Sunday, 11 March 2018

Sunday 11th March 2018 - Work Party

The snow has gone but it remains damp and muddy in the woodland. There were 10 of us, and a dog,  for a good morning's work and only a little rain.

 After levelling the earth, the picnic table was raised on to slabs to protect it from wet from the ground which can seep in to the cut ends of the feet, it will also stop it sinking in. It needs a coat of Danish oil, to protect the wood, on a dry day.

The finished picnic table

The raspberry had a prune and the gooseberry and currant bushes were weeded. The path edges were kept clear of brambles as usual and the old nettle stalks raked off the snowdrops to allow for maximum growth. 

The path through the plum trees near the entrance to the site was redefined with long pieces of wood along the sides.

 The den was checked for loose poles and the hedge laying along the track tidied up a bit. A lovely tall, straight ash was felled, with the view to selling it to a local chair maker. This was to finish a job started last month, although the trees are only just coming into leaf this will be all the regular tree felling until next winter.

Snowdrops and primroses at the entrance to the wood.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Woodland Group News

Since the last, almost spring like, photos we have been hit by winter once again. It's very cold but the woodland looks beautiful in it's snowy blanket. 

As mentioned before, we held an Extraordinary General Meeting after the last work party to formerly adopt new roles within the group. After many years of hard work our dedicated chairman decided to retire at the last quarterly meeting and we now have big boots to fill (metaphorically speaking!) Accordingly, the group has been restructured, sharing out responsibilities with one person, me, co-ordinating.

A draft management plan has been written. It needs refining and adding to but it should give us all an idea of what we are aiming for and how any future proposals fit into an overall plan for the woodland.

I have a great team behind me and I'm sure we will manage to keep the woodland as lovely for people and wildlife as it is now.

Charlotte x

Monday, 5 February 2018

Sunday 4th February 2018 - Work Party

It was a well wrapped up group that braved the cold for the February work party. The snowdrops were creating beautiful drifts in the woodland and adjoining churchyard but there weren't many other signs of spring just yet.

The boundary ditch, which was cleared last month, was emptied a bit more and any
overhanging vegetation trimmed back to keep it clear. The remains of a bicycle frame was found, but the tree doesn't seem to mind.

Ongoing ride edge clearing.

A few branches were thinned from the track edge. This will probably be the last of any major tree removal until next winter as hopefully by the next work party, in March, the birds will have begun nesting.

It is worth noting that the money received from the Grassroots Giving award from Skipton Building Society was a reward for our hard work in maintaining the woodland for the community and not a grant for a particular project. Following much discussion and a vote among members it was agreed to buy a picnic table for a second cleared area at the southern end of the wood.  This has now been constructed. 

The table is in position but needs levelling up and putting on a base to prevent rot and prolong it's life, although the wood is treated.

At the last quarterly meeting, the chairman resigned and therefore during refreshments after the work, an Extraordinary General Meeting was held and a new committee agreed of which more to follow.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Sunday 7th January 2018 - Work Party

A fine but chilly day for the first work party of the year, really nice to see some sunshine at last. The first few snowdrops are out and there should be a good show, both here and in the adjacent churchyard, by next month.

The boundary ditch got it's annual clear out of leaves and other debris so that the water, when it rains, can run freely again.

Two more pussy or goat willows, Salix caprea, were added to the group already planted. Also known as sallow, they are dioecious  which means  male and female flowers appear on separate trees. These were grown from cuttings so will have the soft grey buds opening out into pollen covered flowers in early spring, like the parent plant. 

The broad oval shaped leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths,  sallow kitten, sallow clearwing, dusky clearwing and lunar hornet clearwing. 

There was an on site discussion about the picnic table proposal for a site next to the glade (top photo) the top of the wood store laid down on the right to give an idea of siting and size. Then we looked at a second area where we had already agreed a table could be sited. At the next quarterly meeting we can decide if we think another table would enhance the woodland, and if so the type and where to put it. A group vote will be taken if an agreement cannot be reached.

This is a large log relocated from the glade area to a secluded spot hopefully suited to stag beetles. It looks insignificant on this photo but I can assure you it was a big effort to move! 

The ground having softened since last time, the holes were able to be dug and the posts installed to finish the new bench in the glade area. All duly measured, levelled and finished off it had to be tested!

Some branches were thinned along the boundary ditch and leaves raked from the grassy areas.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

🎉 Happy New Year from the  Framsden Woodland Group!

 We had intended to increase the diversity of the habitat and add interest for visitors by adding a pond, using the grant from Skipton Building Society. This is now not going to be possible because of insurance and health and safety reasons so we are due to have an on site discussion at the next activity session.  

We didn't quite get a white Christmas but here are some pictures of the woodland in the snow just before.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Work party - December 3rd 2017

Bit of a grey, damp morning for our last work party of the year. Most of the leaves have now fallen from the trees and with the nettles and other undergrowth dying back, whole new vistas open out where you can see right through the wood.

 The hunt for brambles encroaching on the path edges continues. These scrubby bits are added to brash line on the woodland boundary.

Iris foetidissima  (stinking iris) plants were divided and potted up. This native iris has insignificant yellow flowers in spring but amazing bright orange berries in the autumn which the birds love.

It took a bit of effort with the dry soil but 6 native honeysuckles were successfully planted to grow up some mature trees. In the top picture you can also see the ash trees marked for thinning out.

In the glade area, one of the old seating logs was removed to make way for a new bench to match the other three. A good start was made on digging the holes for the posts in dry, heavy clay soil. One of the holes was filled with water to soften the earth and this task will be completed at a later date.

And to finish pig club sausage hot dogs and giant toasted marshmallows.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Many thanks to Neil and Mark for submitting our application to Skipton Building Society and to everyone that voted. The good news is that we have been awarded £500 towards the future development of the woodland. Watch this space for news on how it will be spent.