Sunday, 12 November 2017

Rhody bash at Lyme Park on Sunday 12th November 2017

Blue skies and a fresh, chill wind, accompanied the group working in Lantern Wood today.
As is usual with rhodybashing, a satisfactory amount was cleared and burnt by the 10 enthusiastic volunteers, fuelled by some very nice cake.
Although there is still a fair bit of rhododendron left in Lantern Wood and a few other spots around the park, the Rangers are starting to think of a time when Lyme Park no longer had a rhody problem!
Text provided by Mick. Photo's by Karin and Adrian.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Fencing work at Hardcastle Crags on 5 November 2017

Today, a select group of three made the hour's journey from Styal to Hardcastle Crags for our third visit of the year.  Harry, one of the three, was a newbie and we assured him that turnouts are usually higher (5 to 10) and sometimes a lot higher (15 last week).

We met Natalie Pownall, Academy Ranger, in the car park at the end of Midgehole Road then drove in her estate vehicle up to the top of Pecket Well.  Today's task was preparatory work ahead of a group upgrading stock fencing around a field.  In all, we carried 60 fence posts approximately 200 metres down to the fence line, set most of them beside the rotten fence posts they will replace and cut back branches overhanging the fence line.

The sun shone down all and we enjoyed a splendid view at lunchtime from a bench beside the Pecket Well war memorial across the Gibson Mill valley to the tiny village of Heptonstall with Hebden Bridge and Stoodley Pike beyond.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

MNTV walk with Stockport Ramblers visiting Coldwell Clough, Hayfield on Tuesday 31st October 2017

Tricia, Jean, Madeleine and Sue B from MNTV met with 20 or so Stockport Ramblers, led by Sue D (who is also a member of MNTV), in the Sett Valley Trail carpark at Hayfield at 10am.
Sue D had organised this walk as a celebration of the life of Susan Tarr, a hard-working member of MNTV, who was also a keen walker and rambler. Sadly Susan lost her battle with cancer a year ago and, in her memory, MNTV planted 3 Alder trees at Coldwell Clough, Hayfield, because this was one of Susan's favourite National Trust properties to volunteer at.

Follow this link to see the Blog of the tree planting last March:

Today's walk was to be a celebration of Susan's achievements, her friendship, her fantastic work ethic - always the first to get going on one of our workdays and the last to stop for lunch, her love of cake!, the walks she used to enjoy with Stockport and Marple Ramblers, and the 100 mile walks that she liked to do.
We were light-weights by comparison as todays walk was only about 11 miles (and some of us couldn't even manage all of that!) but would include 2,012ft of ascent!
We set off from the car park, up Chapel Street, left at the top taking a foot path contouring along the hillside via Phoside Farm to Peep O Day, across the main Chapel to Hayfield Road to follow the Pennine Bridleway right to South Head. We went up South Head to the top & had coffee on the other side, this was a welcome break.
We then descended Dimpus Clough to cross the River Sett, ascending around to Coldwell Clough.
Once there, Sue D said a few words in memory of Susan, and the 5 of us from MNTV went down the bank to the trees and had our photo taken in front of the plaque.
After our lunch break, Tricia and Sue B left the rest of the group and walked with one of the Ramblers down towards Hayfield, through the camp site.
The rest of the group carried on across fields to Ashes Farm, Tunstead Clough Farm & eventually Hill Houses, then on towards Farlands to walk anti-clockwise around Kinder Reservoir. From the bottom of William Clough they doubled back along White Brow to the shooting cabin & turned left down the snake path to return to Hayfield via Twenty Trees.
It was a lovely day, it stayed dry mainly and the sun shone a little in parts.
Many thanks to Sue D for organising the walk and making it so special.
Text regarding the route of the walk provided by Sue D.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Woodland work in Chapel Woods, Styal on Sunday 29th Oct 2017

Fifteen of us turned up on a cold, crisp Autumnal morning to meet Craig the Ranger.
We walked from the main carpark to the Cross near the Chapel, where Craig had taken our tools in his vehicle. We then unloaded the tools and carried them to the woods behind the Chapel, where there was already a previous fire site cordoned off by orange netting. Some of our volunteers were keen to get the netting down and get the fire started!
We had various tasks to do which would tidy up the area behind the Chapel and at the start of the woods.

These included removing the ivy from gate posts, fence posts, trees and even an electricity pole where the wire had been completely encased by ivy; cutting down the hedging and tree's along the perimeters to tidy it up for Winter; collecting the hedge clippings after Craig had used his petrol hedgecutters on the top of the hedge that runs the width of the Chapel, then cutting the front of the hedge, then a final cut (once the clippings were clear) to cut anything that had been missed and to go down as low as he could to the base of the hedge; dragging and burning as much of the clippings, ivy, brush and tree's that we could; blowing the leaves off the path with the leaf blower; scraping the mud and grass off the path and from the drainage gully's etc etc
As we were leaving and the fire was dying down, we replaced the orange mesh to keep inquisitive dogs away and ensure passers were aware of the danger.
It was certainly a lovely dry day, with plenty of chat and banter amongst the volunteers, and plenty of different tasks to keep us busy. Ranger Craig was delighted by all that we managed to achieve:-)
Photo's by Karin and Adrian

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A varied workday at South Head Farm - 22nd October 2017

Variety is said to be the spice of life, and it was certainly the case for the tasks today.  The (very) windy weather put paid to the planned rhodybashing on Kinder and so the group headed up to the former ranger's house at South Head Farm.  The National Trust is still not sure what use the buildings will be put to eventually, but for now they are being turned into a base for the rangers.  So, we were helping with:

Sanding down some wooden furniture
Stripping wallpaper
Whitewashing a barn
Clearing another barn of accumulated straw flooring

By the end of the workday the weather had cleared sufficiently for most of the group to head back down to the cars on foot.


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Splitting logs in the wood yard, Quarry Bank, Styal on Sunday 15th Oct 2017

Ten of us met at Quarry Bank today to find that we were working in the wood yard splitting logs to make firewood which would eventually be sold, mainly to the tenants on the Styal estate.
We were also cutting down hazel rods to be used a bean poles as well as for hedge laying.
Hard at work!
The wood was split manually with axes and with a tractor mounted hydraulic log splitter with such a good turnout that we soon made quite a large pile in the wood store. This wood will be left to dry out and season for a year or two, before it is sold.
...... a job well done:-)
The weather was nice, warm and sunny, which certainly helped the day go so well.
Group shot
 Text and photo's from Adrian.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Stock fence removal at Hare Hill on 8th October 2017

Six of us turned out today to meet the ranger in the car park at ten o’clock.  The task was the removal of a stock proof fence surrounding a heap of spoil left over from the construction of the car park.  We really cracked on and had the job finished by lunchtime despite having to wade through deep viscous mud in places.


... and after

After lunch, we set to digging up the thistles spoiling the look of the boundary fence.  Having completed this task we were then led to a patch of reeds that needed removal to allow for the establishment of a wild flower meadow, however the weather looked set to rain so we decided to call it a day after about half an hour.