Saturday, 15 December 2012

Flung far and wide

Stephen and Julia on their way up to Green Hill Clough
This Saturday there were quite a few of us, but we were flung far and wide doing diverse tasks. Myself, Dave and Ben stayed at the nursery and began work on the drying shed extension. Geoff, Stephen and Julia went back to Green Hill Clough to finish planting 35 Oaks (and reported back that there are 43 stakes and 13 guards left on site). Philip, Neil, Cath and Sarah went to High Brow Meltham and planted 60 trees. Brian, Peter, Trevor, Jess and Dianne were at Marsden Golf course pruning trees. Remy and Duncan were sent off to the Golf Course to join up with Brian and crew, but were not heard of again, so we hope they were ok. They were carrying one of the four boxes of chocolate brownies, so may have just gone home and eaten cake.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Green Hill Clough, Marsden

Cath, Andrew, and Philip hard at work. 
Today we were up above Marsden, with almost a clear view east to Selby. We were planting more trees on a Forestry Commission Woodland grant scheme funded site, in an attempt to bring it up to the necessary standard. We were: Andrew, Philip, Geoff, Cath, Hap, Julia, me, Ben, Stephen, Dave, Duncan and Guy.Because of a mix up on my part we only had 115 trees to plant, which we did, but we were supposed to plant 150 so will have to pop back up there sometime to finish off. Philip, Geoff and I then visited a householder in West Slaithwaite, with a view to planting some hedging and trees for them later in the Season.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Finishing up at Butterley

Trevor and Dianne. You can see previous weeks new
planting in the shade on the opposite side of the clough.
Our last week (for this year) at Butterley, and we planted 136 trees exactly. 16 Oak, 30 Rowan, 15 Hazel and 75 Scots Pine. Trees and stakes guards were again provided by the Woodland Trust and Marsden Cuckoo's nest charity shop. We were: myself, Trevor, Geoff, Remy, Ben, Cath, Jess, Dianne, Dave and Hap. Cake was a very nice apple flapjack, made with the last of the apples from the nursery. Glorious sunny morning, and not too cold at all. Dave did some more pruning work on the Larch in Golf course phase one, and disturbed an owl. We ate more of the cake when we got back to the pub.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

(Butterley) Reservoir dogs

Trevor, Duncan and canine friends.

Second week at Butterley Reservoir, planting Woodland Trust Trees with Cuckoo's Nest shop stakes and guards. We planted 120 Birch, Oak and Hawthorn. We were: Remy, Ben, Hap, Trevor, Peter, Stephen, Dianne, Philip, myself and Duncan. Dave was the other side of the reservoir doing formative pruning. Cake was a very nice pecan nut and fruit cake. Late on in the morning we were joined by a pack of errant hounds, we don't know where they came from or where they went, but they were friendly enough while they were with us. Memo to self: 5 trees on site still need deer guards.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

First day of planting of the season

Some of today's trees stakes and guards. Dianne digging. And in the very far top left, some other volunteers on the far side of the clough.
Today we were at Butterley Reservoir for the first day of planting of the Season. We were..myself, Philip, Dave, Duncan, Dianne, Jess, Cath, Geoff, Remy, Hap, Ben and Peter. After some organizational two-ing and fro-ing we settled down to plant on two spots facing each other across the clough. There were some attempts at shouted communication across the divide, but mobile phones worked a bit better. We planted around 150 trees total, and have a similar number left to do next week, but the heavy carrying and stressful organisation is done. Trees were provided by the Woodland Trust, and the stakes and guards used were funded by the Marsden Cuckoo's nest charity shop. Cake was provided by my mother, as usual, and was cherry sponge.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

If only all training days were like this...

This morning we were joined by Ben Scotting of Yorwoods, who graciously tutored us in the art of woodland management. We met at Guy Edge, an area of woodland owned by Kirklees, but planted by the Society in the mid 1960's. The trees have been left largely to their own devices since that time, and for the sake of public access and biodiversity they need some attention. We have a management plan agreed with Kirklees, but we needed some professional input into our pruning and thinning activities. We were, myself, Philip, Ben (Godfrey), Stephen, Peter, Dave, Guy, Duncan, Neil and Dan. Ben (Scotting) was a brilliant trainer, with lots of practical advice, but also tons of entertaining tree facts and lore. Between talks we did some path clearing and formative pruning. We will return to Guy Edge several times this winter, and do more of the same. We had homemade Parkin at breaktime, and Mandy made provided us with sandwiches, crisps and biscuits at the end. And the sun shone, and we finished with beer in the Sair. Not a bad way to spend Saturday morning at all.

I just wonder where sleepy, dopey and bashful have disappeared to...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Odd jobs for odd workers.

A last day of odd jobs before the proper Winter's work begins. Remy and I counted out guards and stakes, making sure we have 4 packs of 100 hare guards, and plenty of stakes to go with them. We also checked that we have 180 deer stakes and guards in stock. Philip and Ben made further efforts to tame the brash pile, Philip with chainsaw. Cake was apple cinnamon sponge. Then we went to the Sair and finalised this year's tree order, more or less.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Co-op community fund and nursery work

Today we were visited by Mr John Drewery from the Co-op Community Fund, who presented us with a cheque for £500, to be used to purchase deer guards and stakes. Very welcome, very generous. I used our new roller banner as a photo background for the presentation. For the rest of the morning we pottered around the nursery. Myself and Ann sowed 240 Rowan seeds in root trainer trays. Dave, Ben, Guy, Mandy, Philip and Geoff worked on further reducing the brash pile using the rented wood chipper. Geoff also did some more filming. Cake was homemade "Coffee kisses" a retro 70's-ish biscuit and butter creme combination.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Pennine Prospects Annual Conference

Today I attended the 2012 Pennine Prospects annual conference, hard not to as it was being held right on my doorstep in Marsden Mechanics. Theme of the event was "Natural capital" how to increase and exploit it. I took our new CVTS roller banner, but was annoyed that the RSPB Twite banner was larger. I did manage to speak to Pam Warhurst, chair of the Forestry Commission.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Chipping Saturday

Duncan demonstrates how not to stick ones arm down inside the chipper.
We were Dave, myself, Ben, Duncan and Dan. We spent this sunny morning at the Nursery trimming hedges and trees and feeding the results in to a hired wood chipper. We did this till about 12 when Duncan and Dan went away. Myself Dave and Ben then went and had a shandy (truly, and only one) in the Sair. We went back to the Nursery to do more chipping, but found that the chipper was no longer chipper. The metal bracket holding the belt tensioner had sheared off, metal fatigue. This mean the chipper no longer had the power it had had. So we called it a day. The Nursery did look tidier for our efforts. Due to the failure of the chipper we did not get to attack the brash pile at the bottom of the Nursery.

Dave collects more scratches on his arms gathering Hawthorn.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Wholestone Moor and Nursery work

Philip and Ben at Wholestone Moor

We all met at the Nursery first thing. Philip, Ben and Geoff went off to Wholestone Moor to check on planting there from 3 years ago, and reclaimed some stakes and guards while there. Dave took some rubbish to the tip in his trailer. Myself and Ann did some Nursery weeding and then went up to Golcar to fetch some trees kindly grown for us from seed by Mr Bamforth at Town End. We all went back at the Nursery for homemade bakewell tart, and then some more tidying up and weeding. And of course finished at the Sair, where they were preparing for Ron's birthday celebrations.

Three wise monkeys at the Sair.

Ragwort removal at Fieldhouse 2

Tidying up the entrance
Geoff, Philip and Duncan spent the morning at Fieldhouse removing the last of the ragwort and also clearing round a few of the more swamped perimeter saplings. It was hot and humid but satisfying to get it finished. Ben and Dave stayed at the nursery doing various maintenance jobs there. Cake was kindly baked and delivered by Ann -  a very tasty fruit / oat type of affair.

Philip prunes.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Butterley Reservoir

Ben, Philip and Peter in front of some our trees

Today, Dave, Geoff, Philip, Ben and Peter visited Butterley reservoir and cleared bracken from around trees planted on both sides of the reservoir by CVTS over the last six or seven years. We certainly saved a few young oaks being swamped by the primeval weed and helped some more mature saplings. Many trees are now doing well enough to no longer be disturbed by the bracken and in time, will replace it completely. We also noticed a lot of self-seeded trees springing up which we helped along their way. We also did a temporary fix on a broken style at the edge of a conifer plantation planted by Yorkshire Water. The weather was warm and mostly sunny, the flies and midges quite bad in places and there was no cake or biscuits of any kind. Despite this it was a good morning.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bracken bashing at Butterley Reservoir

An ancient tree, plus some young Birch we planted in the foreground.
Lovely morning, and a glorious spot up on the hillside above Butterley. Marred only by the midges, flies, and the fact that the weeks cake was chocolate... with mint in it. Not universally appreciated that, well it has to happen sometimes. We slogged around on the hillside bashing back bracken to allow natural regeneration of this side of the reservoir, which has got scraps of ancient woodland on it, and is regenerating since it was properley fenced off by us some years ago. Again, some evidence of deer browsing as quite a lot of Oaks have made it to the top of the tubes and no further. I found a freshly bloody rabbits leg, and Heidi found a frog. We saw lots of Kestrels. We were, myself, Heidi, Ben, Philip, Guy and Mandy.

Philip finds a very tiny self seeded Birch

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Ragwort removal at Fieldhouse

... and after.
This morning myself, Ann and Philip spent 2 hours removing Ragwort at Fieldhouse. Philip, Dave and Ben did a similar stint on Thursday night. Quite hard work, in warm weather. Nice morning though.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bracken bashing at Crosland Edge

Before bashing
After bashing
Stephen bashing, Guy in distance.
This is a lovely south facing site near Meltham, and we planted 500 trees here this last winter. Unfortunately Bracken abounds, and was up to chest height. So in order to give the young trees some light myself, Philip, Guy, Stephen, Ben, Neil and Duncan went round and knocked back the Bracken. The rain held off, but we were all soaked anyway as the undergrowth was sodden, and it was quite warm. Midges didn't seem too bad though. And it was a job worth doing. Coconut crunch cake at break time.

On a less positive note we found two existing oak trees on site that had had their bark stripped by deer. One was completely ring barked and will die. The other had been stripped on one side only.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Tidying up and reclaiming materials at Scammonden

Horrible weather, but myself, Philip, Guy, Ben and Peter braved the elements to go up to Scammonden. First we went across our most recent planting and straightened up guards which had been blown about by the wind. After that (and a short break for homemade walnut cake) we visited an area planted in March 2011, and retrieved some guards from failed plantings. We brought back about 40 deer guards and stakes, which was very worthwhile given how much they cost.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Deer here?

BBC Radio 4 documentary about how deer are the new urban fox. Several CVTS members have spotted deer in the Valley recently.
Bambi has never had it so good. British deer numbers are rising, taking a heavy toll on forestry and ground-nesting birds.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Return to Pasture Wood

Geoff, filming, Ben and Dave. And Marsden down below.
Gorgeous sunny day, and we went up to Pasture Wood again, myself, Ben, Geoff, Dave and Duncan. It is a big site, so there is still plenty of work to be done up there removing old guards and stakes. Geoff had his camera and was doing more filming for his documentary. We took 200 hare guards back to the nursery, and left a number more on site. Cake was homemade apricot sponge, though Duncan missed out because he had gone rogue and dissappeared off to a far flung corner of the site.

Remember folks, 11am always means break and cake time. And it is a volunteers duty to be nearby when cake is dished out. It saves me having to carry it back down the hill.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Pasture Wood again

Ben, Dave and Dianne try to make the trees look bigger by sitting down.
First official day of the Summer seasons work, and Philip, Dave, Ben, Duncan and Dianne went back to Pasture Wood above Marsden to take off more guards. 125 more stakes were taken back to the Nursery.

It would seem that some trees have been deliberately cut back, we think by someone trying to preserve a particular view from their house. This happens sometimes, we do try to be sensitive to people living near to where we plant, but its always disappointing when someone takes matters into their own hands rather than talk to us.  On the plus side, there are still several thousand trees up there growing well (if slowly). The Holly in the photo are notoriously slow, but are growing.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pasture Wood pastoralism

Artful shot of some Alder
This morning myself, Ben, Dan, Peter and Geoff went up to Pasture Wood above Marsden to inspect the trees planted there 7 years ago, and to remove and reclaim stakes and guards. Growth up there has been slow, but we were pleasantly surprised to see the vast majority of the trees are establishing themselves. Geoff was particularly impressed with the Alder (see photo).We came home with around 80 reclaimed guards, a mix of hare and rabbit lengths, and around 125 long stakes. Still lots more work to be done up there.

Peter and myself bundling stakes.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Raffles - the amateur cracksman

So, this is the second combination lock we have had fail. As you can see I drew on my extensive knowledge of lock pickery, and then just carried out a frenzied attack on it, focussing on the relatively soft brass rather than the hardened shackle. Took me 40 minutes, 2 hacksaw blades, and a broken screwdriver to destroy it. Probably not a lot of chance getting this one replaced under guarantee, not in this state. There is a new new lock on the gate, with the same old combination.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Dry stone walling at Scammonden

Thanks to Simon Pedley of Kirklees, and Yorkshire Water, five of us began a 2 day dry stone walling course today. We had beautiful weather (despite concerns) and all had a lovely time. We were: Neil, Sarah, myself, Peter and Dianne - plus all the other non-tree Society people booked on the course. Fingers crossed for the weather tomorrow. Of course, two pints at the Riverhead and a nice hot shower did round off all that hard work properly.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Last day of the Season, Cubs, Clubs and Chainsaws

Cubs from Wakefield at Scammonden, twas a bit foggy.
So it was the last day of planting for this Season, and we were in three places. Myself, Ann, Cath and Geoff were at Scammonden with Cubs from Wakefield, planting 150 trees.

Philip and Ben at Slaithwaite Spa
 Philip, Dave, Duncan and Ben were at Slaithwaite Spa cutting down some trees, at the request of Friends of Slaithwaite Spa. And Andrew, Peter, Brian, Peter, Trevor and Dianne were at Marsden Golf Club, planting the last 60 trees there.

At 1pm we all met up at Hey Laithe to plant a tree in memory of Granville Shaw. We were joined by members of Granville's family.

We will now take a few weeks off from tree work, and will schedule some days for Summer maintenance work after Easter.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

1600 tree challenge at Scammonden

For our penultimate weekend of the season Guy organised a big push at Scammonden, and bought another 1600 trees. Quite a few of them were planted on Friday by Guy's corporate outreach volunteers. We came along on Saturday and helped finish the rest. We were: myself, Philip, Simon, Dave, Peter, Stephen, Andrew, Geoff, Cath, Ramsay, and Duncan. Ben was around, and had stayed in the Scout centre overnight, along with Guy and some other irregulars. The Senior Section of Brian, Peter, Trevor and Dianne were also on site. Quite a few people, and a lot got planted.

Of course, there were rumours of mysterious drink related incidents on Friday night. Some Society members were uncharacteristically quiet on Saturday morning, and one was even sporting an oddly positioned elastoplast. I hope that there were not similar ribald and deblitating shenanigans Saturday evening. Or at least, that there were no further injuries.

Footnote to myself. There are 150 trees on site, plus 140 stakes and 130 guards, for planting with Wakefield Cubs next Saturday.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunny Sunday afternoon

Went up to Butterley Reservoir to finish planting a last few trees leftover from a session in the snow a while ago, and put spiral guards on the last of the trees at Tracey Wood's above Marsden.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Wilberlee, Meltham, Mardsen, and remembering Wilf Proctor

A packed programme, as Ronnie Barker used to say, three different planting sessions and a memorial planting.

Damian and Ben in foreground, Wilberlee School, Merrydale in background.

Myself, Cath, Geoff, Damian, Rowan, Ben, Neil and Duncan went to Wilberlee Junior School to help them put in 600 hedging plants around their Field of Dreams. Lots of teachers, parents and children also turned out.

Philip and Stephen went to Meltham with Brian, Peter, Trevor and Dianne, to finish off the 60 trees left at High Brow farm.

Stephen digging

Then Philip and Stephen went to the field opposite the old Rawson Centre on the A62 above Marsden, and put in 45 Hawthorn and 15 Blackthorn.

Friends and family pay tribute to Wilf Proctor, Philip holding the award.
Last, but by no means least, we all congregated to plant a memorial tree for Wilf Proctor. His widow and relatives attended. Mrs Proctor was presented with the Jeff Hutchinson award. Brian's wife Margaret provided tea coffee and flapjack.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Lions versus Owls

Parents and children from Lindley Infant School

Two separate planting sessions today, with Lindley Owls (Observing Wildlife with Lindley School) at Parkwood Golcar, and Colne Valley Lions at Scammonden.

At Parkwood Golcar Mrs Shires brought out the massed parents and children of Lindley School. We planted over 300 Woodland Trust donated trees, Rowan, Hazel, Birch, and Oak. Rain held off, and everyone had a nice time. CVTS people were myself, Ann, Damian, Rowan, Geoff and Neil. We had homemade biscuits, and all the children got a certificate of achievement.

CVTS folks on a break at Scammonden

At Scammonden members of the Colne Valley Lions planted 200 trees, Oak, Rowan, and I think Bird Cherry. CVTS folks helping the Lions were Cath, Philip, Peter, Ben, Dave, Brian, Peter, Trevor, Ramsay and Dianne. They didn't get to have homemade cake, so brought a cornucopia of shop bought substitutes. See below, greedy gets. But it gave them energy to go fetch more logs for the woodshed afterwards.

Lots of great photos to choose from, so one big one from each session , plus some smaller ones.

Assorted snacks at Scammonden

A small person planting at Parkwood

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Back to Meltham

See, sunshine. That's Philip in the distance on left, Stephen, Rowan and Cath foreground,
Neil, Duncan, Geoff and Julia in on the far hillside.

Back to High Brow Meltham, lovely morning too. Not like last week. We were: Rowan, , Dave, Philip, Neil, Julia, Duncan, Cath, Geoff, Stephen, Ann, me, Ben, Trevor, Peter, Brian and John. Once again visited by Mr Sykes and Willis the dog. We planted around 250 Oak and Rowan, leaving another 50 or 60 on site to do. Cake was a very acceptable sponge with jam and buttercream filling. After planting we made a trip to collect logs to fill our drying shed. And then retired to the Sair.

Our lovely new Thor nylon headed hammer

Saturday, 18 February 2012

High Brow Meltham, Week 1

Willis wants Philip's biscuit.

Awful start to the morning, with fierce wind and rain, but it did brighten up later. We began planting 500 trees on a bracken infested hillside overlooking Meltham Mills. Probably got about 150 done, so we still have plenty of work to do. We were, Neil, Neil, Guy, Ann, me, Philip, and Ben - joined later by Trevor, Brian and Dianne. Hopefully, with a better turn out, we can finish here next week. Cake was a choice of homemade ginger biscuits, and chocolate slice. Very nice. We were joined by Mr Sykes and his dog Willis. Willis enjoyed a ginger biscuit.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Parkwood Wood (needs a better name than that)

Edouard, hard at work with his mini-spade

This week we were at Parkwood in Golcar, a site organised by the landowner Richard.

We helped plant over 500 trees in an attempt to turn these old grazing fields in to community woodland. A mixture of Oak and Ash, and using canes, spirals, and biodegradable mulch mats in some cases.

We were, Geoff, Cath, Diane, Trevor, Peter, Bob, Brian, other Peter, Philip, me, Damian, Rowan, Dave, Edouard, Maxime, P.A and Claudine.

Cake was a delicious date and walnut slice, and Damian handed round some equally delicious sloe gin.

Geoff digging! Damian looks on in awe.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Woolley's trough - The Senior Section plant Rowan at Linfit Lane

In a separate planting event, Brian, Trevor and Duncan went to Linfit Lane and planted 15 Rowan. Trevor claims to have discovered an C18th horse trough while digging. Or could it be the original bathtub on wheels from "Last of the summer wine"?????

Huck Hill and a bit of snow

Blue sky, long farm track, ice and snow, intrepid wheelbarrow.

Today we were at Huck Hill above the Tunnel End, Marsden. We have planted here before, and today we planted 195 Woodland Trust trees along a permissive path across the site. Actually we only got 135 planted before it started snowing, but the landowner Iain will plant the rest when there is a nice day. I had taken all the trees up there in my intrepid wheelbarrow. Which was hard work, but it was nice and sunny first thing. We were: Peter, Philip, Geoff, Cath, Ben, Guy, Mandy, and myself. Geoff did some more filming for his documentary. Cake was a delicious almond slice (bakewell tart).

Iain, Guy, Philip, Mandy, Cath, Ben, Peter and Geoff.Cake time.