Task Reports

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

Fri 23rd Jan 09 Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area, Westcroft Road, Great Horton

Making stakes for the hedgelaying tasksMaking stakes for the hedgelaying tasks

Today 10 volunteers started the task of laying the hedge that is the boundary between the site and Corn Mill Lane. The terrain was difficult as the hedge is at the bottom of a steep slope and the fence prevented tackling the hedge from the flat side. However good progress was made and all volunteers had the opportunity to learn how to cut the pleachers, which act as a hinge, using billhooks and bowsaws.  We made stakes from timber cut at Boar's Well and the UNR and sharpened them to a point with a bill hook.

We will continue this task next week.

Fri 16th Jan 09 BEES Urban Nature Reserve, Laisteridge Lane

Using ash thinnings to prepare stakes for hedgelayingUsing ash thinnings to prepare stakes for hedgelayingThe tree surgeon has not yet completed the felling work on the Reserve so we altered our task to continue the improvement of the 'woodland' area. We continued to clear the snowberry to create a planting area for a greater variety of woodland flowers. We will not remove it all at once as its dense growth offers a nesting site for wrens, so the rest will be kept until our recent planting matures and provides an alternative. The hedge along the boundary of the site is mainly beech and is thin so we have decided to do some supplementry planting to create a denser hedge. Beech creates a dense canopy so we have high pruned to allow adequate side light for new saplings, which we will plant before the end of March, to establish. We also thinned some ash on the bank - these thinnings will be used for stakes next week. We cleared a lot of rubbish from the bank as well.


There were six volunteers today.

Fri 9th Jan 09 BEES Office, YMCA, Little Horton Lane

sharpening a billhooksharpening a billhookEight volunteers were involved with tool maintenance tasks at our base. This was an opportunity to use the grinder and files in the workshop to ensure the billhooks, sickles and loppers are more easily sharpened in the field.

We also spent time reorganising the tool store and undertaking an inventory of the tools.

Fri 19th Dec 08 Forest of Bradford, Flappit

Tree Planting at the old flappit land fill siteTree Planting at the old flappit land fill siteWe have developed a bit of a reputation over the years for bringing the bad weather with us when we join Forest of Bradford for our end of year tree planting. So we choose an exposed hillside and braced ourselves. 

Nine of us were helping with a scheme to plant 4000 trees on the old land fill site at Flappit, near Denholme. The long term plan is to use the trees for fuel. A mixture of Italian and common alder, white willow and silver birch have been planted.

Having planted 500 trees we then retreated to a welcoming fire at the Dog and Gun Public House.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered through the year. Have a merry chridstmas and we hope to see you in the new year. 

Fri 12th Dec 08 Green Lane Primary School, Green Lane, Manningham, Bradford

Hedge planting at Green Lane PrimaryHedge planting at Green Lane PrimaryToday we worked at Green Lane Primary School which is part of the Habitat Heroes schools project. Our task was to assist the pupils plant a hedge of native tress around the school playing field perimeter. The school has ambitious plans that each of the pupils will plant a tree.

Here Stephen is preparing a hole for a tree to be planted. Today we worked with 7 classes from the school. 

Follow this link to find out more about Habitat Heroes schools project.

Sat 6th Dec 08 Bowling Park Community Orchard, in allotments Bowling Park Drive

Pruning at the orchardPruning at the orchardEight people benefited from our Trainer's experience of working with fruit trees. We covered the reasons to prune, the tools we would use and the techniques. Some of the pruning had been marked ready on Apple Day, too early in the year to do the task, and we talked through decisions about other trees. We identified a few problems in the orchard, for instance do we need to remove the Charles Ross which is diseased and doesn't look like it will survive? We have decided to try a bridge graft on the Peasgood Nonsuch in February to span a patch of canker. 

Fri 28th Nov 08 Cavendish Primary School, Hall Road, Eccleshill, Bradford

Cavendish Primary School Fri 28th Nov 08Cavendish Primary School Fri 28th Nov 08

Today we returned to the former E Schools to plant a fruit orchard. We worked with 45 Reception class pupils and planted a total of 25 friut trees. The pupils really enjoyed the practical lesson learning about fruit trees and then the practical task of planting them. We were able to work small groups and really give the pupils a good hands on experience. The varieties were 5 Charles Ross, 5 Spartan, 5 Ribston Pippin, 5 Howgate Wonder (cooker) and 5 Conference (pear). The Reception class was chosen because they will still be in school when the trees start producing fruit and will be able to tell the other pupils about the project. Today there were 9 volunteers.  

Other images of the day can be found in the gallery

Thurs 27th Nov 2008 Extra extra volunteering opportunity

Thanks to Barbara, Gordon, Andy, Patrick and Russell who gave extra help today to set up the planting event by digging holes and putting the stakes in the ground which was work that the pupils would not be able to carry out.

Fri 21st Nov 08 Rodley Nature Reserve, Rodley, Leeds

Coppicing at Rodley Nature Reserve Coppicing at Rodley Nature Reserve Nine volunteers were involved in the coppicing activity at Rodley Nature Reserve. We harvested some young stuff (1 and 2 year old) to use for craft activities and some larger trees that we will use to make charcoal next summer. This is the fourth year that we have helped coppice the willow at the Reserve. As well as providing us with raw materials for crafts, the coppicing is an essential part of the management of the reserve to ensure bird flight paths to the lakes are not impedded. We took a moment to look in the bird hide - there were plenty of black headed gulls, swans, coots, tufted ducks. But as it was a bitterly cold day so we retreated to the comfort of the visitors centre for lunch so did not spend long enough watching to spot other regular visitors such as the kingfisher.


Fri 14th Nov 08 Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Some of the volunteer group at the end of the taskSome of the volunteer group at the end of the taskWe completed the task of removing the large fallen willow. This was quite a challenge with only hand saws. More dogwood was removed and we worked on other areas of the path to cut back hedge, shrubs and bramble to ensure the path remains accessible and inviting. We also used the auto-sycthe to cut along the path edge and clear grass and seedlings from the 'picnic area' near the centre of the Reserve. We welcomed 3 new volunteers today, amongst a group of 10 volunteers and 2 staff.

Visit the gallery to see other pictures from Boars Well