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Conservation Work - Past
Probably peak blossom today (regarding dates for group tasks anyway).
There are a few notable trees which appear to be having a bit of a rest; Belle de Boskoop, Winston, Howgate Wonder, Lady Henniker and Allington Pippin all have little or no blossom. The Durondeau pear has been badly affected by frost with on a few blossoms escaping unharmed.
Not much to report on the work front; a vaguely vertical (but less that satisfactory) door frame and the start of a not very satisfactory door (rather warped and not really square, but hopefully will do at least to start with).
A few more onions planted.
Sorry, no task today as it is a bank holiday
However, we will be at the orchard on Saturday 20th 10 am, please make your own way to the orchard.
We worked with Aire Rivers Trust today at Middlebrook Beck, helping with the mission to clear the becks and rivers of rubbish and to clear the surrounding banks to prevent further rubbish from washing in. There was no stopping our enthusiastic volunteers who made quite an impressive haul.
Blackcaps singing. Bumblebees searching for a nest hole. Bilberries in flower. Spring. Time to finish off tree planting activities.
We adjusted our total to what was reasonable to fit in the space, so had less to plant this week than previously planned. The challenge today was that we were filling in gaps so needed to walk a fair way (and squeeze through gorse, and clamber down stones).
After a late lunch, once finished in the top enclosure, we split into two teams. Hawthorn on the track and embankments. Holly across the main hillside, plus retracing steps to guard some that were planted at the weekend.
We spent a little while replacing fallen stakes in stony ground, and gathering left over stakes, bags, etc. And then we were done. 3,681. Let's call it 3,700.
Well done everyone, it's been a supreme effort. It was shame a few people were unable to come due to illness, work and studies. But, hey, we've got a northern forest to create and as tree planting comes out top as people's favourite task in the annual survey, there is bound to be more planting next season.
We have reduced the number of trees we are going to plant (we have run out of space), so we are only planting on Friday now.
Join us then for the finale.
Amanda and I had made a start with marking and clearing turf on Wednesday so when we arrived on Thursday we able to get straight on with planting by the first gate.
We were joined today by a group from Prince's Trust at Shipley College. They took on, and completed, the shrubby edge along the fence line. This was the first time any of the young people had planted trees, some took to it more readily, but all enjoyed it to an extent.
We added Lime to our mix this week. And had several chats with walkers passing by. The footpath is definitely more popular now spring is here. T-shirts this week.
By Friday we were ready to extend our planting into the enclosure alongside the working quarry, filling in gaps from previous planting efforts. Our total by the end of the day was 3,491. I took a walk over the whole site to assess what space we had left and concluded that there really isn’t room to reach our target of 4000 so we have agreed a reduced number to suit the space available.
We will complete the planting next Friday.
See Friday's write up.
This week we worked up to along the top of the old quarry, including some fairly steep and stony sections!
Final few weeks of tree planting season.
We need to get 500 planted each week to hit our target.
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!