Winter Bird Survey 2022

After initially being cancelled due to bad weather, the winter bird survey took place on Sunday 27th February on a gloriously sunny day. A total of 38 bird species were recorded along with Roe deer, rabbit and fox.

Birds recorded:
Blue Tit, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Coot, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Wagtail, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Lapwing, Nuthatch, Redwing, Robin, Red Kite, Rook, Skylark, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Hedge laying at the Marsh

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.

Askham Bryan College Visit – July 2021

Postponed from last year due to covid and organised by Judith and John Pentith, the Askham Bryan Gardening Club visited the trust on 3rd July 2021. A day which was very, very wet but turned out to be a very enjoyable full day.

In the morning the large group was shown around the inner village reserves. Lunch in the Duke, with time to dry out a little, was followed by a guided walk around Ox Close Wood.

Subsequent comments were enthusiastic:

‘Thank you for arranging the visit to East Keswick on Saturday, we found it fascinating and really enjoyed the morning despite the soaking!’

‘An absolute joy to see such beautiful places, particularly enjoyed the range of flowers in the meadows and the wide variety of grasses and sedges by the marsh. Loads of orchids and to be introduced to the Thistle-broomrape (also known as Yorkshire broomrape), which is only found in our county was special. But the star of the show for me, was to see at last Herb Paris, which was the absolute icing on the cake! Seen so often in guide books, but never found before.’

‘The whole soggy day was enlivened by our two very enthusiastic guides – thanks again!’

Hi Tech in the Marsh

Over the last few years the Marsh becomes very overgrown during the summer months with tall herbage that swamps the more delicate plants such as Marsh Marigold.

The Trust’s present project is to fence the central areas of the Marsh with the purpose of being able to introduce livestock to graze off much of this tall herbage. The fencing is in progress but will take another month or so to complete.

Livestock will include cows, and because they need water, Dan Turner from the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (he gave the talk and last month’s AGM) has installed a hi-tec solar-powered water pump which means that we are neither reliant on a mains water source nor do we have to allow the cows to drink from the stream.IMG_0420The water quality of East Keswick Beck is currently very poor and is one of the YDRT’s targets for water quality improvement. The water pump with its trough means that the cattle do not need to drink from the beck as their feet and heavy body weights cause “poaching” (puddling of the mud) on the bankside which would wash into the beck which would add to the pollution of the beck.20160617_130925

Hedge Planting in the Marsh

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.

Hedge planting

Hedge planting

Enjoying the fruits of our labour

Enjoying the fruits of our labour



Harvest Mice in the Marsh

After finding possible Harvest Mice nests in the Marsh, their presence has been confirmed by a small-mammal trapping weekend 4th to 6th October.
Visitors from Ossett, Pocklington, Kirby Malzard and as far away as Cumbria attended the joint Yorkshire Mammal Group and EKWT Harvest Mice Weekend in Keswick Marsh.
The Sunday morning proved very successful when 23 of the 50 traps had mammals…
11 Field Mice, 10 Bank Voles, one Common Shrew and one Harvest Mouse.

A Harvest Mouse

A Harvest Mouse

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A Field Mouse


Weighing and recording small mammals in the Marsh.