , and we managed to collect several bags of litter and flytipping from around the site. Today although the weather was gloomy the site looked great as the trees took on their autumn colours, the picture is of Guelder Rose with ripe berries and colourful leaves.

Today we worked with 17 volunteers.

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Friday 12th Aug 2011: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Area, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2

mowing the path edgemowing the path edge Today we continued our site maintenance at the site to improve the habitats. This included mowing the path edges and cutting back overhanging branches to keep the accessways open.  We also pulled himalayan balsam that was present, there is still plenty more on the site but good progress appears to be made in several areas. Plus we removed several bags of flytipping.

Today we worked with 10 volunteers

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Friday 27th Jan 2012: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, BD2.

explanation of tasksexplanation of tasks Today we tackled two main tasks. We did a significant amount of litter picking throughout the site; there seems to be have been a considerable amount of fly tipping on the site over the past few months, but also more litter is exposed in the winter months when the leaves are off the trees. The other task was some tree thinning to create a healthy and diverse woodland. One group of volunteers worked in the area near the meadow, while another group worked on some bigger trees around the pond. This will allow more light into the pond and woodland floor. Some of the timber felled was split and sawn ready to take to the charcoal kilns. It was a good demonstration of how much easier some timbers are to spilt, i.e. the sycamore, and how it can be easier when the timber is fresh. (Though some of the more knarled willow was a challenge – overcome by channelling thoughts (?) about Liverpool’s (unknown at time of splitting) imminent win over Man Utd).

A further patrol cleared damaged and overhanging branches from along the length of the footpath.

Today we worked with 18 volunteers.

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Friday 10th August 2012:Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2.

We returned to the site today to carry out further management work. And, were greeted by the new sign on the entrance meadow, which needless to say has not enhanced the display of wild flowers.  However, the group soon got stuck into the various tasks that were necessary. The path edges were cut back and mown to make the site more accessible. Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam were removed to improve the chances of other vegetation thriving. Plus litter collected from various areas to improve the site. 
By the end of the day the group of 10 volunteers had made a positive difference to the site.
More evidence of our funny summer was had, if it were needed as it was a nice hot sunny day today.

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Friday 14th December 2012; Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2

Our tasks today were to continue with the hedge laying and to coppice the cornice area. We soon got into the hedging, cutting pleachers and staking the trees to create a living barrier, it was made easier as we had cleared the line out before. By the end of the day we had cut and laid about 20 metres and the work was looking like a hedge. This will benefit the site, by increasing the light getting to the ground and provide another habitat. While further on the site the cornice was coppiced by cutting the stems at ground level using saws and loppers. This will increase the light levels to the ground, add colour to the site as it regrows and stop it becoming woody.

We thought that we would be lucky with the weather, but we were not and were rained on most of the day, which is why the photos have not come out very well.

Today we worked with 6 volunteers.

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Friday 16th August 2013 Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

comma on buddleiacomma on buddleiaOur most important job today was to get round as much of the himalayan balsam as possible. It had grown since our last visit. We wanted to concentrate on the areas where the plant grows on the upper slopes, so that the seeds do not get sown back across the site with the prevailing wind. A good number of us set about this task, scrabbling up and down slopes, and dodging or not the nettles. While the others worked to keep the paths open, first scything, then mowing the grass at the sides and then cut cutting back the overhanging vegetation. Little bits of litter were cleared, more work to extend the ditch and open up the grass area adjacent to Spink’s Well. But on the plus side there were a few butterflies about notably comma, peacock and whites. The Rowan trees are laden with berries and buddleia full of flowers, all of which are welcome at the site.

We were blessed today with some fine weather and beginning to think that it doesn’t rain on us at Boar’s Well, or is it too soon to say??

Today we worked with 11 volunteers and welcomed 3 new people.

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Fri 7th Nov 08: Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boar's Well 07 Nov 08 2Coppicing cornus at Boar's Well  Today we worked with 5 volunteers and have been clearing an area of footpath that has become overgrown, on one side by a large willow tree that has fallen over, and on the other side by a dogwood shrub. The willow was cut back so that when it grows back it will grow straight. The dogwood was coppiced so that when it grows back the new growth will give impressive colours to visitors of the site. As the task was large we have not completed the work and we continue this task next week along with clearing encroaching vegetation on other parts of the site.

To see more images of the day visit the gallery page and in particular look out for Tschillis with a South African home made rake!

Friday 1st May Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Boar's Well 1st May 2009 1Boar's Well 1st May 2009

 After carrying out a site visit during the week we found that the meadow area contained a number flower species like Kidney vetch that would not of benefitted from a cut of the grass and this would of affected the butterflies that feed on them. However there was plenty to do on the site as we found out. First we started by clearing the pathways in our attempt to maintain them at their original width, this involved the unpleasant task of clearing the dog mess and general litter picking. We placed posters at the entrances to request that dog walkers clear up their dog's mess and we spoke to as many dog walkers as possible. Spink's Well was given a clean up and the photo shows this historic feature. We then turned our attention to the central steps and carried out weeding and topping them up with crush and run. Our final task was cutting of Japanese knotweed near the Coleman Street entrance which was bigger than this time last year as we remember, which gives a clue as to how we spend our future visits.

Today we had 6 volunteers.  

See more photos of the day in the gallery.