Task Reports

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

Conservation Work - Past

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.

Odda Quarry, tree planting.

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

We managed to plant just over 400 hundred trees this week.

Not bad given the terrain; steep and rocky. We are now wedded to our mattocks for removing vegetation, digging and as use as a make shift ice pick as we slipped down the hill. 

It’s been a fairly blowy and wet week, however Friday turned out to be much better than we feared and we managed to work through to our normal finish time of about 3 o’clock. 

It’s pretty hard work on the hillside, so it is good to pause and admire the views, the rainbows, the occasional buzzard and a violet ground beetle which was unearthed on one planting hole. 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Pruning in the snowThe covering of snow this morning did not deter our visit to the orchard, even if we were a bit late to set off. 

Unsurprisingly (to me), we didn’t make great progress with the floor and door of the Apple Store, but it was very helpful to do more measuring, adjusting and chin scratching on site rather than in the workshop. The issues with the door revolve around the choice of hinge and how to avoid the obstruction of the straw wall verses the design of the door (weight, using materials we have or buying new stuff, or keeping an eye out for a door in a skip!). 

However, it seemed a good day to clear some of the trees on our boundary so we coppiced the Ash by the Bramley and felled the Field Maple near the pond. Clearing these will help more light reach the tree and pond respectively. 

Odda Quarry tree planting

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

Birch and Field MapleWe just had two species to plant today, Acer campestre (field maple) and  Betula pendula (silver birch). 

Both species were guarded with taller guards and stakes (quite a challenge to get these in the ground securely in some places – we are essentially on the back slope of the quarry after all). 

We created a belt between the shrubs from last week and the main planting from last year.  

We didn’t quite manage to get them all planted so the remainder have been snugly heeled-in waiting for our next visit on Wednesday 6th February. Only 3426 left to plant!

Odda Quarry tree planting

Near Hawksworth

Today saw our return to Odda Quarry where we will be concentrating our planting efforts for the rest of the season.

Some of us, having learnt how muddy the access track could be donned wellies for the walk to site; others thought the frost and the dry year meant it would be fine. They were right. 

Luckily the soil where we were planting had been protected by the vegetation so we were good to go. We concentrated on the shrubby edge of the woodland, planting hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel and a few guelder rose. 

The weather warning of hill snow in the afternoon materialised with a few flakes when we still had nearly a hundred to plant. A final push meant we got all these in the ground and were back at the minibus as the snow shower thickened. Once back in town there was little sign of snow.  

We will return to Odda next Friday.