Saturday, 30 December 2017

Two tribes

Stephen, and another larch down.

A day of two tribes.

Tribe one comprised: Philip, Susan, Dave, Adrian, Steve, Hap, Jess, Lee, Cath and Ben. They went to Royd House Wood to reclaim some trees that look to have been felled without permission and left lying there. Someone improving their view? Some other thinning may have taken place.

Tribe two comprised: myself, Stephen and John. We went to Throstle Green Farm and took down 4 large Larch nurse species, two dead Alder, a Pine of some sort, two small Ash trees, and a small Oak that was collateral damage when one of the Larch fell on it. There is still scope to remove more of the tall nurse species at Throstle Green Farm.

A cold and damp but productive morning.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

They're red hot (hot tamales)

Logs, including felled dead stuff.

Today was the now traditional pre-Christmas woodland management session followed by food (delicious hot chilli made by Jess).

We were: myself, Philip, Susan, Stephen, Hap, Cath, Neil, Stephen O., Geoff, John, Dave, Duncan and Harvey, Jess and Dianne.

Half time cake was a new recipe, sticky cranberry gingerbread. Very good.

We were working at Throstle Green Farm, where we felled a number of dead Alder, a similar number of tall Larch nurse species, and a small number of Oak, Ash and Birch prunings or thinnings.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

This must be the place

Our break time view - photo by Jess.

Today we were high above Marsden, planting 100 Scots Pine, 10 Crab Apple and 5 Holly. We were: myself, Philip, Tanya, Jess, Hap, Geoff, Stephen, Peter, Adrian, and Ben. Cake was the ever popular crunchy coconut topped sponge. The weather was relatively kind, and we had a lovely view.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Ice Ice baby

Stephen and ice ice baby.
Today we were adjacent to Butterley Reservoir, planting in a bed of bracken. We planted 100 Sessile Oak, 100 Scots Pine, 50 Aspen, 5 Holly, and 15 Crab apple. Not bad considering there were only 7 and a half of us. We were: myself, Stephen, Steve, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Hap - joined by Ben at half time. It was cold, and snowy, but all worked out well.

And today's tune, come on! A truly guilty pleasure.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Blackroc - Hard times

So we were back for our second and thankfully final week at Black Rock Mills. The ground remained very hard and hard going, with little topsoil for most of the planting area. We also had some problems applying the landscape architects planting plan in terms of the areas to be planted. But in the end, after some unnecessary stress and disagreements amongst ourselves, we think we got it done.

We were: Hap, Stephen, Adrian, Jess, Dave, Geoff, Philip, myself, Rob, Dianne and Lizzie the dog, and Ben. Plus two very willing and able Scouts.

Today we planted: 75 Dogwood, 75 Dog Rose, 75 Elder, 75 Hazel, 50 Rowan, 25 Bird Cherry, 25 Hawthorn, 45 Holly, 50 Sessile Oak.  495 plants total. Most of these were protected with canes and spirals. The larger tree varieties received 75cm stakes and guards.

Nice tune this week, both artist name and title appropriate:

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Looks benign, but was actually a thin coat of soil on shale rock.

Today was first day of planting at Black Rock Mill site. We were: Stephen, myself, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Adrian, John, Peter, Susan, Ben, Cath, Steve, and Hap. We were joined by local councillors Rob and Nicola, and by a small but effective number of Scouts, and one member of the local Linthwaite volunteers.

We planted a total of 625 trees and shrubs. made up of: 25 Rowan, 25 Silver Birch, 25 Bird Cherry, 125 Elder, 100 Dogwood, 100 Dog Rose, 75 Field Maple, 25 Hawthorn, 100 Hazel, and 25 Holly.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Several of us were hard at work today, Thursday. Hap and Stephen went to Wessenden to try and finish off up there. Myself and Dave were at the Nursery to receive, count, sort and heal in the annual tree delivery. 3500 odd trees stakes and guards. There were some shenanigans over the order, but we got what we got given, rather than what we had really hoped for.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

So macho!

Hap broke his mattock. Like it was a twig.
Back to the far end of Wessenden to attempt to finish there (didn't quite).

We were: myself, Hap, Philip, Adrian, Geoff, Jess, Dianne and Lizzie the dog, Stephen, Tanya, Steve and Dave.

We did take 30 Hazel, 90 Oak, 15 Willow, 15 Birch, 30 Rowan and 15 Birch Cherry. Unfortunately, due to rocky ground (and Hap's cavalier approach to tool care) we did bring back  11 Bird Cherry, 9 Willow, 20 Hazel and 26 Oak.

For the record, there are 350 deer guards, 400 deer stakes, 50 short guards and 50 short stakes stashed near the cliff.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Happy Birthday!

Enjoying sunshine and parkin.
Almost forgot, but this is the 10th Anniversary of the start of this blog!

Back to Wessenden to plant 150 Oak, 30 Hazel, and 15 Birch.

We were: myself, Ben, Geoff, Philip, new person Neil, Cath, Lee, Jess and Lizzie the dog, Tanya, Stephen, Peter, Dave and Susan.

Cake was parkin. Weather was unseasonably mild and sunny.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Little people making a big difference.

This morning we were at Wessenden again, and as you can see, from the photo, there is good reason for us to be there week after week. A monumental task for a small but dedicated crew.

We planted a further 150 Oak and 30 Hazel

We were: myself, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Adrian, Cath, Tanya, Hap, Peter, Stephen, Andrew, Adam, Ben and Solo the dog.

Unfortunately the morning was overshadowed by Solo being taken suddenly very ill at the end of the session. Ben and I had to leave abruptly to get him to a vet. Very sadly, there was nothing that could be done for him.

Solo will be sorely missed by everyone.

Sunday, 29 October 2017


Just a mock up - not a real thing, yet.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Big decision

Peter chooses carefully.
Today we were back at Wessenden, planting 150 Sessile Oak and 30 Hazel.

We were: myself, Andrew, Dave, Ben and Solo the dog, Dianne and Lizzie the dog, Jess, Lee, Hap, Steve, Adrian, Peter, Sue, and Geoff.

Cake was coconut and cherry sponge.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Black dog

First week of the new season's planting, and we were up the Wessenden valley, stumbling around on a bracken covered slope. Weather was mixed, with sunshine, showers, rainbows, and a brisk wind.
Cake was a revolutionary nutella bakewell, a cake in need of a proper name I think.

We were Guy, Jess, Duncan and Harvey the dog, Philip, Hap, Adrian, Steve, Tanya, Ben and Solo the (black) dog, Dave, Peter and Stephen.

Jess thought Solo looked a bit morose today, hence the song.

We planted 210 trees. Tanya took the nice pictures.

Philip, me, and Hap

Saturday, 23 September 2017

White punks on dope

The Tubes!

Highly misleading post title, but the connection is in the name of the band this week.

Up to Butterley this morning for some reclaim and re-use work. Taking tubes and stakes off sturdy young trees, and stashing them for future use on the same hillside.

We were: Adrian, Hap, Steve, Geoff, Sue, Geoff, myself, Ben and Solo the dog.

Cake was ginger.

This week's tune has to be seen to be believed. Please watch. Legend has it, Geoff's band the Academic Hamiltons were a lot like this.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Here there and everywhere

Solo, solo.

Dave, Dianne, Lizzie, Dean and Geoff

John and Adrian

Funny old morning this one.

Philip, John and Adrian went to Fieldhouse, to mow brambles.

Guy, Ben and Solo the dog, Dean, Jess, Lee, Dianne and Lizzie the dog, Geoff, Dave and Hap went to Marsden to remove tree guards.

That left myself and Susan at the Nursery, she had flu, I am still nursing my sprained ankle. Then Susan went home. That left me on my own.

Until I was joined by Corey, very young grandson of Sharon from the adjacent terrace. Corey was very enthusiastic about helping me cut up logs and split them with the log splitter (under very careful supervision). He also picked apples, and rode his bike round the paths. I ended up spending longer at the nursery than I anticipated, because I couldn't get rid of Corey. Finally he got tired/bored, and went to his nan's.

Then I came home and wrote emails to this year's planting site landowners.

Later on, I was deluged with lovely photos.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Didn't it rain

Ben, gathering rainclouds.

This week we ventured all the way over to the far side of Scammonden to do some weeding of Japanese Knotweed.

We were subjected to heavy showers, and only had Cadbury's mini rolls to sustain us.

But we had a good time.

We were: Steve, Adrian, Hap, Philip, myself, Ben and Solo and Geoff.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Blanket of weeds

This week we were at the nursery battling the Mares Tail, making space for storing this years saplings. We were: myself, Geoff, Hap, Ben and Solo the dog. Cake was scones with Jam made with berries from the nursery.

Another tune for Philip.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Cheap sunglasses

Jess and Geoff, both cutting a dash, in their own ways.

Back to Butterley for more bashing this week, the last week of this?

We were: Ben and Solo the dog, Geoff, Dave, Philip, myself, Tanya, Jess, and Robert.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The long and winding road

Geoff making strides.

Back at Wessenden for further bracken based activity. We were: myself, Philip, Geoff, John, Stephen, Adrian and Robert - plus Dave somewhere in the valley with the mad dogs.

Its a long walk in, 25 minutes before we can even begin work. But it was a nice day.  As you can see.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Tears are not enough

Though he claims he had something in his eye, I think Hap was overwhelmed today, by the camaraderie, the wonders of nature, and the Eccles cakes.

We were far up Wessenden valley bracken bashing, and we were: myself, Hap, Philip, Adrian, Sue, Dave, Stephen, John, and Guy.

We got a lot done, and the sun shone at the end. A stiff breeze kept the midges off.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Three imaginary boys

Just myself Philip and Hap this evening, out for a spot of bracken bashing on the banks of Butterley.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Numbers

Dave versus a million bracken plants.
See that picture, just Dave versus a world of bracken. We are not getting the numbers on Saturdays for bracken bashing. There were five of us this week: myself, Philip, Dave, Robert, Geoff, Ben, and Solo the dog. Three line whip for next Saturday, as we move up Wessenden.

Was a nice morning though, coffee cake, and no rain.

This weeks song was mentioned a the pub afterwards, and is a nice tune recorded in someone's back garden. Well worth a watch/listen.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Raised on robbery

Ben and Philip
Another day back cutting down Bracken at Butterley Res. We were: myself, Philip, Steve, Geoff, Ben and Solo the dog. Cake was very nice Raspberry buns. Solo robbed one when Philip dropped it. Bad dog. Bad Philip. The sun shone, and a nice breeze kept the midges off. Ideal.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Turned out nice again.

First day of bracken bashing of the season. We were: Hap, Philip, Adrian, Geoff, myself, Robert and Jess. Cake was chocolate. Looked apocalyptically rainy first thing, but turned out nice again.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Kurious oranj

Curious about our orange log splitter?

Yet more log sawing and splitting. Just myself Dave and Steve today. And some very large bits of ginger cake.

A song for Steve and Geoff.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Split myself in two

Back at the Nursery for more splitting. Looked like Dave had been hard at work sawing and moving stuff around. We were: myself, Sue, Adrian, Ben, and Solo the dog. Cake was freshly made rock cakes.

This Saturday's song is for Philip.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Crosscut saw

Today we were at the nursery, and cut and split a phenomenal amount of wood. We were: myself, Sue, Adrain, Geoff, Tanya, Dave and Hap. The sun shone, bakewell tart was eaten.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Last go round

Last day's planting of the season, and a day of some considerable significance for other reasons too.

We finished the planting at Parkwood, putting in 180 Hawthorn, 15 Dog Rose, and a load of Willow cuttings. Present were: myself, Philip, Steve, Stephen K., Peter W., Peter T., Ben and solo the dog, Jess, Dianne, Lesley, Robert, Tanya, Neil, Sarah, Geoff, Dave, Adrian and Hap.

At tea break we presented Peter W. with a "Sorry you're leaving" card. Sadly Peter is moving to Exmoor to be near to his daughter and granddaughter. We will miss him very much as he has been a pillar of the Society for many years, and is much respected and loved.

After this we moved across the valley to Meltham Cop, where we met Brian and his wife Margaret. In celebration of Brian's 50th year of planting with the tree society we planted a large (for us) Bird Cherry tree. It is on the hillside, and may even be visible from Brian's house one day.

Brian and Philip

Saturday, 18 March 2017

What's he building in there?

Emma from Green Building Store

This Saturday we were sponsored by and joined by the good folks of the Green Building Store, and together we planted another 395 Oaks on the side of Scammonden Reservoir. CVTS people were: myself, Hap, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Lesley, Robert, Cath, John, Peter W., Lee, and Stephen O.


Saturday, 11 March 2017

Long time gone

This week we were back finishing Pike Law. Planting were: Adrian, Hap, Lesley, Robert, Cath, Jess, Steve, Sarah, Tanya, John, Philip, Stephen K., Peter W., Ben, and Solo the dog.

Meanwhile I was in another part of Golcar, planting a tree in memory of Dan Higgins who died in October last year. Dan was a member of the Society around 14 years ago but moved away from the area. His mother, Ann, got in touch to ask if we could plant a tree for him.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Chain Saw

Back here in Royd House wood, for the final time for the season. We were: Robert, Jack, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Cath, Adrian, Dianne, Lee, Ben, Stephen and Peter W.

Our drying sheds are now lovely and (very nearly) full.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Willow tree

Philip cutting up brush, Stephen with lever.

This week we were at Royd House Wood doing some more felling. Fellers involved included: myself, Jack, Robert, Lesley, Dave, Guy, Peter W., Philip, Stephen K., Stephen O., John, Jess, Dianne, and Geoff.

Trees for removal had been marked up for us by Kirklees officers. Note the pink spot just visible on the Willow that proved to be Stephen's nemesis.

As with all our projects, the original planting was tightly packed to help the trees get established. After a number of years, some of the trees get removed to allow space for the rest to mature, and it allows a bit of light to the woodland floor so you get bluebells and the like.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Money is the root of all evil

Adrian with rakishly angled hat. Jack hands round the flapjack.

Today we were back at Parkwood, planting 350 Oak, Rowan and Hazel. We were: myself, Philip, Dave, Geoff, John, Steve, Stephen O., Peter W., Ben and Solo the dog, Lee, Jess, Jack, Tanya, Jack, Adrian, Richard, and Hap.

Afterwards we retired to the Sair for our mid-season meeting. Money! Pah!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Cherry red

Dave, mucky.

Today we were back at an old haunt of ours, Parkwood Golcar. We were: myself, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Peter T, Stephen K., Steve, Hap, Jess, Lesley, Robert, Ben and Solo the dog, Cath, Richard, and Jack.

We planted 210 Cherry, 30 Goat Willow, and 29 homegrown Oaks.

Cake was carrot.

Weather wasn't as bad as it might have been, but it is a wet field anyway, and it was mucky work.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

3 is a magic number

This morning myself, Hap and Stephen returned to Coach house Marsden. We finished the hedge, moved some mis-placed trees, and beat up phase one with 30 more trees. Job done.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Go your own way

The A team - Ben, Ros, Yogi, Tanya.

Two groups going their own way today.

I was at Scout, with Yogi, Tanya, Ros, and Ben and Solo the dog. We put the finishing touches to some hedging and a handful of trees, and we can now say this site is well and truly planted.

Meanwhile, at Parkwood, were: Philip, Dave, Geoff, John, Adrian, Steve, Stephen, Jess, Lee, Richard and Hap. They made a substantial start to the substantial number of trees that are planned.

The B team - so called cos they clearly B messin' about.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Soup song

The only photo. Myself and Geoff in the Sair afterwards.
Well, madness it was. We went high up above Marsden on the A62 and planted some trees and some hedging. In cold driving wind and rain. We were: myself, John, Hap, Stephen K., Susan, Geoff, Philip, Adrian, Robert, Jess, Ben and Solo the dog, Tracy and Maia.

Tracy and Maia provided us with tasty hot soup, and a buffet of cakes, all served up in a tiny greenhouse.

Despite this loveliness, the morning might be remembered as a bewildering slog in very adverse circumstances. Still, getting clean and warm again fixed it.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Cold, cold ground

Stephen, very small, or far away?

Definitely the coldest morning so far this season, frost, and a bitter breeze. Myself, Hap, Stephen and Tanya popped up to Scout and stuck in another 100+ hedge plants. Perminder had very kindly made lemon drizzle cake for us, and it was very nice indeed.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Breaking the (Pike) Law

I think that telegraph pole leans slightly
Today we were breaking ground at Pike Law, Golcar, beginning a very long hedge of Hawthorn, Dog Rose, Blackthorn and Rowan. We were: myself, Cath, Hap, Adrian, Neil, Steve, Stephen K., Dianne, Geoff, Philip, Lesley, Robert and Peter W. Cake was sponge with jam and buttercream.

We got 405 plants in the ground. A very good mornings work indeed.

And a song for Neil this week...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Start choppin'

Jessica and colleagues.

Today we were at the nursery splitting and sawing wood for our wood fuel income stream.

We were joined by a dozen of Jessica's colleagues from Yorkshire Building Society, who get time off to do good works. And by gum they did good work.

Almost forgot to mention that Hap and Stephen were very busy all morning cutting logs up into splittable lengths with the chainsaw. And I was busy keeping an eye on the office workers with their axes and saws.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Concrete Dub

Geoff has created an audio piece using sounds and dialogue from or gathered for the Tree People video. Try listening with headphones, its immersive man.

See no evil

He takes a nice photo that Geoff. Today's hedging in foreground.

This week we were back at Scout, planting about 60 remaining trees in the lowest part of the field, and around 400 hedge plants along the bottom edge. This leaves around 300 assorted plants left to go in.

We were: myself, Adrian, Dave, Philip, Jess, Jonathan, Dianne and Lizzie the dog, Ben and Solo the dog, Hap, Cath, Steve, Stephen, Peter W. and Yogi.

Cake was banana and walnut, augmented by leftover Christmas Stollen brought by Hap, and the last of Dave's cream liqueur?

Can someone send me a photo, didn't have time to take any.

Did not see the neighbours today.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Party time (part 2)

A rare sighting of the lesser spotted Neil, sauntering up the hill.

This week we back at Scout, above Marsden, and planted another 350 or so trees and shrubs. Around 700 in total so far. Well done everyone! We continued the shelter belt down the length of the field to the very bottom. After planting we were invited to up to the house and were generously rewarded with cold beers and hot chilli. This was most excellent - spoilt we were.

We consisted of: Steve, Philip, Lee, Dave, Geoff, Duncan and Harvey the dog, Ben and Solo the dog, Dianne and Lizzie the Dog, Jess, Lee, Cath, Lesley, Robert, Peter W., Adrian, Ros, Hap, Yogi, Neil, and myself.

Back again next week for some hedging along the bottom of the field.