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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today with Cumulonimbus clouds filling the skies, we continued the summer maintenance on Baildon Moor. Using scythes, sickles and the mighty auto-scythe we began to cut back the Bracken. Similar to our last encounter we split into groups and began to work on different area on the moorland. Thankfully the group remained dry throughout the day and we managed to cut a large area of bracken. The group also saw 7 grouse and two voles during the task.
We will be returning for our final visit on the 5th September to complete this year management.
This was our first visit of the year to Baildon Moor to begin the fun task of cutting bracken to encourage more moorland plant species. When we set off it was a glorious day with the sun blazing, and we arrive ready and able to do battle with the bracken.
Once we hiked to the site we set off to work, making sure that each person was well away from another for safety reasons. 3 members took to scything the bracken whilst the rest used the sickles to clear the smaller patches.
After lunch a massive operation was taken to rake up the cut bracken and pile together. This also allowed us to make bracken parasols which gave some much needed shade as we carried the bracken to each pile.We will be returning later in the summer to continue the work.
It was advisable to wear long sleeves today to protect against the midges but as it turned out it was necessary to wear long sleeves to protect against the weather which was cold and wet. But as usual this did not put off our group from the task in hand. Using the cutting tools of scythes and sickles we cut back the bracken which was then raked off and piled up. As this was our third and final visit of the year we had progressed further along the hillside. We chose areas that had vegetation growing under it as a priority, and the bracken was cut back and raked off. This will give the vegetation a chance to develop which included the red fruits of the Crowberry, along with bilberry and heather.
We will return again next year and continue with the moorland.