Baildon Moor Task List

Baildon Moor, bracken control

Friday 1st September, 2017

Our final visit for this year. We are getting tantalisingly close to some edges of the blocks have bracken that we have been cutting for all these years. 

Again we were using hand tools and made a good impact with the scythes on the higher slopes and the sickles and slashers in areas where the bracken is less dense. 
There were partridges around, plus grouse clucking, a Broom moth caterpillar (which eats bracken – we will leave plenty for it and it’s friends) and the cowberry was in flower as well as fruiting. 
 

Baildon Moor, bracken control

Friday 11th August, 2017

Another hand-powered effort at controlling areas of bracken growth. We worked along the lower slopes, using the scythes and slashers in the denser stands and sickles were the bracken is sparser amongst the other moorland vegetation. The piles of fronds mark our progress across the hillside and it was good to see where we worked last month that there was only a little regrowth. 

It’s hard work, so it was good to be distracted at times by frogs, a toad, red admiral butterflies and swifts. No sign of the grouse; they have taken cover. 

 

Baildon Moor, bracken control

Friday 21st July, 2017

21 July 2017: Knot Grass Moth caterpillarKnot Grass Moth caterpillarA day of weather today, wet most of the morning but getting better in the afternoon.

We were restricted to hand tools today, but despite the lack of an auto-scythe we made a significant impact on the larger stands of dense bracken. The heaps of cutting marked our progress. 

Our day was brightened by an Elephant Hawkmoth and an attractive caterpillar Knot Grass Moth caterpillar. We had a walk to look at the area we originally worked in and are still pleased with the success in reducing the bracken and allowing the colonisation of heather, bilberry and crowberry. The trees are a notable part of the hillside and we are thinking that it might be a good for the heather to reduce the number slightly. 

 

Baildon Moor – Bracken Cutting

Friday 2nd September, 2016

This was our final visit to Baildon Moor for this year. We cleared a great deal of bracken; cutting, raking and piling it up to expose the ground for the bedstraw and grasses which are the first to colonise. Most of the areas we worked in had been cut previously so there was already a covering of vegetation. We were creating conditions for the heather, bilberry and crowberry to grow. 

It would be nice to spend more time there as progress is good but we are aware there are areas that we cut last year that didn’t get attention this year. This is still a task we very much enjoy and aim to be back in 2017. We are still pondering the role of the trees in the areas we have cleared. 

Pictures from toady can be seen in the gallery.
 

Baildon Moor – Bracken Cutting

Friday 12th August, 2016
we park on top of Baildon Moor

A blustery but dry day on the moor. The Glorious 12th spent as it should be - helping manage the moor to enable a range of plants and animals to thrive. 

 

We had the auto-scythe in action for the morning (until the bolts holding the cutting bar to the motor sheared off…! Luckily it’s now gone for some tlc with the Countryside Service) and cut a good swathe of the denser bracken. There was a lot of raking and pile forming to be done. We used hand tools for further cutting, and will return in three weeks for our final visit. 

Moor photos here

Baildon Moor

Friday 29th July, 2016

Today was our first visit of 2016 to cut the bracken in order to help a diversity of moorland flora thrive. The weather wasn’t great – we got pretty wet. We focused our attentions on the steeper slopes and some of the less dense patches using scythes and sickles. 

Some images are in the gallery 

Baildon Moor

Friday 4th September, 2015
we park at the top car park on the Eldwick road

This was, sadly, our last visit for this year.  We had an excellent session clearing a large area of bracken (using well known size comparison jargon, perhaps not quite the size of Wales, but at least the size of several football pitches for their currently highly ranked national team…). 

The auto-scythe was used ably by Ali and Glenford to cut the areas that are still dense with bracken fronds. It was quite a task to keep up with the machine to rake away the cuttings. The hand tools, scythes, slashers and sickles, are more sensitive in areas that have a greater abundance of heather and bilberry regenerating. 

There were a few skylarks around but today we did not catch sight of the Red Kites. However we were able to watch planes taxiing at the airport, a sign that the expected rain held off and we had a lovely afternoon. 

The most disappointing element of this year’s work has been the lack of an ice cream van on any occasion! We hope normal service will return next year.

 

Baildon Moor

Friday 21st August, 2015
meet at the top car park on the Eldwick road

We had another productive day on the moor clearing areas of bracken. We were using both hand tools, scythes and sickles, and the autoscythe in a denser area. Thanks to Ali’s keen eye spotting a loose were we able to cut a large swathe, the challenge being to rake and clear the arisings. 

We have one more visit this year on 4th September. 

Baildon Moor

Friday 24th July, 2015
meeting at top car park

This was our first visit to the moor this year as we embarked on our fourteenth (!) year for bracken control. As usual with our first visit, we returned to some of the patches we have cut before. We like to concentrate on some of the sparser areas so there is no risk of disturbing nesting birds. Our next visit is on 21st August so all nests will be complete by then.

We were pleased will be able show Dave Key form Natural England and John from the golf course our approach and our achievements.

There were plenty of Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterflies and several Small Heath. We found an Oak Eggar moth caterpillar and a large frog. The grouse, oyster catchers and meadow pipits were our audio backdrop, but I don’t recall seeing or hearing swifts and swallows which is unusual.

Baildon Moor Bracken Cutting

Friday 5th September, 2014
Baildon Moor

This was our final cut of the year and we managed to cover a good area with both the auto scythe and the hand tools. We cut the larger bracken at the top of the hill, and worked down the slope to connect the patches of heather and bilberry to the open area at the bottom.

There were plenty of small heath butterflies about, as well as bumblebees, grouse and swifts.

10 volunteers