Task Reports

Please contact the office if you are interested in volunteering and we will discuss details.

Conservation Work - Past

Residential – Hutton roof Crags. PRE-BOOKING ONLY

We first visited Hutton Roof Crags for a working weekend in 2012 and have returned each winter since then. 

This year we continued where we left off in March 2018, high up on the hill just where woodland opens out onto limestone pavement. The land, part of a National Nature Reserve is owned by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Ahead of our visit a couple of the Trust’s apprentices (or placement students, sorry I can’t remember which), practised their chain saw skills and felled trees either side of the footpath leading out to the pavement.  This generated a lot of wood which needed to be cleared. On Friday afternoon we concentrated our efforts on clearing this and building up a big fire. 

Our efforts were rewarded when we returned on Saturday – after a wild night of wind and rain, lots of rain, the embers were still glowing and we able to get the fire going again with ease. Wal was impressed! 

Tree Planting

Odda Quarry

Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th March

As we are away on Friday we made a couple of visits during the week hoping to keep on top of things. 
However, the weather (courtesy of storm Gareth) was a bit of a hindrance; it was very wet and cold leading us to pack up early on Tuesday. Over the couple of days, we, a select group of hardy (read cold, wet, determined/miserable), planted approaching 200 along the top of the hill. 

Odda Quarry, tree planting.

we will park on Hillings Lane, in a gateway entrance to a field with a footpath sign.

We have had a fair variety of weather during our weeks here, but Thursday this week was the wettest so far. And the wind sent the guards rolling around the hillside.

However, this didn't hamper our efforts and we planted 230, a mix of silver birch, alder, rowan and hornbeam. On Friday we continued with a similar mix of species, but also had some blackthorn, hawthorn and hazel to plant at the edge of the hill. The rain set in at lunchtime but we continued until all the trees were in the ground (496 this week). 

I was wondering whether this was the time to start counting down to our total, but it feels a bit premature.  Just to say we have reached the plateau at the top, so it's all downhill from here ( once we've finished at the top and dealt with the old quarry sites!).

Forest of Bradford are planting here tomorrow and we are looking forward to the progress made by the professionals. 

Odda Quarry, tree planting.

we will park on Hillings Lane, in a gateway entrance to a field with a footpath sign.

Back to the tree planting epic and with the weather slightly more normal for winter, though still at the warmer end of the temperature scale.

We were joined by a group of young people from Shaping Spaces on Wednesday. It was an introduction to tree planting for them and they concentrated on the shrub layer around the big tree. 

The halfway point is in sight, almost 2,000 down, 2,000 still to go. 

Odda Quarry, tree planting.

we will park on Hillings Lane, in a gateway entrance to a field with a footpath sign.

More tree planting.

10 minute walk from minibus, can be muddy. Please bring a flask if you have one – we cannot carry drinks kit but will have a couple of flasks etc. for anyone without their own.

Hirst Wood Burial Ground

adjacent to Nab Wood crematorium

lunch timeWe returned to the Burial Ground for the first time since last March. The Church have finalised the management plan for the burial ground and it outlines the approach which will combine ecological sensitivity and access to the graves.

Today we were focusing on removing non-native shrubs to allow more light in, and to clear pathways to some of the graves. I will attach a couple of the management plan soon. 

We started our work in one corner where there were quite a number of laurel shrubs to remove. We also cleared bramble to allow access to a plaque on the back wall, one of the most recent additions to the burial ground. We left patches of bramble and raspberry and piles of deadwood where they did not interfere with headstones; we will assess in the summer whether we got the balance right. 

Odda Quarry, tree planting.

we will park on Hillings Lane, in a gateway entrance to a field with a footpath sign.

February 12th, 14th and 15th, 20th Odda Quarry

progressWe had plenty of exercise this week, working mainly at the top of the steep hill.

Tuesday we got off to a slower start having to restake and guard a patch that had been blown over by the very strong winds at the weekend. 

Thursday and Friday were a bit of a change from the previous week with warm and sunny weather, appreciated, but not entirely because of the steep hill.

The following Wednesday’s tree planting finished this batch of 466 trees, with a welcome return to lower ground.