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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students from Bardsey School enjoyed enormously their day on the 12th October pond dipping in East Keswick Marsh. After the event, they all wrote letters of thanks which included excellent sketches of many of the creatures they found. Here a re a couple of the letters… there’s not enough room to put them all.
Photos of recent events and projects. Click on an image to enlarge it.
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.
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.
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.The 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.
If you wish to attend, it is essential to book. For further information go to the Training section of www.floralocale.org alternatively email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet initially at Greenfields.