Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boars Well pond clearance in Oct 2005Boars Well pond clearance in Oct 2005Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve sits on the hillside above Canal Road. It is council land and the responsibility of the Countryside and Rights of Way team. . Our key tasks involve keeping the pathways accessible. BEES have been involved in the management of the Reserve for the past 8 years, controlling the spread of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, management of the wildflower meadow and the pond.

The Reserve is on a south facing slope and is a popular site for butterflies and birds. Kestrels nest on or near the site each year and can often be seen hunting over the hillside.


53.807309, -1.752372

Conservation Work

Fri 7th Nov 08: Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Boar's Well 07 Nov 08 2Coppicing cornus at Boar's Well  Today we worked with 5 volunteers and have been clearing an area of footpath that has become overgrown, on one side by a large willow tree that has fallen over, and on the other side by a dogwood shrub. The willow was cut back so that when it grows back it will grow straight. The dogwood was coppiced so that when it grows back the new growth will give impressive colours to visitors of the site. As the task was large we have not completed the work and we continue this task next week along with clearing encroaching vegetation on other parts of the site.

To see more images of the day visit the gallery page and in particular look out for Tschillis with a South African home made rake!

Friday 1st May Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Boar's Well 1st May 2009 1Boar's Well 1st May 2009

 After carrying out a site visit during the week we found that the meadow area contained a number flower species like Kidney vetch that would not of benefitted from a cut of the grass and this would of affected the butterflies that feed on them. However there was plenty to do on the site as we found out. First we started by clearing the pathways in our attempt to maintain them at their original width, this involved the unpleasant task of clearing the dog mess and general litter picking. We placed posters at the entrances to request that dog walkers clear up their dog's mess and we spoke to as many dog walkers as possible. Spink's Well was given a clean up and the photo shows this historic feature. We then turned our attention to the central steps and carried out weeding and topping them up with crush and run. Our final task was cutting of Japanese knotweed near the Coleman Street entrance which was bigger than this time last year as we remember, which gives a clue as to how we spend our future visits.

Today we had 6 volunteers.  

See more photos of the day in the gallery.


Friday 14th August: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Friday 14 August 2009: Mowing the path edgesMowing the path edges

 Today there was a number of people who were new to the site, so we gave a general introduction to the site and walked part of it pointing out the main features. Then we tackled more of the invasive plant species and concentrated on keeping the walkways open. The main path egdes was mowed, overhanging branches cleared, the central entrance way was tidied up and more work was carried out on the Bolton Road steps.

We were joined by 12 volunteers.

Click here for more photos of the day.

Friday 22nd January: Boar's Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, Bradford, BD2.

Thinning treesThinning treesWe made our first visit of the year to the the urban wildlife reserve. This gave us the opportunity to carry out litter picking, clearing the main entrance way, the steps at the Bolton Road entrance and then some thinning of the tress in the woodland. This will provide better access for people using the site and allow the trees in the woodland to grow and develop into stronger and healthier trees. As can be seen from the pictures the rain was persistant throughout most of the day.

Today we worked with 13 volunteers.

Click here for more pictures of the day.  

Friday 13th August: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Clearing the pathClearing the pathWe continued with our programme of work at the site and we welcomed a group from the Halifax bank. After an initial brief tour of the site we split into different groups. One group had the task of clearing the invasive species, mainly tackling the Himalayan Balsam.  Another group worked on the main path, mowing the edge and clearing the overhanging branches; this opens up the pathway and makes the site more welcoming to members of the public. Similarly the other group worked on clearing the pathway and steps to Bolton Road. This path is now showing real benefits from the work that we have put in over recent months. There was a good spirit amongst our work party who appeared to enjoy working in natural surroundings for the day.  

Today we worked with 14 volunteers




Friday 10th June 2011: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2

finding Japanese Knotweed in the section near Coleman Streetfinding Japanese Knotweed in the section near Coleman StreetThis was our first visit of the year and 19 volunteers were involved in access and biodiversity management. 

We cut and cleared overhanging branches along the main path and the footpath connecting Bolton Road and King's Road. We also continued our programme of invasive species control - cutting and pulling Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed in order to give the diversy range of native species a better chance to thrive. The areas of Japanese knotweed continue to be challenging to work in - the terrain is steep and uneven and the nettles are abundant. The remaining knotweed is on the whole fairly feeble but is still clinging on.

However, we were certainly taken aback by the quantity of balsam - a massive reduction in the numbers from last year. Very encouraging. We wondered whether the severe weather during the winter could have affected the seed bank (although the plant is from the himalayas) - I have had a quick internet search to see if other sites have found a similar reduction this year but there are not a lot of reports. We will be able to compare with other sites in Bradford that we are familiar with but at this stage I think it looks like the persistence and thorough work that we have undertaken in recent years should be congratulated.

The yellow rattle that was sown two years ago in the meadow area is doing very well indeed.

Friday 16th Sept 2011: Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, King’s Road, Bradford, BD2

clearing the nettles and bindweedclearing the nettles and bindweedToday we worked with 10 volunteers to start the autumn management tasks. The last cut of the Japanese Knotweed at the three sites towards Coleman Street were completed. We pulled some Himalayan Balsam - it is disappointing how much has come into flower since our early season excitement about getting on top of it. The plants that were removed had some seed pods but we felt that if they ripened once pulled at least we limited the area over which they would spread.

We also made a start on meadow cutting, concentrating on the area outside the site on King's Road which was cut with scythes and raked to ensure the fertility does not build up which will benefit the grasses at the expense of the wildflowers. The main meadow will be tackled in October. We cut a significant pathway between Spink Well and the pylon to remove nettles and bindweed, as well as clearing around the well head.  Although valuable plants for wildlife these species are dominating others and reducing the number of flowers along the pathway. There are plenty more nettles and bindweed on the banking.

Two years ago we seeded some yellow rattle and the initial clumps are establishing well. To aid the spread of the plant we collected seed from the dry pods and introduced these into new areas where we had scraped away the vegetation.

In addition we cut along the entire path, removed overhanging branches and collected a significant amount of litter.

We were kept company today by a noisy gang of jays and few speckled wood butterflies.

Have you ever seen common blue butterflies at Boar's Well? If you have we would like to hear from you.

Fri 1st June 2012: Boars Well, Kings Road, Bradford, BD1. Also Global Food Friday, Centenary Square

The group were at Boar’s Well today. We started out programme of removing the Japanese Knotweed. There remains a persistent number of the plants in several locations these were cut. After this we made a start on the Himalayan Balsam, this was pulled up. The pathways were cut back using the mower and the overhanging branches trimmed back. The overgrown area near the Spinks Well was cleared to create more open space. There was of course litter to collect along way. By the end of the day the site was looking more attractive for visitors and the habitats will also benefit.

We also had a stall at the Global Food event. This was well attended event by members of the public. It was an opportunity to gauge interest in a future community apple café idea, plus promote Apple Day 2012 and other BEES projects and try some delicious cakes with ingredients locally grown.

Today we worked with 13 volunteers.  

Click here to see other photos of the day.

Friday 21st September 2012: Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve

Today we undertook the early autumn tasks of pond and meadow management.

Once a year we reduce the quantity of reed sweet grass from the Boar's Well pond to ensure there is open water. We also managed to make a start on cutting back some of the vegetation, mainly bramble and rosebay willowherb, that is covering the banking and 'waterfall'.

The meadow areas - in the centre of the site, the King's Road entrance and at the 'picnic area' - were all cut and raked off. This reduces the build-up of fertility which benefits the wildflowers in the meadows. Bramble which was encroaching on the meadow areas was cut back.

As well as these two tasks, the main path was cleared of overhanging branches, and a final cut of Japanese knotweed was undertaken (I'd like to think for the last time, but it requires someone to take on chemical injection control to enable us to stop cutting. These discussions need to be pursued through the winter with the Council).

The amount of Himalayan balsam was a bit depressing, but the large flocks of long tailed tits were a delight.

Today we worked with 12 volunteers.

Friday 21st June 2013; Boars Well Urban Wildlife Reserve, Kings Road, BD2

Today we were joined by a group employed by the Environment Agency. This gave us a good number on site and we were able to get a lot of maintenance jobs carried out round the site. As usual at this time of year the focus was on pulling the Himalayan balsam and a team were able to cover a large part of the site in some of the more inaccessible areas. The path ways were also cut back and the main one mown, this involved a good deal of cutting back vegetation, some of which required a saw, but mostly this could be done with loppers, shears and the mower. Good attention was given to the main entrance ways and this improves the profile of the site. Fly tipping and litter was removed, we were able to shift a couple of easy chairs, tyres and other rubble which was collected by the council’s clean team. In addition we were able to cut back and open up the area around Spinks well and sort out flooding to the pathway near Boars well. We will be back again in a few weeks but today’s attention made a real difference and a big thank you to the folk of the EA.

Today we worked with 22 volunteers.

Click here for other photos of the day.