The recent warm weather has prompted many insects into activity. Here’s a great shot of a Brimstone laying its eggs on Alder Buckthorn in Ox Close Wood.
Rose briars are bearing strange fruit this time of year. It would seem that the lazy owner of the dog that resulted it this ought to be on his, or her, lead. It’s a shame that all dog owners can’t be responsible people. As with football hooligans; it’s the actions of a minority that gives the rest a bad name.
Ox Close is a nature reserve. Our activities and aims are for the enhancement of nature and the enjoyment of the public. Please respect our wishes…. dogs must be ona lead and clean up any mess.
The Children’s Pizza Event and Charcoal Burn on 30 June was a great success.
Approximately 50 children arrived with their families and about 90 pizzas were made.
Other activities included painting, willow whittling and clay modelling.
For the first time since the 18th century, cows are grazing in Ox Close Wood!
The cows will graze the paddock for a few weeks after which they will go to another reserve to continue their conservation grazing.
Once part of the Common lands of EastKeswick, Ox Close was a wood pasture where wood and timber could be cut and extracted during the winter months and animals grazed during the summer by the Commoners of the village – usually the most prominent residents. By the end of the 18th century, the management of Common lands was deemed inefficient so increasing numbers of individual parish Parliamentary Enclosure Acts were passed to provide the legal framework for privatisation. All Commoners rights to graze in Ox Close ceased at the beginning of 19th century on the enclosure of East Keswick when the wood became part of the Harewood Estate.
The photos show three cows, each with a calf being let into the wood. Because Clarita (below) has horns, she had to be transported separated from her calf and separately from the other cows.
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
Now it’s late Spring the countryside is full of flowers and our efforts during previous seasons are showing results:
During the winter months, the eastern boundary of Ox Close wood has been cut back. Trees that were overhanging the field have been removed or trimmed back to allow more light to the field edge thereby benefitting any growing crops. To maintain a boundary a new hedge has been planted along this side of the wood. Thanks go to The Woodland Trust for supplying the plants, guards and supports.
At our AGM in May, the Trust commenced its 25 Years Anniversary. Professor Ian Rotherham gave a talk on Ancient Woodlands to which the village History Group were invited… our first combined event.
During the afternoon before the AGM, members of the Trust and the History Group accompanied Ian through Ox Close wood where given an enlightening aspect of the history of the wood. The rainy conditions did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm!
During March, the bridleway down to the river was re-surfaced. The spoil that this work generated has been tipped to the sides of the bridleway and as a consequence has covered locally uncommon species of wild flowers. The Trust met up with the Footpath Officer (Groundwork) and the Parish Council to discuss this and other damage that was caused.
On Monday May 8th the cubs took their 15 bird boxes to Ox Close Wood. They enjoyed the evening as they climbed short ladders to screw their boxes to well distributed trees.