Task Reports

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

Lower Fields Primary School

Friday 10th March, 2017
Fenby Avenue BD4

dismantling the old bridgedismantling the old bridgeWe did well today, perhaps it helps to be serenaded by frogs while you work.

An interesting task today. We hadn’t been on a dam building course, but did our best beaver impressions using the willow we had felled earlier in the year. The idea had been to build some dams, scoop out the water between so the bridge work did not interfere with the pond life, and could be done in relative dry. Well, the frogs were in full spawning mode, singing loudly a meter away. And did I really think we could make an effective dam?! What we have achieved is some structures that can be covered with plastic or pond liner when we come to do the work in May. And we had fun!

Meanwhile we sawed, pushed, swung a sledge hammer, unscrewed, levered various nails, staples and screws and generally successfully removed the old bridge. And yes, it was rotten and definitely needed replacing. Some of the stumps remain in place – they may be left as they are doing no harm, or we may try and dig them out, but it will take a lot of effort I think. The old bridge will become a habitat pile once all the nails and screws are removed. 

The new bridge will be made of plastic wood, and we hope to install it in May.  

 

Residential - Hutton Roof Crags

Friday 3rd March, 2017
Cumbria

We have just about lost count, but we think this was the 6th year that we have helped Cumbria Wildlife Trust with woodland management at Hutton Roof Crags. This year Wal had a selected an area of limestone pavement towards the top of the woodland (i.e. a fair walk through the mud to get there). Our job over the weekend was to clear and burn, opening up the pavement and connecting butterfly habitats (the butterflies don’t choose to fly under the canopy of the trees, so clear areas are needed to aid their movement. 

There were quite a few meadow ant hills that will benefit from more sunlight. And we cleared round a juniper bush, uncovering it from some gorse.  A big fire and lots of baked potatoes were essential parts of the weekend. We saw badger prints in the mud.  Apart from a wet end to the day on Friday, the weather was kind – not even a hint of snow! I’m sure Wal has already got ideas for our next visit. 

 

Tree Planting Wyke

Friday 24th February, 2017

We returned to carry on with the hedge that we started last week. We made great progress and there is just a short section to complete. This will become a great green corridor once the trees take hold, adding to the habitats already on site. We watched a kestrel today and plenty of blackbirds and other small birds. 

We were pleased to be joined by a few members of the University’s Islamic Society as part of volunteering week, and general their commitment to do good things. 

 

Tree Planting

Friday 17th February, 2017

Three hundred and thirty five trees planted today, plus their stakes and guards, to form a hedge along a section of path in Wkye recreation area (I don’t actually know the name of the place but it has had a varied history from dam, factories and landfill. Judging from the comments of passers-by it is a well like local greenspace).

We planted mostly hawthorn, but also blackthorn, field maple, hazel and guelder rose. The ground was quite a contrast to our last planting at Silsden – here it was stony and slow going in places, but we summonsed a great effort to get the stretch completed. 

Bolton St James Church

Friday 10th February, 2017
Bolton road, BD2

This week we have continued to work on the path, completing the hard core sub-layer and adding the fine stone to finish off.  A stone area has been created in front of the bench and a stone wall was built at the bottom of the slope at the bank. We did some landscaping, using cut turfs to make path edging, so all in all it is taking shape but some tidying up to do before the opening ceremony in spring. 

Bolton St James Church

Thursday 9th February, 2017
Bolton Road, BD2

Join the Shaping Spaces team today to complete the path at the front and side of the Church as well as final finishes to walls and clearing rubble, soiling profiling etc

Deaprt Culture Fusion 10am

Bolton St James Church

Wednesday 8th February, 2017
Bolton Road, BD2

Join the Shaping Spaces team today and tomorrow to complete the path at the front and side of the Church as well as final finishes to walls and clearing rubble, soiling profiling etc 

Depart Culture Fusion 10am

 

Tree Planting

Friday 3rd February, 2017

We joined the Forest of Bradford team to plant about 1000 trees along a 200m section of farmland hedge. The species mix was mainly hawthorn with a smaller selection of holly, blackthorn, hazel, field maple, spindle and dog rose to add diversity. Most of the trees were grown in root trainers by the Woodland Trust, making planting relatively simple; just the claggy soil to deal with. Each tree had a cane added and a spiral guard to protect from the rabbits.

We were pleasantly surprised by the weather, which contributed to being able to make good progress with the job. We disturbed a toad, which was nestled back in the undergrowth, and a vole surprised Andy as he cleared some grass. 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 27th January, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

27 Jan 2017A reluctant start today, the coldest Friday morning we have had for a while, even feeling colder than in the snow at Lower Fields. The minibus took quite a bit of coaxing before we could set off. 

The trees were covered in frost when we arrived, not ideal for pruning, so we started the morning on more active jobs; turning the compost heaps, digging out misplaced raspberry canes from next to the Egremont Russet and continuing with laying the hedge near the seating area. 

The hedgelaying team (probably the smallest number you can class as a team) did an excellent job and completed the entire stretch.  We will need to take some remedial action on the pallet fence behind which has nails sticking though, but apart from that the work has made a massive improvement - creating habitat whilst keeping the hedge below the 5ft limit. Well done. 

We couldn’t really leave without doing any pruning – we had a new tool to try out. We have bought a lopper attachment for the pole, so we can reach into the branches and to higher branches. The rope pulley system reduces the effort needed and the ability to change the angle of the cutting head was very satisfying!

In addition we took compost to the orchard and some twigs and timber as kindling for our wassail for on Sunday. And people took some soft apples away for garden blackbirds; ideal to attract them for RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. 

 Have a look at the orchard gallery here 

Parkside Centre

Friday 20th January, 2017
Parkside Road BD5

We had a variety of tasks to do today, but the main one was to work on the hedge and cut some of the longer grass, which included grubbing out blackthorn suckers. We only laid the hedge a couple of years ago so it isn’t at the stage it needs doing again yet. However the hedge needs to be kept at a reasonable height to allow light into the garden and to keep the adjacent footpath open and visible. We tackled this with a mixture of coppicing some stems to the ground to allow the regrowth to add to the density of the hedge, winding some of the thinner stems of hazel and dog rose in and amongst the hedge, and laying some of the branches (even though they were only a few cm in diameter). 

At the top end we started to grub out some dense blackthorn that was making the hedge too wide. This was also done throughout the wildflower meadow. 
 
In order to protect the fruit trees when the grass is mown we made a timber surround for one of the trees. The rest will be done at a later date. We took a moment to admire the shape of the apple tree – it was a good example of how to prune to open up the middle of the tree and create the desired goblet shaped tree. 
 
We dug a late crop of potatoes from one of the beds, and shared out some Ashmead’s Kernal from the orchard. We enjoyed the winter sunshine.