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!’
Lunch in Elliker Wood
Much work has been done recently at Elliker Field and Wood. Now that the cows are removed from the field this has been cut and raked.
The log store (just out to the right of the picture) is completed and we plan to create a pond in the field into which rainwater run-off from the roof will be directed.
Elliker log store. Processed wood is in the crates on the left. Logs on the right are yet to process.
During July, Bardsey School visited Elliker Field to identification wild flowers and to learn about flower pollination
Students from Bardsey School exploring pollination in Elliker Field
Bardsey School in Elliker Field
In July, the Trust ran another successful course with Flora Locale on woodland management to improve biodiversity. The photos show the group looking at the newly created coppice coupe in Elliker Wood and discussing the fluctuating water temperatures in the River Wharfe
Flora Locale, July 2017
Flora Locale on the River Wharfe, July 2017
Now it’s late Spring the countryside is full of flowers and our efforts during previous seasons are showing results:
Ox Close grazing pasture
At the side of entrance track to the Ellikers
Looking down Elliker Field
The marsh in East Keswick is grazed again for the first time in at least twenty five years. Trust volunteers completed fencing the marsh during March and the Dexter cattle which were introduced in May will be there for a short while to reduce the density of the dominant vegetation of Meadowsweet and Great Willow-herb. This will allow the more delicate wildflowers to re-establish themselves. The Marsh was last grazed before the houses of Keswick Grange and Church Drive were built.
Dexters grazing in the Marsh
Work has started on the construction of a log store in Elliker Wood. We plan to move most of the log piles (others are habitat piles) from Elliker Wood and some from Ox Close so that the logs can season for a couple of years under cover before they are used. We intend to start selling logs to the community in the autumn of 2017.
Constructing the log store
This Autumn, three Dexter calves have done an excellent job in eating most of the coarse grasses in Elliker Field. this should, hopefully, have the desired effect of allowing the smaller delicate Spring flowers to flourish next year. Only time will tell…..
Additional volunteer work this winter will include reducing the scrub and bramble cover.
Dexter calves in Elliker Field
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.
East Keswick Wildlife Trust is delighted to report that work in Elliker Wood, the new community nature reserve in the heart of East Keswick, is nearly complete. We have opened up the woodland, creating wide tracks through the wood to enhance the habitat for wildlife and also to make access easier.
Looking from Elliker Field through to Elliker Wood
Newly completed fencing and gate at Elliker Wood, East Keswick
Part of this work has been funded by a grant from Green Leeds Limited and a Biffa Award; a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund. We are extremely grateful for their support. Everyone is welcome to visit the reserve at any time and we are always looking for volunteers to join our popular Friday work-parties. For more information, please visit www.ekwt.org.uk. 01937 574140.