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Conservation Work - Past
This was our first working visit to this site. In the past the Calico Conservation group have worked here but it has been untended for several years.
Our task was to remove some of the trees, mostly the smaller stuff that has regrown from previous coppicing. As well as letting more light in, this will also make some of the graves more accessible.
There was a nice mix of trees which we wish to maintain; silver birch, oak, holly, hawthorn, willow and even a few well sized elm. There were a few robins around, and a couple were ferociously defending their territories. We will return on 9th March to continue the task.
You can see a few more pictures in the gallery.
We were working alongside the Forest of Bradford team planting a stretch of hedge above the hamlet of Thorlby near Skipton. Mainly hawthorn, with a few dog rose, bird cherry and hazel, we planted and guarded 700 trees today. There are another 300 to complete the scheme.
Cancelled due to ice, illness and flat battery in the minibus
We returned to the Reserve to continue with the tree thinning to allow more light onto the woodland bank and into the ponds. Coppicing the hazel and some ash on the bank has made a big impact.
On the woodland side of the pond we tackled the large overhanging willow. We successfully removed one large branch, but this was really at the limits of our ability and endurance with hand tools. There was one ash we had our eyes on but have realised that if we are going to tackle this we will need help from a chain saw (and operator).
Although things have improved a bit, there is still evidence of drug use. It seems sensible to seek some funding to buy in a cleansing service, a tree surgeon and some timber to place some of the benches.
New Year traditions – a day in the workshop to sharpen and clean the tools. All the sharp edged tools were filed and sharpened. There is still some work to do in completing the inventory and further organisation in the sheds. I hanker after a wardrobe, or hanging rail of some sort, for the waterproofs.
Happy New Year
As tradition dictates, today we joined Forest of Bradford for a pre-Christmas tree planting session. We were planting in the valley below Stanbury, looking across to Oldfield, on the shady side of the hill. So, whilst it was a lovely winter’s day, the icy patches on the grass did not melt but luckily the roads weren’t too bad.
The trees were a mix of oak, rowan, birch, alder and willow. They will complement a couple of other planting schemes that Forest of Bradford have done along the valley.
We were ideally placed to finish off the afternoon with a drink at The Silent Inn to acknowledge all the volunteering effort throughout 2017.
Another cold start, and today the temperature cannot have risen much above freezing as none of the snow or ice melted, even in full sun. We made a tentative start to the pruning; it’s not ideal in such cold conditions but also we wanted to complete the installation of the veg bed to avoid carrying timber around again. We have used oak sleepers, so whilst we will appreciate the durability, they were heavy to handle and resisted the nails. We persevered and completed the job.
We pruned almost all the soft fruit – this has been missed the past couple of years, so whilst it leaves us with a lot of pruning to do on subsequent visits, it was a prickly job, well done.
An icy start to today, and we had to be careful walking across the bridge as we unloaded from the minibus to avoid exceeding the reduced weight limit. Our task today was to support the regular Rodley volunteers with the willow coppicing. The coupe we were working in had a fair amount of bramble throughout the area. Some had already been cleared which made it much easier to coppice, abut other areas needed to be cleared before we could fell.
We had a good day, with the opportunity to have a brief look for birds on the water. We found an old wren’s nest in one of the trees and quite a bit of willow bracket fungus.