Saturday, 18 July 2015

A big push for Wessenden valley

Hap grabs some Chocolate cake

A three line whip got a good turn out: myself, Hap, Tanya, Geoff, John, Philip, Ben, Dave and Steve. We think we finished it all today, both the Butterley bit and the far end up by Blakeley. After Thursday nights session as well I am now officially knackered. But all those thousands of trees are now seeing a good bit of daylight, and should get a couple of months good growth in before the darker months.

And we begin the planning for those darker months now, site visits, and sourcing of trees and materials.

In the photo below, in the distance you can see tree guards that we have exposed in the bracken on the hillside.

Steve, Tanya (hiding), Geoff and Hap.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Yet more bracken bashing

Steve and Cath
Tonight there was more slashing and killing than a whole season of Game of Thrones. We were: myself, Steve, Cath, Philip and Steven. Bracken is getting quite high, as you can see, and is completely shading many of the small tubes of Hawthorn and Hazel. Good night for it though, as there was a brisk wind, and the midges were cowering in their underground hovels.

We found a pack of new hare guards hidden in the undergrowth, so added them to the stash for next season.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Four men and a psychotic Jack Russell

Bracken now as high as the tree guards.

This evening myself, Philip and Geoff went up to Butterley and spent a couple of hours knocking back bracken from around the trees planted last season. Yorkshire Water made a generous contribution to our funds on the basis that we weed this planting for the next 3 years. Weeding will help maximise the success rate, and the young trees do seem to be doing well. It was a lovely evening, though we did need our insect repellant and midge nets. As we were leaving we met Dave who had been working on his wildflower meadow nearby. Dave had his small dog with him though. The dog is somewhat unfriendly, and had to be restrained from attacking us. We also saw a dead stoat.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Marsden Mechanics volunteer recruitment event

This evening Ann, Dianne and I attended the volunteer recruitment event at the Mechanics. We stood proudly beside our roller banner for a couple of hours, and did manage to get two names and make one useful contact with another group. I kept the anniversary film on loop on my tablet for punters to get a look at, but didn't manage to sell any DVDs.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Blakeley Reservoir Bracken Bashing

Geoff, Ben, Stephen, Dave and Hap.
This morning we walked up the Wessenden Valley for a bracken bashing session beside Blakeley Reservoir. We were: myself, Geoff, Ben, Stephen, John, Dave, Hap and Steve. A nice breeze kept the midges off, so all we had to worry about was the hard work involved on the steep slope. Clearing the bracken from around the newly planted trees will allow them to receive light and more nutrients. A couple more weeks of bracken growth and these 1.2 metre tree guards would have been completely engulfed, and the trees inside left in the dark for the whole Summer.

I was asked to include some of the break time conversation topics in the blog, which were, for the record, Mark E. Smith, incontinence, and the fact that Mallard ducks are inconsiderate lovers.

In the distance, on the right hand hillside beyond the reservoir, you can see several areas planted by the CVTS in past years.