Meet in the Crabtree Lane car park on Wednesday 4th May at 7.00pm for a walk around Ox Close Woods, all welcome.
Robert and Ann from the West Yorkshire Mammal Group joined us for our harvest mouse nest survey at Fitts Fields.
Families enjoyed looking at the base of large tufts of grass for the nests. None were found, but we did find lots of field vole nests.
In October Ann and Robert will be joining us again and setting Longworth humane traps to try and observe a variety of small mammals.
Volunteers from the Trust recently joined with members of the Yorkshire Dales River Trust to plant trees alongside Keswick Beck. It was lovely to have so many volunteers of all ages taking part and learning more about the River Trust and their natural flood management plans.
A number of the Trust’s volunteers took part in a hedge laying course recently and over the last 3 weeks have completed laying the hedge along the edge of the Marsh. Over time hedges can become hollow at the base and provide little shelter for wildlife. Hedge laying is a traditional skill that rejuvenates the hedge from the base to provide a stock proof barrier and dense habitat for wildlife. You can admire their work as you walk past on Main Street.
The family hedge and woodland tree planting days in January at the Fitts Lane reserve had a great turnout, particularly on the Sunday, when approximately 30 people of all ages were there.
A big thank you to everyone who came to help and planted hedgerows that will be a haven for wildlife for years to come!
Anyone visiting the Fitts Reserve will notice that there’s been a lot of work clearing the boundaries in order to install stock fencing. In amongst the vegetation we came across a pair of very old stone gate posts with many nearby dressed stones in and on the ground.
In order to make use of the stones we decided to have a go at creating a dry stone wall with results shown below. By coincidence, as we were making the wall a chap walking down the path mentioned that many years ago there was a stone-built field bothy… probably used to store tools.
It was satisfying to be able to put these stones to good use again.
Since the trust took over our new site at Fitts Lane, our Friday volunteer work party has been working hard towards restoring the valuable grassland habitat.
Much of this work has been preparing boundaries; fencing and hedge planting. To provide a much-needed boost to this effort, and to introduce members to the new site, the work being done and what we hope to achieve; this month we are holding two family hedge planting days at the Fitts Lane site in East Keswick (the fields on the footpath to the river from the end of Cleavesty Lane) during January, Sunday 16th and Saturday 22nd.
The days will start at 10am and we will be there as long as we keep going! Any time that can be given is welcomed and contributes to the overall team effort, so please come along at, and for, a time that suits you.
The work itself is great for kids – with tasks suitable for all ages. We find they generally enjoy planting the whips and protecting them with canes and guards – leaving the older ones to dig the holes! And it’s great for them to see the growth of the hedges over the years to follow – something to be proud to have been part of.
We will also take the opportunity to explain the work we are doing there, plans for the site and how the trust use the Dexter cattle for conservation grazing, and (for the kids) the importance of worms! We will also have BBQs lit and available for use – an opportunity to learn about the charcoal making we undertake in Ox Close Woods, whilst you cook some sausages to keep energy levels up.
What you will need:
- Appropriate clothing and footwear
- Your own food to cook on the BBQ (or a packed lunch) and a drink
- If possible, a spade
If you need help finding us, you can contact Corinne on 07582 561749 or Thomasin on 07944 951605. It would be helpful if you let us know if you are planning to attend, but not essential.
We will cancel the events if the ground is frozen or there is heavy rain. We will notify people in advance via our Facebook page (search for East Keswick Wildlife Trust) if we do need to cancel.
We hope to see you there!
The Brownies have been looking at local charities and one of the sixes, the Imps, made a poster about the EKWT and shared their thoughts with everyone.
Thank you to Brown Owl, Emma.
This photo shows the Brownies at this Summer’s den building challenge.
Thank you to the Scouts.