Snow far snow good…

I can’t believe we are already in week 4 of the programme – time has flown by! The team have been very busy over the last week getting to grips with their individual projects and of course working on Boarshaw Clough, the nature site we will be maintaining. This week Natalie was our team leader for the day and our main task was to clear up one of the entrance features which has become particularly overgrown by knotweed and brambles.

Despite the snow covered ground the team of VPAs achieved great results – thanks again for all your hard work it is very much appreciated!

Photos to follow….

Our new volunteers Jeanette and Sam have now started their placements at Oldham Evening Chronicle so we will get them to post soon about what they have been up to.



More grinding

Liam making finishing touch's to the dipping platform

This week at Boarshaw Clough we took down the remaining vandalised interpretation boards and completed the dipping platform.  Finishing way ahead of schedule we finished with a spot of balsam bashing – getting stung in the process. 

Alice using the Angle Grinder

Wading at Boarshaw

Monday as always saw all the VPAs in action at Boarshaw Clough. Christian had a day of river work and pathwork planned. The plan was to fill in some of the eroded pathways with silt which had formed deep channels down their centre. We started digging and filling in the holes. To our amazment we discovered several existing boardwalks submerged under a foot of silt. So we excavated these and continued to fill in the eroded paths with fantastic results at the end. 

Meanwhile some of the braver VPAs tackled the blockage in the river. Matt went in first with one pair of waders to discover there was a large hole in one of the boots. After clearing some of the debris from the stream he poured the water out of the boots an hung his socks in the tree.Christian took over in the other lumberjack style pair of waders to finish off the work. After a succesful day, with the exception of the kelly kettle brews which took ages, the team departed having improved the flow in the stream and making parts of the path far more user friendly.  

Matt and sarah clearing the river.

Christian psyching himself  up for a wade

A new boardwalk uncovered

Matts socks drying in the tree

A little helper…

Jawad was the team leader this week, organising the exciting use of the Strimmer.  Obviously, we were trained to use the strimmer safely prior to being left to our own devices.   We successfully cut back vegetation along the ‘footpath’ adjacent to the river – ready for future weeks where we aim to improve the footpath itself.  Below you can see the before picture…

We were also helped out this week by a very friendly Robin…

Wet Wet WET!

This week the team battled with the wind and torrential rain whilst trying to improve the drainage on site! Many areas of the site have become pretty boggy due to the wet weather and blocked up drainage pipes. Everyone worked hard to dig out wider trenches at the entrance and exit points of the pipes which will hopefully improve the flow of water into the ponds on site. We also continued coppicing some very overgrown dogwoods and started to Bash some Himalayan Balsam that is springing up all over the site.

We are really hoping for some warmer/drier weather next week although all that time spent on the bus waiting for the rain to clear meant more time to drink brews – yeah!

Surveying Boarshaw Clough, Middleton

As part of the Graduate volunteer project we will be adopting Boarshaw Nature site for 12 weeks and carrying out improvements there every Monday!  The site has fallen into disrepair with burned interpretation signs and damaged footpaths but there are also signs of life with nesting swans in the lodge.

First day on our nature site - ID trees and plan the maintenance jobs for the next 12 weeks!