Task Reports

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

St Anthony’s Primary School,

Friday 5th May, 2017

This is the first time we have done practical work in the school’s wildlife area for many years. Our relationship first started with the school when Nick led wildlife education sessions in the grounds about 11 years ago (I wouldn’t have believed it was so long ago but we had a look though the photo album that documented the development of the wildlife area). 

The main task today was to barrow and spread a large pile of bark across the playground and onto the pathways and steps (I heard mention of ‘functional fitness’!) Firstly we had weed out some of the grass, dandelions and thistles that had become established. We also dug out some brambles that were encroaching onto the path and meadow areas, The meadows are dominated by grass species so we did a late spring cut to remove some of the biomass, and hope to implement a new regime of cutting at the ned of the summer. 

In the sun it was gloriously warm today and we saw quite a few butterflies (speckled wood, peacock, orange tip, white spp.) and the birds around us included chiff chaff, willow warbler and a jay. 


Culture Fusion garden and workshop

Friday 28th April, 2017
125 Thornton Road

Our teacher: Alison teaching us the principlesOur teacher: Alison teaching us the principlesToday was an opportunity to get the undercroft organised and the planting beds on the first floor ready for this season’s vegetables. An old metal shelf was re assembled, creating surfaces for the pots in the sunlight for part of the day. They will probably need to be tied to fence to hold them up, but they will be useful and I’m glad they escaped a recent trip to the tip. Old seed trays were emptied and the planters were weeded and filled with new compost. 

Lino StudentLino Student

The rest of the day was spent in the art workshop. Alison very kindly provided excellent tuition, inspiration and encouragement to get everyone involved in a lino printing moth masterclass. We are creating images of moths found in our locality, to send to an art exhibition on America. You will be able to see the results of our work in the office area in a few weeks.


Bolton St James Church

Friday 21st April, 2017
Bolton Road, BD2

Our final day at Bolton St James tidying up the stones uncovered in the construction of the garden, (to be used later by the church for making a rock garden). We have tried to reuse what we have found on site, throughout the project, and a drystone pathway up to the compost bin was today’s artistic creation, finishing off the area around the raised beds nicely.

The garden is looking good with plants the church have planted and local groups are now ready to continue with the more manageable tasks of creating the garden now the hard surfacing and construction is completed.

Our volunteer team had a thorough workout, heroically moving the remaining hardcore from site and on to a new project.



Friday 14th April, 2017

Good Friday. 


Tree Planting with Forest of Bradford, near Skipton (tbc)

Friday 7th April, 2017

Our final day of tree planting this season and we were able to identify some of the trees by their leaves rather than their buds. They have been grown in root trainers so their roots are well protected and they are well sheltered by the deer proof guards that we fitted. 

The planting covered a small embankment at the bottom of a field and species included birch, oak, rowan, willow, hazel, hawthorn and field maple. Once established they will provide a great habitat for the birds. There was a willow warbler singing somewhere near by – the first I had heard this year. 

As we set off home we took a little detour (easier than turning round in the road!) into the quarry we were adjacent to. Some great geology on show and lots of primroses on the slopes in the wood.  


Tree Planting with Forest of Bradford, Scarcroft, Leeds

Friday 31st March, 2017

We don’t often venture into Leeds apart from our regular visits to Rodley Nature Reserve, but today we were helping Forest of Bradford with a hedge planting scheme at Wood Farm, Scarcroft. We were planting hawthorn, hazel, spindle and cherry (I think). 

Once established they will provide a significant area of great wildlife habitat. The hedges on the farm that had been planted about 10 years ago were growing strongly and bursting with blossom, hopefully ours follow suit.

Nice to see buzzards overhead and the lapwings in the fields. 


Parkside Centre

Friday 24th March, 2017
Parkside Road, BD5

Beautiful sunshine, the weather couldn’t have been more different from last week. The blackbirds, robins and sparrows, making use of the hedgerow, made us feel that laying the hedge had been well worth the effort.

Today we cut the meadow and the grass around the garden. We completed edging around the apple trees to protect them in future, especially from strimming. We edged the remaining growing bed, fixed a section of fencing to try to discourage fly-tipping and planted a few trees in the gap to fill out the hedge. We weeded the garden area, ready for the next growing season.

Draughton Heights, tree planting

Friday 17th March, 2017

Draughton Heights, March 17th 2017We were certainly in and amongst the elements today.  The wind was wild, the mud was muddy. But, the rain wasn’t as persistent as the forecast suggested.

We planted about 350 trees, hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel and field maple, to form part of the hedge that is stretching along the old track above Draughton and leading to Skipton. Ian assured us that Back Plantation, on the other side of the track, was full of birds – redpoll, siskin etc, but we will have to return when we are less busy to have a proper look. There was lots of frog spawn in the ditch next to our planting, but today we were sung to by the curlews and a lone sky lark. Signs of spring even if the weather was wintery. 

Not many photos today – too wet and windy, and just too much to do!

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

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.