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.


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Conservation Work

Friday 13th September 2013 Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Some of the group made a start cutting the meadow areas around the site. There are four of different sizes to be tackled. As the entrance one still had some flowers in bloom, we started on the “picnic area” the scythes were put to work and the cuttings were raked off. It was here that we found lots of discarded beer bottles which took a good deal of time collecting and sorting to be recycled. The next area that we cut was the smaller area at the top of the site, which had suffered from bramble encroachment. But Scabious, Knapweed and Yarrow have been in flower this year. The bramble was cut back which will hopefully allow the flowers to spread next year. In the afternoon we started to cut the main meadow area, which this year has been dominated with Hogweed and Yellow rattle has been seen, we will finish this on our next visit. Other members of the group were busy too and pulled areas of Himalayan balsam, cut the path edges and overhanging branches and collected the litter.

Today we worked with 11 volunteers.

Click here to see the other photos of the day.

Fri 14th Nov 08 Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Some of the volunteer group at the end of the taskSome of the volunteer group at the end of the taskWe completed the task of removing the large fallen willow. This was quite a challenge with only hand saws. More dogwood was removed and we worked on other areas of the path to cut back hedge, shrubs and bramble to ensure the path remains accessible and inviting. We also used the auto-sycthe to cut along the path edge and clear grass and seedlings from the 'picnic area' near the centre of the Reserve. We welcomed 3 new volunteers today, amongst a group of 10 volunteers and 2 staff.

Visit the gallery to see other pictures from Boars Well

Friday 19th June: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Cutting Japanese KnotweedCutting Japanese KnotweedToday we commence our annual programme to control both Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed on the site in order to encourage greater biodiversity. We found that Japanese Knotweed was particularly vigorous in a number of areas, as can been seen from the picture it was taller than we were. The difficulty of the work from stinging nettles and the terrain have been rewarded as the areas of Birch planted six years ago and the Rowan more recently are now growing well enough to compete with the Japanese Knotweed, but we will still knock it back. We mowed the edge of the path for the site which has a good effect on the meadow and opens up the width for the public. A group also cleared the path up to Bolton Road.  And I am pleased to report the amount of dog fouling has reduced in response to our efforts to talk to dog walkers and place signs at the entrances.

Today there was 13 volunteers.

See photos of the meadow and Birch trees taken on the day 

Friday 18th Sept: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Friday 18th September 2009 Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve: Pond clearingPond clearing

 Today carried out pond management to remove the dominant plants and create an improved habitat. We also continued our work to remove the invasive Japanese knotweed on the site, cut and raked two meadow areas which will improve the potential for wildflowers next year and in one area planted locally sourced Yellow rattle seed to add to the diversity.

Today we worked with 11 volunteers and introduced our new long term volunteer Raquel seen in the pond who will be working with BEES until July 2010.

Click here for more pictures of the day 

Friday 18th June 2010: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

smiling in the drizzlesmiling in the drizzle Today we began our summer management programme to ensure access to the Reserve is good, and to help the biodiversity of the site by controlling the Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. Luckily it was raining in the morning so we were dressed in long sleeves - this protected us from the worst of the nettles even though many of us complained of sore wrists by the end of the day.

The Japanese Knotweed, though significantly reduced from when we began our campaign many years ago, is still hanging on. It would be good to explore injecting herbicide into the hollow stems to try and tackle the last bits as the task gets more unpleasant the more other species are colonising amongst it. We would not want to spray it on the leaves as this would be detrimental to the other plants.

One team of volunteers cleared over hanging branches and mowed the path edges.

It was pleasing to see that the yellow rattle seed that that we sowed last year has germinated and the plants are flowering. We will need to poach the soil later in the summer so new seed will germinate.

13 volunteers were involved today.

Friday 10th September: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Clearing the pathClearing the pathToday we continued with our management programme at the site, concentrating on the control of invasive plant species. Not so much Japanese Knotweed was found but there was plenty of Himalyan Balsam on the site. We also cleared the edges of the pathways. Click here for other photos of the day.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers. 








Friday 8th July2011: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

cutting balsam under the central pyloncutting balsam under the central pylonNine volunteers braved the heavy summer showers today to continue with our summer management of the site.

We returned to the three areas of Japanese knotweed between the central entrance and Coleman Street, though there had been very little regrowth since our visit in June. Having had success in reducing the amount of Himalayan balsam along the path we ventured up to the extremes of the slopes, in the depths of the willowherb, nettles and brambles to catch the last plants at that end of the site. Of course there some will have been missed but when we think back to the time we were using a scythe to cut through meadows of balsam we have come a long way in efforts to eradicate it.

The path was cut and over hanging branches removed and general litter clearance was undertaken.

Despite the rain there were many butterflies, mostly ringlets and large white, and many species of moths. The chiff chaffs were keeping us company.

Friday 14th Oct 2011: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

the congested pond at beginning of the daythe congested pond at beginning of the dayToday we completed the annual tasks of clearing some of the reed sweet-grass from the Boar's Well pond, and meadow cutting.

The meadow was cut with the auto scythe and then the arisings were raked off - this is essential to prevent a build up of the fertility of the soil which would benefit the grasses in the meadow and reduce the number of wildflowers as they will not withstand the competition.

We also undertook the usual patrol to collect litter and remove overhanging branches from the footpath.

The noisy jays were present again.

See more photos here

Friday 6th July 2012:Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, BD2.

My how it rained today! It was raining as we loaded up the tools and set off to site. But a group of 7 volunteers were undeterred. Some of whom had not been to the site before, so there was a brief reminder of the local history to the site and the key conservation features. Our main task today turned out to be the cutting back of the pathways along the site. It was surprising but since our last visit some sections of the path were impassable. The branches were weighed or beaten down by the rain while the grass, nettles and brambles had grown up and over the pathway. This all was cut back so that the pathway would be useable again. Also we cut the areas of Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam that we are working to control. On the plus side there was little litter on the site, probably due to the weather recently there had been fewer visitors. The rain did not let up all day and it was still coming down as we put the tools away. So well done to all for seeing the task through to the end.

Due to the conditions, no pictures were taken.

It was Kaz’s last today, so we all said goodbye and wished him well for the future and his return to Japan.

Friday 2nd November 2012: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2.

Our task today was to prepare the hedge line that we will lay later in the season. This meant that we cut the lower branches of the hawthorn and removed the dog rose.  Also we started to prepare the coppice area of Hazel close to the hedge.  By doing this we open up the pathway to light, allow other vegetation to develop as well as create a different habitat on the site. After this preparation it was noticeable how much more light was entering the area. We also used the scythes to cut back the nettles along the pathway which will help us for when we mow the edges next year.

Today we worked with 6 volunteers and it felt like winter had joined us.

Click here to see other photos of the day.