Task Reports

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

Rodley Nature Reserve

Friday 2nd December, 2016
accessed from Rodley Town Street, over the canal.

We always enjoy our visits to Rodley Nature Reserve and this was no exception. 

We were coppicing a coupe near the entrance to the reserve; all the product was going to be used to help restore the dead hedging that had been washed away in last winter’s floods. The age of the trees varied from 2 to 6 or 7 years so we needed the saws as well as the loppers. 

By the time we finished we had had created five or six large piles ready for the Rodley team to use around the reserve. 

Having warned everyone to wrap up, especially having seen the frost at the beginning of the week, we commented more than once how mild it was. We even took our coats off! 

 
See what’s going on at Rodley on their website www.rodleynaturereserve.org
 

Sydenham Place, Undercliffe

Friday 25th November, 2016
Back Sydenham Place

Today we were extending the path further through the woods. To start with this required removal of brash from a recently felled tree (one that was growing over the wall and back street). Smaller twigs were chopped for kindling and some of medium sized logs were chopped for fire wood. Some remained as woodland habitat for invertebrates and fungi. 

The larger logs were used to make low benches so people can sit and enjoy the trees and garden. We were only successful in completing one; the other logs wouldn’t yield to the drill so were left with Dusty to complete. 

 

Bolton St James

Friday 18th November, 2016
Bolton Road BD2

Quagmire.

Not much else to say.  I think water beds went out of fashion a few decades ago, but we might start a trend in water paths...

Thank you to everyone who persevered in challenging conditions. 

 

Bolton St James Church

Friday 11th November, 2016
Bolton Road, BD2

We arrived to find a great deal of mud. Wet mud. Unworkable mud. But luckily for us the main gate has now been installed so we could choose to avoid the muddy pool and enter the site from the front. 

It did mean that our work was concentrated in a narrow space and it limited the area we could work in.  However, after a faltering start, we made good progress and installed the path edging, laid some weed-suppressant fabric and spread the stone that was already onsite. More has been ordered for us to barrow into place next week. 

There is still plenty to do on site; there is a lot of stone and rubble to sort out, and some further edging needed at the back, but we hope to make a big impact on this next week. 

 

Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Friday 4th November, 2016
off Kings Road, BD2

End of the dayEnd of the dayThe last of our pond and meadow sessions for this year. We do not undertake regular maintenance at Boar’s Well anymore, and it was a lovely autumn day to return. 

The pond was much clearer than in most years. Perhaps this was because we did a thorough job last year, or perhaps the shade from the overhanging branches is limiting the reed growth.  We cleared the reeds to form a passage through the water and also cut back some of the overhanging branches. 

The meadow is also suffering from tree growth. The two willows on the edge of the meadow are now of substantial size, casting shade on the meadow. We cut back some of the lower branches but this will only have limited effect. Regardless, we cut back the entire meadow area with scythes and raked off the arisings. Terry made a good job of reclaiming the edges from encroaching bramble. 

The mower was used to cut some of the main path, and some monster brambles, that were on the way to forming a thicket across the path, were cut.

It was nice to talk to a couple of regular walkers who told us that Sparrowhawks have nested at Boar’s Well this year and they also see Tawny owls and Woodpeckers as well as Long-tailed Tits and other small birds. And just for the record – not a midge in sight!

 

BEES UNR

Friday 28th October, 2016
Laisteridge Lane, BD5

Today’s tasks were to clear some of the vegetation from the ponds and the pathways and verges. 

We want to make sure some open water is maintained in the pond to suit some of the dragonfly species and other aquatic life. Waders and long gloves kept us (mostly) dry. We concentrate on the Bogbean as this is dominating both ponds and forms a dense mat of roots, hard to remove. We replaced as much of the Marsh Cinquefoil as we spotted. This lovely plant has colonised well which we are pleased about. 

The land based team did a great job in cutting back comfrey, thistle, bindweed and grasses from the entrance section, around the ponds and into the woodland. 

There is a theme emerging this autumn. The hungry midges. This time we had the Skin so Soft to hand, but couldn’t get it out of the bottle! The midges are definitely not the worst thing. There is continued drug use on the site. We avoided the area beyond the medlar tree, where a significant number of needles were identified. The clearance is going to take a more focused approach. Luckily we are receiving help form the police and the cleansing department so we hope that the problem will be resolved by next spring. 

 

Lower Fields Primary School

Friday 21st October, 2016
Fenby Ave, Tyersal, BD4 8RG

It had pleasant weather for our meadow and pond tasks. We weren’t even plagued by midges this week.  The meadow areas were cut, using the auto-scythe (until it had a mechanical – obviously not impressed by its shiny new cover) and hand scythes. We raked away the arisings in order that the fertility doesn’t build up and benefit the grasses rather the flower species. We leave some of the edges long as a refuge for the invertebrates, and we were glad not to cut some areas too short as the young frogs were hiding in it. 

Areas of the pond were cleared to maintain some open water for the aquatic invertebrates and to make it possible for the pupils to pond-dip once a new bridge is in place. 

 

APPLE DAY at the Orchard

Sunday 16th October, 2016

Event 12-4pm.

Preparation starts 8.30am, clear up ends about 5.30pm.

Please let us know if you plan to volunteer so we can discuss times and transport.

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 14th October, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

We got wet today, but we preserved to make sure the Orchard was ready for Apple Day on Sunday. We continued with the autumn task of cutting the long grass and weeding under the trees. We did a little bit of harvesting, but left some to do with visitors on Sunday. The path had a bit more weeding and bark spread on it. Paulina did a great job of marking the two young trees with a decorative willow structure.

Brackenhill Park

Friday 7th October, 2016
Westcroft Road, BD7

Not quite the weather you would hope for for hay making! Drizzle and rain all day, and warm – the second week running the midges have been irritating (very irritating), so hooray for Sue has bought us some Skin So Soft which is a great repellent. 

We really just wanted to concentrate on cutting and raking the wildflower grassland today. But inevitably we had to clear some litter first – including mattresses, baskets and the inevitable shopping trolley. We had to leave another trolley in the pond as we had not gone equipped, and there was a burnt out scooter that was just too heavy for us to get it up the hill to where the Clean Team collected our hoard. 

We used the auto-scythe and hand scythes to cut the grass and then raked the cuttings to mulch the trees. There is plenty of knapweed, meadow sweet and meadow cranesbill and meadow vetchling in the grassland, and this management work will help preserve suitable conditions for these wildflowers to continue to thrive.