Task Reports

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

Baildon Moor, bracken control

Friday 21st July, 2017

21 July 2017: Knot Grass Moth caterpillarKnot Grass Moth caterpillarA day of weather today, wet most of the morning but getting better in the afternoon.

We were restricted to hand tools today, but despite the lack of an auto-scythe we made a significant impact on the larger stands of dense bracken. The heaps of cutting marked our progress. 

Our day was brightened by an Elephant Hawkmoth and an attractive caterpillar Knot Grass Moth caterpillar. We had a walk to look at the area we originally worked in and are still pleased with the success in reducing the bracken and allowing the colonisation of heather, bilberry and crowberry. The trees are a notable part of the hillside and we are thinking that it might be a good for the heather to reduce the number slightly. 

 

Culture Fusion meadow and garden

Friday 14th July, 2017
culture Fusion, 125 Thornton Rd

We will be tending the vegetable beds, managing bits of the meadow and area near the car park. We also plan to give all the apple trays a thorough clean. 

 

Residential – Bucken, Dry Stone Walling

Friday 7th July, 2017
Upper Wharfedale.

Our task this weekend was on the hill above Cray, a short walk from the stepping stones. Uphill (and down) through fairly tussocky grass and rushes and sometimes skirting around the bull and his herd. Under Peter’s direction we choose a stretch of wall about 10 meters in length, from a wall end to tie in with the remaining wall. 

Unlike other visits to this area the rock was gritstone (we were up above the limestone layer). The pictures show our progress through the weekend, resulting in a good end result. We also ‘tidied’ up a few other sections nearby, plugging holes and replacing copping stones.

As is tradition, we used our home made charcoal to make a bbq on Saturday evening. The weather was kind through the weekend, with the only spell of rain on Friday afternoon (followed by a surprise visit from Rob), and pleasant on Saturday and Sunday.  

 

Northcliffe Woods,

Friday 30th June, 2017
entrance on Cliffe Wood Avenue, Shipley

Northcliffe pond June 2017A drizzly damp day so we were accompanied by the midges today as we worked around the pond in Northcliffe Woods. 

We successfully dug out the silt, shale and sticks from the two silt traps that are situated at the entrance to the pond. The plan is that the Friends of Northcliffe volunteer group will pay regular visits to try and maintain space in the silt traps so the debris doesn’t wash straight into the pond. It’s always an issue where to carry the arising mud to, so we will just have to see how this goes, but we have made a good start in both the traps and the channel through the pond. 

We also made a good impact on the Himalayan balsam population on the banking above the pond and on the hillsides either side. 

 

St Ives Charcoal kilns

Friday 23rd June, 2017

Kilns in placeKilns in placeWe enjoy the work at the charcoal kilns. But the task is not without its challenges. Luckily we got a free run (no, not literally – we carried a fair weight up hill) to the site with the timber – no dodging horses.  However, once there our first task was to try and locate the elements of the kilns that had been ‘borrowed’ by den builders in the woods. 

We now know that it is fairly easy to reposition the kilns into place on the vents, but unfortunately one of the lids which has been used as a fire plate looks to be warped beyond use at present. We will have to experiment with how to unbend it!

We successfully chopped, split and sawed enough timber to fill one kiln and some timber ready for the other if we feel it is useable. The chimneys still need to be recovered from their current role in construction of the local den and gateways. 

 

Summer outing; Hutton Roof Crags

Friday 16th June, 2017
Cumbria

Hutton Roof outing June 2017Hutton Roof outing June 2017Returning to see the impact of our winter working weekends, we were treated to guided walk by Wal, Anne and Charles. We saw several of the specialist flowers; common rock rose, dropwort, common cow wheat and many others. It was a bit overcast and windy for the butterflies, but we did have decent views from the trig point across to Morecambe Bay and around to the lower slopes of Ingleborough (summit in cloud). 

 
 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Wednesday 14th June, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

A fine sunny day. We continued to dig out the compost bin and weed around the trees. The veg beds and some of the trees were successfully weeded by the Shaping Spaces group, who also mowed pathways and path edges. 

We continued this work on Saturday 17th with te Friends of BPCO gropu session. We also had a good go at the ground elder and bind weed, spread compost around the trees, thinned out the apples on some of the trees. 

Lower Fields Primary School

Friday 9th June, 2017
Fenby Avenue BD4

A proud groupA proud group

Today we completed the construction of the bridge across the school pond. The tasks included attaching the final decking boards, attaching the railings and landscaping the path where the bridge met the land. And, of course, standing back and admiring our handy work. Well done to everyone involved.

The recent rain had filled the pond which was good. And we were pleasantly surprised to see a grey wagtail. The large willow tree adjacent to the pond has suffered in the high winds with a split down the centre. In fact over the weekend after we had left half the tree collapsed, luckily no one was around and it landed safely on the pathway. 

It has been good to be involved in a significant construction project for a change to habitat management and I think we would embark on further projects using this product. 

 
 

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.