Saturday, 28 December 2019

Stay free

Sophie, Adrian, Sue, Cath, John, Stephen, Peter and Philip

Another day of feverish chopping and sawing, as a remedy to Christmas indulgence.

We were: myself, Geoff, Tanya and Ben at the nursery. And: Philip, Susan, Stephen, Hap, Adrian, Dave, Sophie, Peter and John in the woods at Throstle.

Cake was a mix of Christmas leftovers, both homemade and shop bought.

And the songs a tribute to revelations of one member's chequered past.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Christmas is coming

Dianne and Cath full of cheer (or Dave's Baileys)

A very convivial pre-Christmas session at Blakeley Reservoir. We planted 2 Yew, 15 Alder, 60 Bird Cherry, 90 Sessile Oak, 30 Birch, and 15 Aspen. We were 20 strong: myself, Tanya, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Steve, Sylvie and Elliot, Kate and Martin, Jon and Tessie, Cath, Jess and Lee, Adrian, Hap, Ben, Kirstie and Dianne. Cake was the brilliant and seasonal sticky cranberry gingerbread.

Plus we also transplanted some trees which had previously been put too close to the dam.

Kirstie and Cath, and lots of others.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Hit, git and split!

Dianne and Jessica keep swinging.

Another productive day of woodland management and wood fuel. All of which benefits local woodlands, and goes towards our sustainability as a tree planting group.

At the nursery we were: Stephen on chainsaw, myself, Dianne, Sophie and Adrian. Later joined by Jess and Tanya.

In the woods were: Susan and Philip on chainsaws, Ben, Hap, Dave, Duncan and Harvey the dog on lead, and Chris. A comprehensive risk assessment was shared with the group before work began, and everyone was safe and happy.

Ben communes with a tree, or maybe just saw a squirrel.

And a song by "Young Jessie"

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Fall on me

Another Hogarthian scene of cake eating.

A woodland management morning at Throstle, thinning, pruning and tidying an area of planting done 19 years ago.

We were: Philip and Susan on chainsaws, Ben, Peter, Remy, Chris, Adrian, Hap, Duncan (and Harvey), myself, Geoff, Dave, Katie, Lee, Dianne and Jess.

Cake was date slice.

Safety talk was given. Lots of hard work was done. Lots of hi-vis was worn. Nothing fell on anyone.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Neon lights

Sundry hi-vis folk framed by birches.

A morning of woodland management. Hap and Adrian had been very busy marking trees up with their neon paint. And we all worked very hard felling, snedding, cutting and carrying.

We were: Susan and Stephen on chainsaws, Hap and Adrian exercising their woodland management theories, and myself, John, and Dave labouring.

Hap had made a very delicious sticky fruit cake.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Do it right

Group getting briefed before work

Very convivial morning planting 150 Oak, 15 Scots Pine and 30 Aspen between Blakeley and Wessenden Reservoirs. No dramas, we did it right.

We were: myself, Remy, Geoff, Tanya, Stephen, Dave, Tania and Jared, Jon and Tess, Dianne, Jess, Ben, Peter, Adrian, Sophie, Sylvie, and Elliot.

Cake was cherry rock buns.

Jess and Sophie respecting elder Geoff.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Bull in the heather

Katie, Ben and Philip in the heather
This week we were at Wholestone Moor, filling up a gap in some dead heather. We planted 105 Oak and 30 Scots Pine. We were: myself, Philip, Dave, Peter, Geoff, Hap, Adrian, Steve, Stephen, Tanya, Katie, Jane, Susan, Dianne and Ben. And Kirstie gets an honourable mention for trying to find us in the fog. It was misty, though didn't rain as much as we thought it might. Which was nice. Cake was home made hob nob biscuits.

Some quintessential 90's bubblegum pop skronking from Sonic Youth for this weeks tune.

hi-vis Scots Pine.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Judy and the dream of horses

Noble diggers all.

Today we were at Green Edge, above Golcar, working on another mixed hedgerow. We were: myself, Dave, Steve, Stephen, Becca, Adrian, Jess, Dianne, Sam and Lyra, Hap, Geoff, Philip, Peter, Remy, and Susan.

We planted 30 Elder, 30 Blackthorn, 30 Dog Rose and 60 Hazel. We will return after Christmas to pack the rest out with Hawthorn.

There were some cute horses in the next field. And Lyra found a horseshoe.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

I love the things that people make

Hundreds of Hawthorn still to go in.

First day of the planting season, and we made a bit of mixed hedgerow up above Slaithwaite. We were: myself, Dave, Geoff, Stephen, Lee, Jessica, John, Susan, Adrian, Remy,  and new people Kirstie, Jane, Sam, and Silvie plus one (sorry, plus one, but your name has gone from my elderly head). 

For the record we planted: 15 Holly, 15 Oak, 30 Blackthorn, 30 Dog Rose, 15 Elder and 60 Hazel. We will return to fill the many gaps with Hawthorn in January (still waiting for Hawthorn delivery).

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Nobody speak

Little car, big boot.

A non-work morning, but I still fancied a trip out, so I went to Scammonden and retrieved 112 stakes and a similar number of short guards for re-use.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Higher ground


Today we were high on sunny Deer Hill, looking down on Marsden, while collecting old plastic tree guards.

We were: Geoff, Ben, Peter, Dave, Jess, Lee, Hap, myself, Cath, and Dianne.

Cake was cherry rock buns.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

A foggy day

Another day retrieving plastic tubes at Scammonden. Started out murky and foggy but got better.

We were: Geoff, myself, Garry, Adrian, Stephen, Peter,Dave, Ben and Remy. Cake was orangey.

Grant Green got a mention in the pub, so here is:

Saturday, 28 September 2019

I can't stand the rain

Enough rain for Noah this morning, so there was some initial confusion about whether to carry on.

In the end a handful of us were daft enough to go out.

Geoff, Lee and Jess did a tour of the Scammonden circular.

Tanya and I did a tiny bit of guard removal.

Then the sun came out and we had homemade cheese scones and ginger cake in the car park, so all's well that ends well.

Saturday, 21 September 2019


Acer Griseum -  how'd it get there, fascinating!

Today we were back at Scammonden in glorious weather, crawling around in the shrubbery removing guards. We were: myself, Adrain, Tanya, Ben, Susan and Hap. Cake was apple flapjack augmented by pears from Hap's garden.

I noticed the above paperbark maple while walking along the lane. How did it get there? Not something we would have knowingly planted, and right by the road. So a tree someone has re-homed? Or a rogue one from a tree nursery. Lovely anyway.

Second picture (there are not enough pictures according to Tanya) is of Hap and Susan's cable tie collections. Cable ties are reusable, and are hard plastic that does not break down. So we collect them. Some more enthusiastically than others.

Hap and Susan's adornments.

And finally a Human League classic.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Summer breeze

I spent a couple of pleasant hours up at Butterley trying out our new chainlock tree ties.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Have a cuppa tea

This week we were at Scammonden again, again, removing stakes and guards. We were: myself, Adrian, Tanya, Geoff, Dave, Steve, John, Jess, Lee and Hap. Cake was pineapple upside down, and weather was fine. Saw the tennant Mr Hibbert going back and forth with his tractor and trailer, and said hello. He was happy to see us maintaining the planting.

Geoff was at the centre of a drama. He hadn't washed his flask properly and his tea cup was musty (rooky error). He was put out of his misery by Jess, who had a spare cup.

And we saw a buzzard. And Geoff found a dunnock's nest.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Skinny genes

Jess, and young person.

This week we were at Butterley. Duncan led work to improve the footpaths leading to the WW1 memorial planting that we did adjacent to Butterley dam. Present were: Duncan, Philip, Remy, Ben, Jess and John - plus some other folk that Duncan had recruited.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

In the Pines

Jess, Susan, me, and Dave.

This week we were at Scammonden for more guard retrieval - it is a massive site,with thousands of tree guards that need removing. We were: myself, Lee, Jess, Susan, Steve, Dave, Geoff and Hap.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

She don't use jelly

Jelly, slime, arboreal gel.

Back to Scammonden for more guard removal. Encountering again the phenomenon of some tree guards filled with slime. Lovely.

We were: Cath, Hap, Jess, Lee, Peter, Steve, Geoff, Dianne, Tanya, Ben and myself.

Cake was very lemony lemon drizzle. Weather was glorious.

40 deer guards left on site for re-use in the Winter. 2 large piles of trashed guards left near the top road. Significant number of packs of stakes ready for collection (well done Hap) - to be dried out back at the nursery. 2 million cable ties collected (approx.)

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Bushes and briars

Geoff and I amongst the thistles
A morning at Scammonden removing guards from some unexplainedly dead and dying alders. We will replant in the winter.

Cake was a very jammy bakewell tart. And the rain held off, mostly.

We were: myself, Tanya, Cath, Stephen, Steve, Dave and Geoff.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

The righteous path

Spent a morning at the nursery with Dave, clearing paths and tidying up. Looking a lot better when we had done. Of course, next year, instead of spending three hours on my knees with a patio knife, I am gonna nuke the paths with Round-Up.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Straight on

Geoff and Suraj
Back to Wessenden to do some guard straightening and general tidying up. We were: myself, Geoff, Ben, Dave, Jess, Lee, Suraj, Cath and Tanya.

It rained some, again!

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Summer song

Butterley bracken bash from Geoffrey Cox & Keith Marley on Vimeo.

So, here we were again battling the bracken. We were: myself, Hap, Adrian, Geoff, Remy, Dave, Guy and Steve.  It rained, a fair bit, but it is Summer you know.....

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Hold on

Two trees hold on to each other.

An added evening bracken bashing session. Rescuing some swamped specimens. We were: myself, Philip, Stephen, Sue and Geoff.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Run through the jungle

Another day of  deep, deep bracken bashing,  but nearing the end. We were: myself, Philip, Geoff, Stephen, Steve, Hap, Peter and Ben. Cake was chocolate brownies, with added fresh strawberries.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Come all ye

Over the far side of Butterley this week for bashing of the bracken. We were: Philip, myself, Geoff, Dave, Lee, Jess, Steve, Susan and Susan's sister (sorry).

Philip had his peasant shirt on today, so a spot of Fairport Convention for the tune.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Hot fun in the summertime

Another day of relentless Wessenden bracken bashing, all so those little trees thrive. We were: myself, Dave, Adrian, Steve, Ben, Tanya, Philip and John. It was very hot, my hi-tech Pro-Trek watch had a bit of meltdown, it gave a temperature reading of 30+ degrees, then refused to do owt else til it had been taken home to cool down.

Cake was a new one,  rhubarb sponge.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

More bashing of the bracken. We were: myself, Dave, Philip, Hap, John, and Geoff. Sorry, I was a bit late posting this, and can't think of a witty tune for this one. S

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Go west!

Philip telling Hap where he can go.

Another Saturday morning Wessenden, bashing bracken and straightening guards. We were: myself, Philip, Dave, Hap, Tanya, Remy and Ben. There was a large amount of jam sponge cake.

Monday, 3 June 2019

An unguarded moment

 A couple of weeks ago I was at the golf club talking to groundskeeper Roy about some more planting. He asked if I could pop up there sometime and straighten some guards that had fallen over since we did our planting last season.

So today I popped up, thinking it would take me half an hour to straighten "some".

It was carnage up there, like a forest of drunken men. Some of them were where stakes had broken off at the base in high winds. But lots had manifestly not been hammered in enough. See photos.

There should be no more than a couple of inches of stake above the top tie on a tree guard, in a lot  of cases there were a couple of inches of stake in the ground, and 8 or 9 inches of wasted stake above the top tie.

Here's one I found lying on the ground.

Around 30 trees had already failed because the guards were basically lying on the ground next to the tree rather than being on it. And sheep had got at them.

Hammering in stakes is hard work, and perhaps we should invest in some weightier lump hammers, but people who do find this task a bit challenging could focus on other tasks such as planting or distributing materials.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Mansion on the hill

Before, see white house up on hill behind.
After, see same house.

I was away in Scotland, but the indomitable few were; Geoff, Dave, Remy, Ben, John, Hap and newcomer Rob.

They were at Parkwood, finishing off the back field?

Actually have a proper before and after pic of the planting, thanks to Geoff and the Facebook page.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

(Don't) Walk away Renee (Remy)

Back to Parkwood for yet more plastics retrieval. We were: Jess, Lee, Hap, Dave, Geoff, Steve, Remy and myself.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Pale shelter

A Thursday morning at Parkwood, removing more tree stakes and guards. Myself, Dave, Hap and Stephen.

Not my favourite tree, the birch, but these ones had beautiful, young, pale (steady...) bark when you took the tree shelters off. We spent the morning crawling around in damp shrubbery (steady again...) and it was still better than working for a living.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Carry go bring come

Ben and Sue, with bags of swag.

Back to Pasture Wood above Marsden for yet more plastic retrieval.

We were: Sue, Ben, Tanya, Geoff, Hap, Steve, Dave and myself- with Philip making an appearance for a strategy meeting and piece of lemon drizzle cake.

Thursday, 25 April 2019


Just myself, Dave and Hap up at Butterley on a Thursday. Gathering more plastic tubes and stakes for re-use. Hap provided a very nice pear and toffee cake. We were serenaded by Willow Warblers in the little oaks around us.

Pretty sure I have used this tune before, but it is lovely.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Cherry blossom girl

Up at Pasture wood clearing more stakes and old plastic tubes from the hillside. We were: myself, Dave, Geoff, Jess, Dianne, Ben, Adrian, Steve and Hap. Augmented by some nice Cherry rock buns and ginger biscuits.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Stop the dams

Hap and Dave creating a very leaky dam.

Today Dave, Hap and I were up at Butterley, consolidating the second stash of 300+ stakes and 700+ tubes for re-use. Glorious morning, with birds, bees, butterflies, and Eccles cakes.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Take that to the bank

In the background, Dave's massive stash of stakes and guards.

A very last little bit of tree planting with help from the good folk of Yorkshire Building Society lending a hand. 120 Oaks got planted.

CVTS people were; Hap, Dave, Stephen, Cath, Jess, and myself. Plus YBS people.

Jess provided a tin of varied delicious homemade cakes.

I know YBS is technically not a bank (?) but this is such a good tune.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Born to lose

This morning we were high above Marsden again, removing old plastic tree guards.

We were; Geoff, myself, Hap, Steve, Stephen, Dave and Cath.

The conversation was wide-ranging, and the weather was pleasant.

It was a morning when things kept getting lost, knives, gloves.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

I don't believe in the sun

Inexplicably sunny this week, after two weeks that suggested it had ceased to exist.

We had a nice time planting the final 325 trees up Crimble.

We were: myself, Jess, Dianne, Philip, Hap, Adrian, Ben, Geoff, Peter, Stephen, Dave and Cath. Also joined by owner Paul (aka Neil).

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Pretty in pink

There isn't enough room on the internet for photos of all the days of work that the weekday crew have done this Winter, but just a single mention of the heroic work they have done with the logs at the Nursery. Hats off to Stephen, Hap, Dave, and Cath.

I bought the original 12" of this, and got a free t-shirt (which was unflatteringly small).

Saturday, 16 March 2019


Geoff, Peter and Jon vainly try to shelter from the horizontal rain.

Rain of biblical (hellish) quantity today, worse than last Saturday even. Clothes will be drying for days. Fools to be on a hill like Wholestone in this but needs must.

We were: Jon, Simon, Philip, Dave, Geoff, Adrian, Stephen, Tanya, Jake, myself, Peter and Cath. We were joined by Chayley, Nell and the Green Building Store crew - who sponsored today's planting.

225 Oak planted.

Saturday, 9 March 2019


Up Crimble Clough this week. Weather was mixed, with a hefty dose of hefty rain and sleet thrown in.

We were: Tanya, myself, Geoff, Philip, Jon, Simon, Stephen, Steve, Ben, Cath, Dianne, and Dave. Plus four Scouts and their chaperone.

230 planted today, with 295 left to plant (plus 105 gorse).

The morning was capped off by an unfortunate car fail, that left all the other cars blocked in. We ended up pulling it out of the the way with a mass of people and two tow ropes. Range Rovers, huh.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Woody Woodpecker

This morning we were West of Marsden, doing some woodland management. The site was planted in several phases over 15 years ago, and we were thinning out some of the nurse species, such as Birch and Larch, leaving more light for the Oaks and Scots Pine.

We were careful to leave as little trace of our activities as possible. Piling brash away from the track, and removing all the felled timber.

We were: Stephen, Susan, Ben, Hap, Adrian, Simon, Robert, Cristina, Dave, Geoff, John, Lee and Jess.

Cake was apple flapjack, plus fruit from Hap.

Philip was representing us at a "Making the most of our moorland" public event at Marsden Mechanics.

Earlier in the week I had been on site with Guy and Susan to select the trees that could be felled. While we were there we heard lots of woodpeckers in the big Beech trees at the top of the site. I think they were probably scared off by the chainsaws on Saturday.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Carry go bring come

Forgot to take a photo today as was sooo busy.

We were at Throstle Green, doing some woodland management. Thinning, pruning, coppicing, and carrying back some logs for woodfuel.

We were: John, Hap, Steve, Ben, Jess and Lizzie the dog, Tanya, Geoff, Philip and friend Jon, Dave and Susan.

Cake was ginger, plus Hap again excelled (though don't know the name of his cake).

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The leanover

Happy reclining volunteers

This week we were at Parkwood in Golcar, formatively pruning trees, and reclaiming stakes and guards. It was a lovely morning, blessed further by eccles cakes!

We were: myself, Guy, Adrian, Stephen, John, Harriet and Floyd the dog, Duncan and Harvey the dog, Jess, Lee, Steve, Philip, Susan, Sarah, Dave, Tanya, Dianne, Adam, Ben and Geoff.

We removed several hundred stakes and guards, and will be back for more.

This was followed by a very productive mid-season meeting. (cult 90's Scottish post punk spoken word)

Saturday, 9 February 2019


The trees behind were us too, but over 15 years ago.

Back up Mount Road, Marsden today. We planted 28 Scots Pine, 102 Oak, 43 Birch, 74 Rowan, 30 Willow and 15 Alder - 292 total. How's that for precise.

This leaves 2 Pine, 3 Oak, 2 Birch and 1 Rowan for me to plant on Monday.

We were: Adrian, Hap, Stephen, Philip, Dave, Ben, Jess, Tanya, Geoff, Simon, Jon, Peter, and myself.