Task Reports

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

BEES Urban Nature Reserve

Friday 2nd June, 2017
Uni campus of Laisteridge Lane

Marsh CinqefoilMarsh CinqefoilDo you know what rotting chicken carcasses smell like? I’m sure can imagine it, but I advise you not to. We arrived at the Reserve prepared to be disappointed by the state of the place after a prolonged period of anti-social behaviour (drug use and discarded paraphernalia), but had not come prepared for the stench of repeated fly-tipping from All Saints Road. Luckily the breeze meant the smell was intermittent (or is that wishful thinking?). 

On the plus side there was no sign of dangerous rubbish. And the marsh cinquefoil and other flowers were looking good. A water lily opened slightly in the afternoon sun, the greater spearwort will be out in the next week as will the flag irises. And we saw a frog for the first time in years. The newt population looks good. One of the ponds looks unhappy – a murky sandy colour. We will add some oxygenating weeds to see if that helps, and in the winter we will do some tree thinning on the bank to increase the light levels getting to the pond.  

We gave the paths a thorough cut and dug out some of the mat of arch angel in the woodland area. 


Lower Fields Primary School

Friday 26th May, 2017

Well, we made good progress but didn’t quite get finished. Perhaps if we had started with a different style of decking screw our drills would have lasted the duration, and the task would have been easier. However, we had a full day getting all the stringers secured with metal brackets, the attaching the majority of the decking. We landscaped the approach to the bridge on one side and it is looking seamless.

It was a good decision to increase the width and have an open side – it looks inviting and will allow greater access for pond dipping (all we need is some rain to fill up the pond again!). But a word of warning – the black plastic gets hot in the sun. Short trousers not advised. 

Lower Fields Primary School

Friday 19th May, 2017
Fenby Avenue BD4

Reaching the other endReaching the other endThe frame work is nearly in place. All the posts are in. Some holes were easier than others to dig, impeded by both stones and by not being able to see through the mud. 

All the bearers are attached giving rigidity across the frame. 

We were relieved the rain held off. 

We will continue next Friday. 



Lower Fields Primary School

Thursday 18th May, 2017
Fenby Avenue BD4

Longer post for the hand railLonger post for the hand railPost day, with the help of our expert Lee.

At each stage we have to check and double check measurements and geometry so progress might seem slow, but none the less we are making progress. Over half the legs are in and we are starting to brace both across and lengthways. 

Easier working in tbe dry. 

Lower Fields Primary School, Fenby Avenue BD4

Wednesday 17th May, 2017

the first bearer in placethe first bearer in placePlaswood. Plimber.

We are getting to know this product; recycled plastic moulded into  posts and planks.

Terminology. Posts; the upright legs, tall on one side to support a hand rail, level with decking on the other so the pupils can pond dip. Bearers; the cross pieces attached to the legs. Stringers; the planks that run the length of the bridge. Decking; the planks that form the walkway.  

Lots of thinking today to make sure we created an accurate framework.

Working in a pond = mud. Working in a pond in the rain = very muddy...

Blossom day at Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 12th May, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

The blossom started very early this year – quite a few trees were in bloom when we were working on our Saturday session on April 15th, however we were pleased to see that there was still a lot of blossom out and the orchard was looking good. 

It’s the first time we have had blossom on Blossom Day since 2015. It’s a shame we didn’t manage to attract more visitors today, but for the regular volunteer group it was a successful day’s work. And with added sustenance of cakes and apple goodies. 

The vegetation has grown a lot in the last three weeks so the key tasks were mowing (especially the ground elder), cutting under the trees and mulching to suppress the weeds. We have plenty of straw to mulch with (they were the seats at Apple Day last year) but as we started the job we realised there was a bumble bees’ nest in the pile. Although we had already disturbed them, we re-covered the remaining bales and hope they stay put. 

During this summer we will be relocating and building new compost bins. We started the process of digging out the neglected brick compost area. It has a lot of good compost that we will feed the trees with once we have removed the weed roots. 


St Anthony’s Primary School,

Friday 5th May, 2017

This is the first time we have done practical work in the school’s wildlife area for many years. Our relationship first started with the school when Nick led wildlife education sessions in the grounds about 11 years ago (I wouldn’t have believed it was so long ago but we had a look though the photo album that documented the development of the wildlife area). 

The main task today was to barrow and spread a large pile of bark across the playground and onto the pathways and steps (I heard mention of ‘functional fitness’!) Firstly we had weed out some of the grass, dandelions and thistles that had become established. We also dug out some brambles that were encroaching onto the path and meadow areas, The meadows are dominated by grass species so we did a late spring cut to remove some of the biomass, and hope to implement a new regime of cutting at the ned of the summer. 

In the sun it was gloriously warm today and we saw quite a few butterflies (speckled wood, peacock, orange tip, white spp.) and the birds around us included chiff chaff, willow warbler and a jay. 


Culture Fusion garden and workshop

Friday 28th April, 2017
125 Thornton Road

Our teacher: Alison teaching us the principlesOur teacher: Alison teaching us the principlesToday was an opportunity to get the undercroft organised and the planting beds on the first floor ready for this season’s vegetables. An old metal shelf was re assembled, creating surfaces for the pots in the sunlight for part of the day. They will probably need to be tied to fence to hold them up, but they will be useful and I’m glad they escaped a recent trip to the tip. Old seed trays were emptied and the planters were weeded and filled with new compost. 

Lino StudentLino Student

The rest of the day was spent in the art workshop. Alison very kindly provided excellent tuition, inspiration and encouragement to get everyone involved in a lino printing moth masterclass. We are creating images of moths found in our locality, to send to an art exhibition on America. You will be able to see the results of our work in the office area in a few weeks.


Bolton St James Church

Friday 21st April, 2017
Bolton Road, BD2

Our final day at Bolton St James tidying up the stones uncovered in the construction of the garden, (to be used later by the church for making a rock garden). We have tried to reuse what we have found on site, throughout the project, and a drystone pathway up to the compost bin was today’s artistic creation, finishing off the area around the raised beds nicely.

The garden is looking good with plants the church have planted and local groups are now ready to continue with the more manageable tasks of creating the garden now the hard surfacing and construction is completed.

Our volunteer team had a thorough workout, heroically moving the remaining hardcore from site and on to a new project.



Friday 14th April, 2017

Good Friday.