Saturday, 28 March 2009

Holme Bank Wood, and Well House

This morning we planted 100 Holly above Holme Bank Wood, overlooking Butterly Reservoir. It was a very steep and somewhat rocky slope, there was lots of moaning about rocks and no topsoil, but we got it done quite quick. We were quite high up, with a lovely view, but it was a bit unseasonally chilly. The cake was a very acceptable pecan and apricot fruit cake. Main photo shows Brian holding forth on some topic or other, and Dan listening raptly. Second photo is of Philip and Peter looking at the view, you can see our cars parked up on the hill in the background. After we'd had our tea and cake we stopped by at Well House on the way back, and planted 80-100 more trees and popped on a couple of hundred of the canes and spiral guards that Guy sourced.  A busy morning, we didn't finish til 1pm. 

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Wills O' Nats

Today was another day of shelter belt planting organised by Brian, who also raised the funding for this. We were on Meltham Cop, behind the Wills O' Nats pub. The morning began with a presentation of flowers to Ann Norman, who bakes us a cake every week. Once that was done we trooped up to the top of the hill, where Brian demonstrated the correct way to plant trees; we did have quite a few extra helpers this morning, so it time well spent. We were planting a shelter belt of closely spaced Hawthorn and Blackthorn, 2 plants per metre, slightly staggered. The theory is that these will grow into a substantial hedge, and in time provide shelter which enables the farmer to leave his livestock out on the field for longer each year. This will reduce his costs for winter feed. 

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Tidying up Green Owlers

For the sake of completeness I should mention that Sarah, Trevor and I went back to Green Owlers this morning and planted the remaining 30 Hawthorn, 30 Willow, and 20 Holly. We also went round the site putting the last few guards and stakes on trees which had been forgotten. It was a beautiful morning, and we listened to the Curlews on the moors while we worked. Brian had also been up there earlier this week tidying up. Finished! Trevor and Brian will be at Wholestone Moor this afternoon planting the last few there. Saturday, on to the next and last site at Will O' Nats!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Green Owlers week 2

See the many many trees planted, and the tired volunteers packing up

Amazingly, we got most of this site finished today. Over 1000 trees planted in two weekends, two Saturdays and a Sunday. My estimate is that we have 45 Hawthorn, and 30 Holly left from the original order, and maybe some extra Willow to bung in if we feel so inclined. We also came up short on stakes and guards too, so there are maybe 100 guards needed in total, and a similar number of stakes. I'll probably try to get these done one day this week, maybe with Trevors help. So, it was hard work, and we are all  probably quite tired, and the project management skills went a bit awry. But overall we can be quite proud that we got this done in so short a space of time. Nobody pays us to do this you know, we must be mad. Mind, we did have a very nice chocolate cake, made with Green and Blacks, maybe they'd like to sponsor us?

More tired volunteers, and another view of all our labours.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Green Owlers and Lindley School Owls

Mrs Shires, plus an Owl and parent, my mother in red hat lurking in the background

Every year we have a sunday when we are visited by the Lindley Owls. Mrs Shires organised a fantastic turnout and we got a huge amount of planting done, before the rain and snow and sleet set in. Home made biscuits were distributed, and the landowners made us a tea and coffee. A great morning was had, it was only the last half hour when it got a bit inhospitable.

Panorama of the site and Owls at work

Once again, a huge thankyou to Mrs Shires and colleagues for organising this, it gave us a big boost on this site and we got hundreds of trees planted.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Green Owlers. Dig, dig.... dig!

Duncan displays his supervisory skills

Our first week at a new site at the head of the Colne Valley. We have just over 1000 trees to plant in this field. The site is adjacent to previous planting from some years ago, so it all contributes to the gradual forestation! Though you can see by the landscape around, we have a fair way to go before its all woodland again. This morning we concentrated on digging holes, as we have the Lindley school Owls group coming out with us to plant tomorrow, and so we were preparing the ground for them. Its hard work digging all morning, so we needed our homemade Eccles cakes.

                                                                   Cath digs for victory                                                                                                    

See the barren moorland needing trees!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Well House Farm. Week 2. Sheep attack! And Arborial art.


Geoff was distraught when Philip told him about the Sheep attack.

They really are the bane of our lives, sheep. They had got onto this site after our first days planting, and nibbled a lot of the trees, some were completely eaten. We think that the Hawthorn (which was the bulk of the planting) will survive, and the field has now been made 100% secure. 

Despite this setback we carried on and planted another 300 trees.

We bulked out the Hawthorn hedge, it will be a thorny thicket worthy of Sleeping Beauty's castle.

On the other side of the field we planted Lime, Whitebeam, Rowan, Bird Cherry, and Wild Pear. The varieties have been carefully laid out, so that the sizes of tree should gradually rise, from the edge of the open meadow area, up to meet the existing tall trees on neighbouring land. We are arborial artists us.

Top photo is actually of Geoff eating carrot cake. There is also a before and after photo of Hawthorn, nibbled in ground, and unnibbled waiting to be planted.  Last photo is of  some of those present, left to right, James, Oliver, Geoff, Dave, Duncan and Cath.