Saturday, 31 January 2009

Hemplow Wood beat up

"Beat up" is the term we use for going back to a previously planted site, and bunging in a few extra trees to fill gaps and replace failed trees. Sometimes certain types of tree won't thrive on a particular site, or will have been eaten by sheep. Today we went back to Hemplow Wood, which is either side of a clough next to Butterly Reservoir. We planted 170 trees, Scots Pine, Larch, and Oak. All the stakes we used this morning were ones reclaimed from earlier planting, and even some of the guards were re-used.  It was hard work clambering up and down the steep sides of the clough, but that's not unusual round these parts. In the first picture you can just about see Heidi, Philip and Duncan planting on the  lower slope, above them is Marsden Golf course, with an area we planted about 10 years ago. This site is doing particularly well, though in the winter depths of January, its really only the Sitka Spruce that stand out. This mornings cake was the always popular coconut crunch top. Philip's Fleet Foxes beard is coming along nicely too. 

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Jerusalem Farm Slaithwaite

This morning's planting was organised by Brian Moriarty, who obtained generous funding for it from Northern Gas Networks/Northern Green Networks. Funding of £2000 was obtained to plant shelter belts for local farmers. Shelter belts help protect livestock and crops from the worst of the valley's elements, as well as contributing to tree coverage for the valley. This morning we were mostly planting hawthorn hedging, and Larch for shelter. Northern Gas Networks money will pay for over 2000 trees to be planted on 4 different farms this season. An official presentation was made, of the cheque and a glass trophy for Brians successful entry to their grant scheme. Brian had also organised for local dignitaries to attend, and rounded up lots of past volunteers to swell our numbers for the day. Even with a generous mid morning break for the presentation and bacon sandwiches, we still managed to plant 300 trees this morning.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Meal Hill, Slaithwaite

Another single morning site on the edge of Slaithwaite. A site like this, an unused corner of farmland, is beneficial to plant in two ways; it contributes to the gradual linking up of all the small areas of woodland in the Colne Valley, and the farmer gets a source of woodfuel for the future. The site was on Meal Hill, opposite side of the road from some new build housing, so we were careful not to plant anything likely to tower over them or ruin their view. Nearest the houses we planted Holly, and Guelder Rose, which is basically a shrub. Ash and the Hazel were the next nearest, and these will be coppiced so that they never grow too tall, meaning firewood, and an uninterrupted view for nearby householders. Along an existing tree and fence line of silver birch we added some Lime. And in the far corner of the field we planted Oak. Roughly 280 trees altogether. This morning's cake was a fine Apple sponge. 

Saturday, 10 January 2009

White Hall Farm

A quickie today, a site done and dusted in half a morning. 120 trees planted, without stakes or guards in a well fenced field in front of a farmhouse. Quite an exposed site, so a windbreak of Larch and hardy Rowan, with some Oak and Hazel on the sheltered side. We got brought tea and coffee by the landowner, another plus, though Brian insisted on throwing a tot of whiskey into each cup. Cherry cake to accompany.

We finished there quite quickly and went off to remove some sheep from one of our old sites beside Marsden Golf course. We repaired a bit of wall where we think they got in. Photo is of Guy and Dave.

Then we retired to the Sair Inn to discuss our plans for the next few weeks.

I am giving up on my old Pentax Optio S30 camera. It really hates the cold weather, saying that the batteries are depleted no matter how fully charged they are. Shame, since its a handy little camera. I'll have to find some other junker off ebay, something that can stand a bit of mud and abuse.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Wholestone Moor. Week 2

No photos and no details this week, as I was off with flu. By all accounts it was cold and wet up there, but most of the trees got planted. There are maybe 30 left to do, and we will have to go back on a a day when they are not frozen solid!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Three unwise men. Wholestone Moor week 1

The day after boxing day, and a turnout of 5 not that surprising. Still, we worked hard and planted almost 200 trees. Pretty amazing giving we were all suffering from Christmas after effects. Site was quite wet, and there was a chill wind (though it has since got a helluva lot colder and the trees we left up there will be frozen solid). We mostly planted Alder, Birch and Hawthorn, because this hillside is spill from when the M62 was built, and the soil of poor shale-y quality. Cake was freshy made and especially brandy laden mince pies.