Offshoots fun day out!

On Friday 16th March we all had a lovely day out at Offshoots in Burnley. Offshoots is a permaculture project that started in 2007 and set up in the old walled garden in Towneley Park.

First things first, we all made ourselves a cuppa, introduced ourselves to the other visitors and then Phil Dewhurst gave us a brief introduction and history of the project.

In the morning Phil gave us a tour of offshoots and talked about the many different activities they are involved in there. It was amazing how much they had fit into a relatively small area. To give you an example there was fruit/veg growing, Tudor style timber building work, a compost loo, cob oven, yurt making, composting and lots more interesting things.

In the afternoon we were split into groups and given the chance to get involved with some activities. We did either cotton grass propagation, soil sieving, dividing blackcurrant plants and  planting of garlic, french beans and white beans. Then we had the great opportunity to get dressed up in suits and go and visit the bees. It was buzzing!

We all had really fun day and were glad we had the chance to see this inspiring permaculture project and meet the nice people responsible for it.



Reservoir Trails update….

…..from the Communities Team

The last two weeks of our voluntary graduate placement have seen us visiting the local countryside and reservoirs as part of our work with Pennine Prospects Reservoir Trails scheme. The aim of this project is to run up to 6 guided walks with groups within the community who would not normally engage with the local countryside and reservoirs.

First up saw us take the audio trail around Piethorne and Ogden reservoirs. We are hoping to produce a shortened version of this and identify local groups who are interested in participating in this project.

Piethorne Reservoir

Piethorne Reservoir

A view of Ogden reservoir

A view of Ogden reservoir

Secondly we visited Hollingworth Lake to meet Adam Clayton from Rochdale Council. Here we discussed putting together a desription of a circular walk to be used in brochures promoting the local reservoirs. We agreed to write descriptions of both Chelburn and Castleshaw reservoirs in addition to our planned guided walks.

The rest of the week was spent visiting these areas and writing descriptions of the route, getting slightly lost along the way!

A view from the Roman Fort overlooking the reservoir at Castleshaw



Upper Chelburn reservoir


Luckily the weather was kind to us, and the rain stayed away! We also made some friends along the way…..


Car driving dogs @ Hollingworth Lake

If you have any local information we could use for our guided walks or would like to attend one at Piethorne or Hollingworth reservoir, please email us at

– Natalie, Jess and Annie

Sunshine for my wildflower meadow

We had a sunny warm day on the 5th of March to help us sow our wildflower meadow.

First we identified plant species in our area where we wanted to create a new wild flower meadow.  We found a nice sunny spot with only Dock leaves and Stinging nettles so we decided to use this area.

Next we dug up the soil as the wildflower seeds (cornflower, corn poppy etc) like to grow on rough stony ground.

Then we mixed the wildflower seeds with sand and scattered them in our prepared area. We covered the seeds with soil to prevent birds from eating them and watered the area.

Now we just have to hope for more sunny weather to help our seeds germinate, fingers crossed!