Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy new year! - from Burnt Plats

Hard to tell in the gloom, but I think that is me, Andrew, Philip, Ann and Brian.

This was the second week at Burnt Plats, the Senior Section came here while we were at Butterley two weeks ago. Then they planted around 100 Hawthorn. Today we added another 120 or so trees, most Blackthorn, some Hawthorn. It was a grey and wet morning, Ben's atmospheric photo actually makes it look nicer than it felt. We were, myself, Ann, Ben, Diane, Brian, Peter, Trevor, Philip, Andrew and Neil. Cake was Apricot sponge. Our thanks to Terry, our hostess, who invited us to this field, provided the trees, and made a generous donation.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Holidays from the Colne Valley Tree Society

Assembled motley crew, scoffing sausage rolls and whisky. Some previous planting in foreground.

It may have been Christmas eve, but it was still a Saturday morning, so out we went into the wind and rain. It did clear up though and we had a lovely morning planting 300+ trees at Neil and Sarah's field in Marsden. We were: myself, Ann, Philip, Ali, Andrew, Ben, Geoff, Dave, Neil, Julia and Stephen, plus our hosts Neil and Sarah, plus a very special guest French Canadian contingent, Eduard and Maxime plus their mum and Dad. We had Whisky, veggie sausage rolls and flapjack at break time. And then some beer in the Riverhead afterwards. And all made it home in time to fulfil our other Christmas eve responsibilities. Result.

See, it did brighten up a bit. Marsden in background.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

To the land of ice and snow - Butterley

Myself, Cath, Stephen and Heidi having cake.

This morning we were above Butterley Reservoir, planting 200 trees given to us by the Woodland Trust, and using stakes and guards bought with a donation from the Cuckoo's Nest shop in Marsden. We were: myself, Andrew, Stephen, Cath, Heidi, Dave and Geoff. It started out quite nice, but then snow hail and sleet set in. Towards the end the sun came out again. We got almost all the trees planted though, and I'll pop back and finish the last few one Sunday morning. Nice fruit cake at break. The planting at Butterley is a long term project, which started with Hemplow Wood over 10 years ago. Each year we go back and add a little bit more to Butterley clough - though the biggest challenge there is the long and steep walk from the nearest road. The National Trust use helicopters for that sort of thing you know, jessies.Cath putting a brave face on. Behind the wall you can see previous years planting.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Scammonden encore une fois

Once again to Scammonden, and this morning we planted 45 Lime, 30 Birch, 105 Oak, 15 Ash, and 105 Rowan. Grant total 300 trees, I think.

Yes, one might say that we were involved in a Baudrilliardian simulacrum of the manual labour that our recent relatives would have considered unpleasant toil - but a morning spent working in the hail and sleet of a frosty morning on a bare hillside, followed by a pint or three of beer in a pub with a roaring fire felt quite real to me, and actually pretty damn good. It beat wandering around (not very) diverse modern retail outlets doing Christmas shopping anyway. And the juke box selection in the Sair was good too, Lou Reed, The Who, Fern Kinney.

We were: myself, Ann, Philip, Ramsay, Brian, Peter, Trevor, Philip, Geoff, Ben, Andrew and Dave.

Cake was chocolate, with, apparently, a quarter pint of whisky in it.

We will take a break from Scammonden now for a couple of weeks. Next week will be Butterley and Burt Platts (for the Senior Section), Christmas Eve, Marsden.

30 Birch to be returned to Scammonden at some point. Lots of stakes and guards left on site.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Even Wintery-er at Butterley

Made several solo trips up to Butterley Clough to check out where to plant this season. Took some stakes up, and retrieved some left over from last year. So there are already 150 deer stakes and 150 deer guards on site, plus 50 rabbit guards and stakes. Of last years planting the Sitka Spruce and Rowan are doing well. Oak seemingly less so. This years planting mix will be a mixture of Rowan, Oak, Birch, Hawthorn and Blackthorn, a standard mix supplied to us by the Woodland Trust. We are planning to do this work on the morning of 17th December.

Older planting is doing ok. Sitka Spruce and Scots Pine grow well. Birch grow well, but then suffer from die back. Rowan grow well. Oak grow, but slowly. Hawthorn grow, but even more slowly. Older planting using only rabbit guards has been a bit hit or miss, given sheep incursion and grazing.

And it rained or hailed every time I went up. Photo is from my second trip .

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Getting a bit more wintery up at Scammonden

Philip and Ramsay hard at work.

Quite a damp and chilly morning up at Scammonden. But we did plant 170 Ash, 15 Lime and 55 Hawthorn. With universally acclaimed home made Eccles cakes at break. We were: myself, Ann, Philip, Geoff, Andrew, Ben, Cath, Stephen , Dave, Ramsay, Brian and Trevor.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Scammonden - a day of three teams

Very nice photo of Julia and Neil, courtesy of Geoff

Today we were at Scammonden again. We ended up working as three teams. There was the Senior section, comprising myself, Brian, Peter, Trevor and Diane - we planted Crab Apple and Hawthorn below the path. Duncan and the Outlane Scouts, who planted Crab Apple above the path. And the Young 'uns, Geoff, Andrew, Stephen, Cath, Ben, Julia and Neil, who planted Ash and Lime on the hillside. In all I think we planted 95 Hawthorn, 30 Crab Apple, 90 Lime and 65 Ash. A grand total of 280, which was pretty good going considering we were missing Philip (self-inflicted ailment), Guy (feeling non-specifically wan) and Dave, who worked at the Nursery.

The Senior section at work, Duncan and Outlane Scouts further up the hill.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Helping Honley High School

Today I went to Magdale Fields, Honley, to act as "technical assistance" for a group of Honley High School students and their teachers, who had received a pack of trees from the Woodland Trust. We planted 20 trees on the edge of an open grassy area, under the supervision of a representative of the Honley Village Community Trust.

Friday, 18 November 2011

We were on BBC Look North

Last night we were the subject of a report on Look North. They filmed it a couple of weeks ago, when we went out on a Monday and planted 120 trees at Scammonden. We don't normally plant on weekdays, but this was to suit Look North. Myself and Guy were interviewed, and the report was generally good, though it might have been nice if they had mentioned the CVTS by name.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scammonden Week 1

Making our way back to the cars afterwards.

First real day of planting at Scammonden reservoir for this season. We were: myself, Philip, Ben, Andrew, Stephen, Dave, Geoff, Cath, Peter, Ramsay, Brian, Trevor, and Peter. We were also joined by Duncan and Outlane Scouts. Guy was planting on another part of the hillside with Longwood Scouts. We planted about 300 trees, Sessile Oak, Rowan, and 60 Birch, which wasn't bad going for a first day on site, with all the associated moving gear around and getting the planting plant straight. Cake was jam sponge.

Tea and cake time.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Scape School and the Woodshed

Ramsay, Brian, unknown, and Trevor (Trevor looks offside to me)

A day of two halves. Philip, Brian, Duncan, Ramsay and Trevor went to Scape School thinning some old planting. This was done at the request of Scapegoat Hill Junior and Infant School, where we had helped them plant a shelter belt of trees about 10 years ago.

Myself, Dave, Andrew and Ben put the roof on the new timber drying shed. Fruit cake was divvied up before setting off, so everyone got some. Oh, and I put another 128 Common Alder in root trainer trays, for planting in 2 years time?

Ben and Andrew, Dave behind shed working.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

A grand design

Just like something off of Channel 4, Dave's grand design for a timber drying shed has come to (almost fruition). With the help of Philip, Andrew, Dan, Ben, Stephen and a local joiner they got the bulk of the structure done this Saturday.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Throstle Green Farm, again.

Once more up to Throstle Green Farm. Took down the last of the Alder obscuring the householders view. Made a nice pile of firewood to collect later. Myself, Ben, Philip and Andrew worked quite hard, but not too hard. Delicious date slice for break. We were all very taken with our new Brush hook tool, and took turns to use it, carefully.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Growing trees from seed

Today put 288 more Rowan into some root trainer trays we had lying around. At a grand cost of £6.98 for the compost. That works out at 2.5p per tree. Compared to buying them for 39p. Should be ready to plant in Winter 2013/14.

We also have 144 Rowan that were planted last year, and will be ready for 2012/13.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Chainsaws a go go!



Back to Throstle Green farm this week, and at one stage we had three chainsaws on the go. Proper forestry sorts us. Present were Ben, Dan, Philip, Geoff, Dave, me, Guy, Mandy, and for the second half, Andy. It was outrageously hot, too hot for this kind of work really. And Co-op doughnuts in place of home made cake. But we can't complain. Not after some refreshing shandys in the pub afterwards.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Throstle Green Farm

Before all the work, a view of Dave.

After all the work, a view of Slaithwaite viaduct.

More work at Throstle Green Farm this week, though we had Philip and his chainsaw to speed things along. Otherwise we were myself, Ben, Dan, Dave, Neil, Stephen, Guy and Mandy. We worked hard all morning cutting down Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Willow and Hazel which had begun to obscure the landowners view. And we got a bit of firewood out of it too. Cake was Apple Turnovers. Very nice. Back to the Sair afterwards for beer, though we are still waiting for them to start brewing their own again.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Throstle Green Farm

Formatively pruned, creating a lovely promenade through the Ash and Oak trees.

A good green gym workout this morning, with an hours formative pruning and then another hour cutting back some blackthorn and hazel.

The site was planted around 10 years ago and the owner has asked us to cut back some of the trees planted in front of the houses - to preserve the view of the valley. It will take a couple of days in October with chainsaws to do it properly, but myself, Ann, Ben and Dave made a tentative start with some handsaws. For the trees at the sides of the houses some serious pruning was needed. Homemade oat biscuits at break.

Ben hard at work destroying Blackthorn.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Summer survey walk

Today's mission was to boldly go where we had gone before, and take a look to see what difference we had made. We took a walking tour of sites planted in the last few years up the western end of the Colne Valley. Myself, Dan, Ben, Geoff, Neil, Julia and Heidi - and we were joined latterly by Dave and Guy. Cake was a lovely blackcurrant jam slice. And we ended at the Riverhead Pub in Marsden.

First stop was Glen View, Marsden, where we peered over the wall to admire 2 years growth of the 1000 odd trees planted in those fields.

Second stop was Huck Hill, Standedge. Planting took place across several winters here, and the early stuff overlooking the Tunnel End is doing well. Stuff further back and higher up is growing more slowly, but growing.

Then further west to the area around Green Owlers. Spanswicks field is doing rather better than we expected, with strong growth down the damp bottom, slower growth on the dryer upward slopes.

On up round the path to what was Andrassi's, which again is growing well. We had feared goats or pigs had been put in there.

Last, and sadly least, we walked down through Green Owlers Clough. The top end is looking quite good, but there have been lots of Birch die off lower down, and it looks a bit threadbare.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Helme and Hey Laithe

Trees we planted 7 years ago at Hey Laithe.

Quite a good turnout for a Summer Saturday, Guy, Philip, Andrew, Stephen, Geoff and Dan. I was there too, but was on light duties due to hacking cough, and stayed at the nursery to potter about. The chaps went up to Helme, Meltham, for bracken bashing, and Guy did some White Rose Forest networking with the landowner. Then all back down to Hey Laithe to retrieve another 100 stakes for re-use, and collect old guards for disposal. Tidy types us. Cake was banana and walnut, with biscuits provided for the nut-allergic. Then back to the Sair for a pint, or four.

Geoff and Andrew wrestle with a rafia bag in the rain.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Hey Laithe again

Back to Hey Laithe for more guard removal and reclaiming of stakes. A dreary wet June morning, so no photos, but myself, Guy, Ben and Andrew got some work done. Got a bit damp though. Nice cakes but.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Trees planted at Scammonden

A photo of the 2700 trees planted at Scammoden reservoir this last season, almost all doing well despite the dry weather. We hope to continue planting further round the reservoir in the coming season, if funding is obtained. Scammonden was a popular site with the Scout and school groups who helped us, and we'd love to be able to work with them again.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Hey Laithe

It was very rainy early on. I wondered how many volunteers would turn out. There were five of us and we went to Hey Laithe at Marsden for the first time for a while.

The site was planted about 7 years ago, and is doing very well. We rebuilt a dry-stone wall to stop the sheep and lambs in the next field from getting in. The fencing arrangements got re-hashed. We need to buy more fencing staples.

We also removed stakes and guards from the trees, they are growing really well. One hundred and fifty stakes were taken back to the nursery to be reused.

There is a fantastic view from Hey Laithe both up and down the valley. On a day like today, with intermittent weather, it was both a test of waterproof clothing and an excellent day for taking photographs.


PS Geoff says "worth saying there was no cake but chocolate digestives were most welcome"

Saturday, 21 May 2011

What we do on our holidays

Just a note to say that this week we had a meeting with Kirklee's Environment Unit, and Philip spent many hours slaving over a grant application form for next season. Hopefully they will support further planting at Scammonden, some training, ongoing woodfuel project ideas, forest garden and first aid expenditure.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Removing guards at Marsden Golf course

Typical Colne Valley spring morning, ie not very. But several hardy souls did turn out to remove guards at Marsden Golf course. Well done Ben, Neil, Julia and Duncan. The rest of us had very good excuses I am sure.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Last day of the season. Wills O' Nats

From the left, Neil, Philip, Peter, Ben, Geoff, Andrew, Heidi, Trevor, Brian (kneeling), Ann, Simon, Ramsay, Dave, Duncan.Photo by Diane.

A nice end to the season, a morning spent planting 300 trees on the side of Meltham Cop hill behind the Wills O' Nats pub. We were joined by 3 ladies from Slaithwaite Women's Institute, one Linthwaite Scout (James) and Ramsay Bloom. Also, our sponsors for this site Northern Green Networks came along to present us with a trophy and take our picture. Thanks to Brian for organising it all, and Margaret for providing us with bacon sandwiches at the start.

Before we left the site we held a minutes silence for The Society's President, Wilf Proctor, who sadly passed away this week. Wilf joined the Society in 1965, and still regularly came to meetings. He was a lovely man and will be missed.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

To Netherwood with Slaithwaite Band!

Back to Netherwood farm this week, with special guests, members of Slaithwaite Band. We planted 105 Ash and Cherry in the field at the bottom of the clough, and 30 Birch by the track. Plus another 60 Oak and Rowan up in the fields behind the farmhouse. Tree Society regulars were myself, Ann, Heidi, Duncan, Trevor, Peter, Diane, Andrew, and newbie Peter, and two Scouts. Slaithwaite band members were too numerous to mention, but they all worked jolly hard. And all got a badge. Cake was ginger.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Netherwood beat-up

The happy workers relax.
After several weeks of hectic planting with large-ish groups, today was a pleasant potter around an obscure field. We planted 120 Sitka Spruce, Larch and Rowan in a field high above Marsden, and will be back there next week to plant another 200 trees with Slaithwaite Band. Our team today comprised myself, Ann, Philip, Andrew, Heidi, Geoff and Guy. A select but capable few. The sun shone, we ate fruit cake, and we gazed down on the valley and discussed the progress of the various planting sites we in the distance. All very convivial.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Monday morning finishing off

Too nice a morning to stay indoors, so went up to the Marsden site again and finished the staking and guarding. And put in another half a dozen trees where holes had already been dug. Beautiful up there. Good to see the owners have proudly displayed our Tree Society waymarkers.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Pure pleasure planting

Duncan in the foreground, desolate moorland behind (needs more trees that).
It was agreed that this was the most pleasant morning's work in a while. We planted just over 200 trees in a small field just off the A62 way out west of Marsden. It didn't rain. And our convivial hosts provided us with tea and soup afterwards. Pure pleasure, and something of a relief after several rainy and stressful weeks. We were helped by a pair of Scouts, and Rose from Longwood Scouts - and I will stay in touch and hope to involve them in more work. Tree Society regulars were, myself, Ann, Philip, Neil, Julia, Ben, Andrew, Cath, Duncan and Dave. And we also had help from our hosts Tracy and family and dogs. Cake was carrot.

And I need to nip back there sometime and finish planting another 25 or so trees, as I had miscounted stakes/guards/trees.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Lindley Infants Owls rule!

Tilly looking a bit wet, and lots of Lindley Owls and mums and dads in the background.
We were joined today by Lindley Infants Owls, led by Mrs Shires. They bravely turned out on a not very nice Saturday morning, and helped us plant almost 500 trees. Again we were at Scammonden, planting, Oak, Ash, Hazel and some Rowan. We were also visited by Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney, who lent a hand, made a cash contribution, and gave us some suggestions of local Companies we could approach for more support. Tree Society folk attending were, Guy, Philip, Dave, Ben, Neil, Geoff, Andrew, Ann and Tilly. Tilly helped me hand out badges and leaflets to the children. Ann handed out home made oat biscuits to all. Considering the drizzly damp weather we had a good productive morning. I just hope everyone got home, got dry, and warmed up afterwards. I recovered by having three pints of Linfit Bitter in the Sair, so I wasn't very effective for the rest of the day, quite relaxed though.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Scammonden and Golcar Scouts

Golcar Scouts planting an Ash tree
Back to Scammonden today and we planted over 300 more Ash. We were assisted by a brilliant turnout of 19 Golcar Scouts, who were excellent workers! Weather was mixed, but the sun shone some of the time. Cake was a splendid coconut crunch. Regular tree society folk included myself, Philip, Neil, Geoff, Dave, Brian, Roger, Trevor, Ann, and new recruit Andrew (well we hope he is a new recruit, we tried not to scare him off).

Thursday, 24 February 2011

We who also work on Thursdays

Trevor and Brian finishing off an ailing Birch
I was recruited by the Senior section this morning, and went round to various sites with Brian, Trevor and Peter to "beat-up" (which means plant extra trees) and to cut down a couple of dead Birches.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

What we did on our half term holiday.

No tree planting today. A bit of snow, and the fact that a number of us were on half term breaks meant that we called it off. Myself, mother, Dan and Geoff did turn up, plus a couple of bright and enthusiastic Scouts. But we decided that the roads to Scammonden would be unpassable. We spent an hour sorting out reclaimed stakes and guards which Brian and crew had retrieved from Bolster Moor. We can use these in a couple of weeks time at Marsden. So that saves us some money and means the morning wasn't a total wash-out. Thanks Brian and crew for their recycling work, and to those intrepid few who did turn out this morning.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Access improvements at Fieldhouse

There is now a new gate, and levelled access, to Fieldhouse.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Scammonden. Herons in the trees!

Philip leans on his mattock and admires the winter sky.

Quite a nice morning, cloudy then sunny. Back at Scammonden attempting to plant Rowan high on the hillside above the reservoir. We managed 118 Rowan, which is not bad given the heavy digging and effort of dragging everything up the hill. Brian and crew managed a similar number down the bottom of the slope. While having coffee and cake we could see a number of herons roosting in the trees on the opposite side of the reservoir. I had not seen herons in such a big group before, and not seen them in trees. After the planting, off to the Sair for the mid season meeting.

Cath, Heidi and Neil hard at work. Previous
planting visible bottom right.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Finishing at the rifle range, not with bang but a whimper.

Rifle range sign cheekily augmented with CVTS waymarker
Second week at Lydgate, finishing off. We planted a further 140 trees, taking our total for this site to around 320 - Larch, Rowan, Hawthorn, Scots Pine, Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock. A classic tree society damp and cloudy morning, but enlivened by lovely bakewell tart at break time. We were, myself, Ann, Ben, Philip, Geoff, Neil, Dave, Duncan, Cath, Guy, and Josh the Explorer Scout. The shooting club is a very large patch of land, and depending on how this season's trees fare then we may well look to come back here and plant more over the coming years.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Lydgate - sunshine and heavy digging

All the crew, Philip waving in the distance.
Lovely morning up on the moors above Marsden. We have 300 trees to plant on the edge of the shooting club's land. We managed to plant 185 of them, as we were digging through very tough grass and heather. We were, Philip, Brian, Duncan, Cath, Heidi, myself, Neil, and Jack and Josh the Explorer Scouts. And the cake was a very very fruity fruit cake. We will be back there again next week, fingers crossed for more sunshine.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Scammonden Reservoir

First week of what will be a long term project for us, planting up some fields on the edge of the Reservoir. It is our contribution to a wider project developing the site for public access, benefit and enjoyment. So we started by planting 300 Ash trees and some Hawthorn and Rowan along the edge. Good turnout, with myself, Cath, Philip, Neil, Dave, Duncan, Diane, my mum, Brian, Trevor, Peter, Guy, and two guests, Jack and Josh the Explorer Scouts. We will be back at this site over the next few weeks, planting considerably more trees. This week's cake was chocolate.