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.