Task Reports

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

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

Fri 7th Nov 08: Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boar's Well 07 Nov 08 2Coppicing cornus at Boar's Well  Today we worked with 5 volunteers and have been clearing an area of footpath that has become overgrown, on one side by a large willow tree that has fallen over, and on the other side by a dogwood shrub. The willow was cut back so that when it grows back it will grow straight. The dogwood was coppiced so that when it grows back the new growth will give impressive colours to visitors of the site. As the task was large we have not completed the work and we continue this task next week along with clearing encroaching vegetation on other parts of the site.

To see more images of the day visit the gallery page and in particular look out for Tschillis with a South African home made rake!

Fri Oct 31st 08 St Mary's Churchyard, Wyke

This is a new site for us and we will be working with the Youth Service to improve the wildlife potential of the Church's grave yard. Nick has been working with the Church and the Youth Service to develop a managment plan and they will be putting it into practice in the future.

St May's Church, Wyke St Mary's Church, Wyke

Today we had 4 volunteers. There were several tasks for us at the site, we raked the grass off the graves which had been cut with strimmers, then we set about thoroughly weeding and discovering the layout of the graves and helped to plant spring flowering bulbs which will brighten up the entrances to the church. We worked alongside people from the local community and the Youth Service who tended graves and made bat boxes which will be installed in the near future. The vicar Bob Evans made us feel very welcome and valued. I am sure that with the start that the project has received it will become a successful and valuable site for wildlife and visitors to the graveyard.

See other photos of the day at the gallery

Fri 24th Oct: Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area

Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area 24 Oct 08 1Brackenhill Urban Landscape Area 24th Oct 08We spent the morning clearing litter and fly tipping from two parts of the site. It was really satisfying to clear the stream of tyres and gas bottles and see it running again. One tyre was so big it took five of us to lift it on the Clean Team's wagon. In the afternoon we concentrated on improving the previous work on the steps from the Havelock Street entrance and removing the Himalayan balsam from the edge of the meadow area. We had six volunteers on the day.

See other photos of the day in the gallery



Fri 17th Oct: Redcliffe Community Orchard

We have supported the local food growing project for the last six years and we will be returning to the site for the annual cutting of the grass, littering picking and pruning of the trees.

We have changed the date of this task so we can link with a Family Learning Week event held at Woodville Centre. We will be running several sessions to introduce people to the site, conservation volunteering, growing local food and wildlife gardening.

Redcliffe Community Orchard Oct 17th 08Redcliffe Community Orchard Oct 17th 08 When we arrived on site we found to our surprise that the grass had been cut. But unfortunately the cutting by brush cutting machines had caused damage to most of the trees. We have carefully cut the grass by hand these past six years. We are now in discussions with the land owners who arranged the work and the local Community Centre who want to use the site for a growing project. Which is the good news. A Horticulturalist is to advise on the damage and remedial treatment. So its fingers crossed that the follow up work will be successful and avoid the canker that has previously infected the trees.

Whilst we were there we linked up with the Family Learners Week that was being held at Woodville Centre. We hosted a group of young people who we showed around the site, tasted apples and talked to them about growing fruit trees. We also tidied up the site and removed litter.

7 volunteers were involved today and our thanks to them.

Sat 11th Oct: APPLE DAY 2008 Bowling Park Community Orchard

This is our annual celebration of our apple and fruit heritage and offers the opportunity for young and old to enjoy the vast array of apple and fruit games, food, growing, juicing etc. A first count of numbers indicated we had about 628 visitors to the orchard, the highest number since our first Apple Day in 2000. The event was a great success and a lot of this is down to the volunteer involvement on the day - starting with erecting the marquees (not an easy task as the trees get in the way (!) and the large marquees have to be 'walked' into postion over the trees, impossible without a large group of people), then helping by staffing the welcome gate, apple juicing, working in the cafe, supervising art activities and games, and the clearing away. We had a group of 13 volunteers from the Global Exchange programme as well as regular BEES volunteers. We would like to thank everyone for their hard work, especially the volunteers who were 'on duty' from 8am until 6pm.

Friday 10th Oct: Bowling Park Community Orchard

Preparing the orchard for Apple DayPreparing the orchard for Apple Day

13 volunteers worked hard to make sure the orchard was looking at its best for Apple Day on Saturday. We weeded the paths and seating areas that have become over grown and added a top dressing of chipped bark. The hedges around our plots and along the path were cut, this task is important as the excess height is shading the orchard. A temporary willow hurdle was comleted to protect the pond, this had been started by CSC young people earlier in the week. Veg beds and wildflower areas were weeded and more clearance around the trees was done with sickles and sycthes. Athough there is always more to do, we felt comfortable with how the orchard will appear to visitors new and old.

Vist the gallery to see more pictures from conseravtion tasks