During the past year, the Trust has assisted the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust in monitoring the pollution in the streams of the Collingham, East Keswick and Bardsey catchment area. Our samples confirm the Environment Agency’s earlier findings that these water courses are indeed highly polluted. Some articles refer to the beck as “Collingham Drain”!
Water sample tests from East Keswick beck showing high levels of pollution.
Most of the pollution comes from agricultural run off, but we can help… see the next post. Additional assistance that the Trust has provided has been helping plant trees and hedges along the stream sides.
Bardey School learning about the Yellow Fish Campaign when years 5 and 6 visited the reserves this summer to learn about the water quality in our local becks. This visit followed on from a practical demonstration in school by The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust on many aspects of caring for our rivers.
The Yellow Fish Campaign is a Government scheme to raise awareness about sources of water pollution and the quality of water in streams, rivers, lakes or ponds. The hope is to put a yellow fish sign alongside all surface water drains to remind people that whatever does down the drain ends up in our streams.
Students suggested ways of publicising the Yellow Fish Campaign
In July EKWT ran a course on Managing Woodland for biodiversity and sustainability for Flora Locale. The feedback after the course was excellent. They were extremely impressed at the amount and diversity of management work we have achieved in Elliker and Ox Close Wood.
Attendees of the Flora Locale event examining the management strategies in Ox Close
Photos of recent events and projects. Click on an image to enlarge it.
The Scouts had an evening pulling Balsam in Ox Close Wood
The Scouts produced enormous piles of pulled Balsam
Doncaster Naturalists visited East Keswick to see our Thistle Brromrape and Herb Paris.
The Trust liaises with Natural England: Michelle Dickinson from Natural England inspected the status of Keswick Fitts SSSI
The Trust’s walk to Liz Parr’s Wood near Plumpton was enjoyed by all.
The Summer Bird Survey saw a total of 44 bird species on the day. These included wonderful views of Yellow Hammers and Grey Wagtails.
Yellow Hammer along Moor Lane, photographed by Howard.
Another of the day’s sidelines was this magnificent Emporer Dragonfly
Cutting and raking thick vegetation on the track into the Ellikers.
Controlling Dogs Mercury year 1 after opening the rides in Elliker Wood. We hope cutting and raking will weaken it to prevent it shading out native plants.
Fencing in progress in the Marsh so that livestock can be used later in the year to graze overwhelming vegetation.
To further increase the biodiversity of uncommon wild flowers in Ox Close wood, we have again been plug planting in the grazing pasture. The plants were grown in the Trusts own wild flower nursery from seed that was collected locally.
About half of the wood was clear felled in 1992 by its previous owners. Until then, this area of the wood consisted of non-native conifers that shaded the ground so much that very little was left of whatever seed bank might have been present. Consequently the area that is now kept open by conservation grazing has a poor range of wild flowers which we are hoping to rectify.
This time, to deter the deer from jumping over wire fences, the posts have been angled inwards and the tops of the mesh netting has been laced with string.
Species that have been planted include Betony, Rock Rose, Aquilegia, and Ladies Bedstraw.
Fenced off area with plug plants of wild flowers
On 27th February, our Friday volunteers enjoyed a sunny day to finish hedge planting along one of the Keswick Marsh boundaries. The hedge is 70 to 80% Hawthorn with the remainder made up of six or seven other hedging plant species such as Hazel, Spindle, Holly, Blackthorn and Buckthorn. Since the hedge in the Marsh, hedging in Elliker Field has been completed.
Enjoying the fruits of our labour
During the summer the Trust held and took part in a number of events…..
Mini Beast afternoon with Teresa and Robert Marshall and the Pre School Toddler Group and families
Bardsey School years 5 and 6 visit the Ellikers and Keswick Marsh as part of their investigations on “Going Green”.
Trust outing to Grass Wood near Grassington led by Bruce Brown of the Grass Wood Volunteer Group.
Leeds Naturalists have a guided visit to the Ellikers and Keswick Marsh.
Jeanette Richardson from Natural England visits the Trust to oversee the Higher Level Stewardship agreement.
A lot has been happening over the last two weeks;
More work has been done to Ellikers; including boundary fencing and inserting entrance gateposts.
Work begins improving the entrance to The Ellikers
Ben, from Leeds Grammar School volunteering as part of the school’s curriculum, helping to install entrance gateposts in the Ellikers.
7th March. Members of the Friday work group attended a First Aid Course given by the St. John’s Ambulance.
Andy practicing resuscitation on his dummy.
The Friday work group enjoying lunch during the First Aid Course.
2nd March. Winter Work Party and Children’s Event. All the children helped to make a “Bug Hotel” for insects to find shelter, especially for hibernation. Constructed around a frame of old pallets, it used recycled materials, such as old bricks and tiles, and vegetable matter such as rotting wood and hollow plant stems. Everyone can help by setting aside a corner of the garden so that a small pile of such materials can be left for wildlife. About 50 people attended the event organised for the Pre School Toddler Group and families.
Starting the construction of the Bug Hotel.
The Bug Hotel completed.