Saturday, 20 December 2008
Last week at Highwood, and we finished planting the planned 1000 trees for this part of the site. Again, we were on the perilous slope. Quite a lot of volunteers this morning including one Scout. Not a bad turnout for the saturday immediately before Christmas Home made jam sponge was the cake. Spirits were higher than the second photo would suggest, Philip was full of cold, and full of beard.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
This morning was one of those mornings when the pleasure of the long hot shower, warm dry clothes, and cup of tea that come after the work, make all the rain, mud and cold almost worthwhile. There must be an element of masochism in the mental make-up of our volunteers.
Pretty dismal weather, rain, low cloud and chilly. The only thing it lacked was wind, so that made it just about bearable. Rain is always a problem for the digging volunteer though. Hardly anyone is going to waste good breathable outdoor gear on this kind of work, so that means that you get to choose between sweating inside your waterproofs, or getting wet from the rain. There is no correct answer. I tried both this morning.
Not surprisingly, fewer volunteers this week, I blame the weather, plus the nearness of christmas. Nevertheless the seven of us present probably planted around 200 trees, and part of that was planting Birch on a very steep and rocky slope so respect to the mountaineering section - Cath, Philip, Trevor and Brian.
Fewer volunteers did mean more cake each (homemade Ginger). Brian had also brought a flask of Bushmills. Everyone appreciated it, even me, and I can't abide whiskey.
Everything I had on is covered in mud. But I do now feel warm and comfy at home.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Another brilliant sunny winter morning, loads of volunteers, and 300 trees planted. It was all idyllic. Sadly there is no photographic evidence this week as something has gone wrong with either my camera or my memory card.
Fingers crossed that we stay lucky with the weather. We haven't had a really grim morning yet this season, so we are due one.
The cake was a universally admired lemon drizzle cake.
Some people took their cars ice skating on the way up to the site, but that had thawed by the time we came back down. No damage done.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Bright cold and frosty. Very picaresque. We planted on this site last year, and we are back to plant another 1000 trees. We loaded up all 1000 trees, stakes and guards at the nursery, and when we got to the site the landowner very helpfully carted all that gear across the fields on his tractor. Saving us the donkey work. We set to digging and planting in the sunshine and managed to plant 190 trees this morning. The cake was a nice nutty and fruity fruit cake. And I nailed up the first of our waymarkers to mark our work.
Last picture is of Brian, Cath, Dave and Trevor.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Last day on this site. We have planted 750 trees in 4 weeks, which is not terribly fast work, and is slightly worrying given our commitments this season. That said, it was a lovely day, we worked hard for no money, and we finished and tidied up. The cake was highly rated home made chocolate brownies. Next week we will be at Highwood, Slaithwaite, where another 1000 trees are due to go in. That should take us up to Christmas. Main photo is, unusually, of me.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Third week at Meltham, and we finally made it on site, after another discussion about the best way to cross the various fields. We still haven't found the perfect route, this week involved some deep sucking mud, and some gregarious horses. Once work began over 200 more trees got planted. Lots of Birch, some Hazel for understory, and Oak. A nice mornings weather, mild, no rain, and even a spot of blue sky now and then. We have another 2-300 trees to plant at this site, so another two weeks work should do us easily. The cake was coffee cake,with a crunchy top. Very nice.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Our second week near Meltham, and this week we had trees to plant. So we went at it with a vengence and planted just over 200 trees in a morning. Mostly Hazel, some Rowan, some Birch, and a few Cherry. The mornings cake was a very very decadent coconut and fruit slice.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Saturday, 20 September 2008
The official first day of our new planting season is 1st November. Today was another summer maintenance day. The circular walk around Butterly Reservoir had become blocked by fallen trees in the pine plantation. These were large trees and a chainsaw was necessary to clear them. Philip and Guy had done a proper risk assessment. We marked off the path with hazard tape. There was much debate about a strategy but once we had agreed on one, Guy marked the cuts on the trees with spray, and Philip set about them with the chainsaw. I took photos, and Dan lopped off branches with a pruning saw, and cleared debris. After that, and after a coffee break, we walked over to a nearby farm to meet the new owners and discuss planting in their fields.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
The second photo is of Philip pointing over towards Green Owlers, a site planted about 8 years ago. Not many of the trees on that site have thrived, a result of some grazing by sheep, and maybe not good soil. As you can probably guess from the glowering clouds overhead, it tipped it down shortly after this.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Tree planting is officially over for this season, so this mornings outing was a site visit to Huck Hill above the Tunnel End, Marsden. We were accompanied by Jeff and Patrick from the Kirklees Environment Unit, who were advising us and Ian, the landowner, on how to further develop the site. It was a preliminary discussion, with flora and fauna audits to be carried out a later date, but the discussion with Jeff and Patrick was very useful. The area we were visiting has been fenced off from grazing for around 2 years now, and Jeff was keen to note the natural regeneration of plantlife in that time. Unfortunately, it decided to snow heavily as we were walking up the site, and so all the low lying plantlife was somewhat obscured by that. We did see some natural regeneration of small Grey Willow/Sallow trees and Heather, and examples of Cowberry and Polytricum moss (as pictured above). By the time we were walking back down the sun was shining and it was a lovely day. By the time I had walked the half mile home, all the snow had melted away. I think it fair to say that Jeff and Patrick were keen that we be sensitive in our further development of the site, that following the flora and fauna audits we could plant small areas of appropriate low lying trees such as Blackthorn and Hawthorn, and that this could be a positive contribution to the transition between wooded valley areas and upland heath.
Philip, Patrick and Jeff from the Kirklees environment unit, and Ian, whose land this is.
I sloped off home after this visit, but Philip and Dave went off to plant a last few Hazel trees at Marsden Golf Course.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Another morning of work to finish at Scammonden. Once again we were led by Brian in a session planting in and around some underused farmland. Brother was it wet. The pet ducks illustrate this. We planted alder and willow in the dampest corners, and some pine and hawthorn where it was relatively dry. Once again whiskey was brought. And the cake was as substantial luxury mincemeat slice. After planting we were taken to Brian's favorite drinking hole, colloquially known as Mecca. Pints and pork pies were got in. Very good. But the scantily clad ladies calendar was a bit non-PC.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Just a morning tidying up the High Wood site, planting a few last trees and making sure all the trees had stakes and guards. A bit of late snow made it picaresque. First pic is of Heidi, and last pic of this site is of the lovely view that morning.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
We had done some of the heavy digging in advance, because experience has taught us that those little folk and their parents can plant very fast! And every year we underestimate how much work they can do! We planted a total of around 300 trees, birch, oak and hawthorn. Everyone had a great time, and the rain held off. Tilly took all the
photographs, and she distributed home made biscuits, and gave out society leaflets. A good morning.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Once again we were t Royd House Wood thinning out some established trees. Phillip and Dave were at work with their chainsaws (photo of a spot of maintenance). The rest of us with pruning saws and loppers. This mornings cake was a universally acclaimed coconut crunchy top thing. And some of us went to the Sair afterwards for refreshment. Last photo is of our tree of kit.
The most significant even this morning was our receipt of a very significant donation of money from an old friend of the Society. "H" visited us on site, and presented Phillip with a cheque . We are all hugely impressed and grateful.
Saturday, 8 March 2008
The second site was a farm below the Lower Royal George pub. We began planting a number of small plots within the farm's fields, creating small wooded areas. The weather was pretty poor, windy and occassionally rainy. But we did have a short Jameson's whiskey break, and cake, to fortify us. As you can see we needed fortifying, it was cold and windy up there, and wet underfoot too. The first picture is of John and Peter, the second features Rob, Geoff and Trevor leaning into the wind.
Saturday, 1 March 2008
Back to High Wood again this morning. It is a large site that will occupy us for some time, including some of next season. This morning we were planting more Hawthorn and Oak on the Westerly side of the site, and preparing ground for a group from Lindley school to do some planting in a couple of weeks time. And I occupied myself rolling up some old barbed wire that might be a bit hazardous with small children around. We were delighted to see Bob this morning, who hasn't been out with us for a while.
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Back to Royd House Wood again this week, to do more thinning of previously planted trees. We had two chainsaws in action this week, and the rest of us with loppers and pruning saws. We got quite a lot done. I came a way with a car load of firewood, which, while not the main purpose of the morning, is still good. Often our planting schemes involve packing trees in tightly together, 2 metres apart or less. We monitor the progress of sites. If not all the trees have grown well then there is of course no need to thin them out. Occasionally we will find that a certain type of tree is not thriving on a site, and we will go back to that site to "beat-up" (plant more trees). If all the trees we planted have done well, then thinning out may be necessary.
Today's cake was lemon drizzle cake, and lovely it was too. Everyone greatly appreciates my mum's home made cakes each week.
The work was followed by our mid-season committee meeting in the Sair, Linthwaite, at 1pm.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Second photo is of Society patriach, Brian, busy putting guards on the new trees.
This weeks cake was chocolate cake, made with the finest Green and Blacks organic chocolate.
Saturday, 9 February 2008
First week on a new site, High Wood, above Crimble above Slaithwaite. A fairly glorious sunny morning, on a site with a nice south facing aspect. Despite having to carry all our kit across a couple of fields to get to the site we managed to plant over three hundred trees this morning. Photo is of a team meeting, some important matter of strategy being discussed I am sure.