Thursday, 28 October 2010

Wallaby on the Moors

You may expect to find sheep and quite a few different birds and you might occasionally spot the odd hare, but apparently there has also been a wallaby spotted on the moors! It was in the Huddersfield Examiner this week that someone had spotted it twice at the weekend on Marsden Moor, so I thought I would share it here as well.

No one from the National Trust has spotted it yet...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

News Flash!! Health Walks are now twice a month!

The health walks that currently run on the 4th Wednesday of each month are now going to be running on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. With more volunteers able to help out we can run these walks more frequently. Now there is no excuse not to come out on some and get your dose of fresh air and chatter!

Walks meet at 10.45 at the Marsden Moor Estate Exhibition Room (Station Road), and we are back there at approximately 12.30pm. See you there!

Footpathing in the Rain

The volunteer work party was out as usual this week. The Monday group had fabulous sunshine while working on Close Moss doing some fence repairs.
The Tuesday group were rather worse off, working in the rain on the Blake Clough path. The task for the day was to try to prevent so much water running over the path and to get rid of the deep muddy patches. We made a good start, but there is plenty more work to be done - particularly is there is a fair bit of rain that comes down in these parts!

Wellies stuck on the Fence

The Kirklees Youth Offenders have been busy nailing wellies to the fence! They added a new feature to the Recycled Wildlife Garden in the form of wellies that I rescued from the skip. We made some holes in the bottom to allow for drainage, nailed them on to the fence and the potted them up with spring bulbs and winter pansies for some instant colour.

The two empty wall baskets at the front of the office now have flowers in, and keep your eye out for the mosaic picture that will soon be making its appearance in the exhibition room.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Feed the Birds

If you want to help our little feathered friends over the winter months, then why not make a bird feeder for your garden? Come along to the Estate Office on Friday 29th October, between 11am and 2pm to make your own bird feeder. They cost £1 each to make, and we have a few different varieties for you to try out.

If you can't make it along, why not do it yourself at home? It's easy! You can mix soft lard with seeds, such as sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet, and stuff into any sort of container. You could use yogurt pots, pine cones or small logs with holes drilled in and stuff the holes with fat - make sure you put it in the fridge to harden before you hang it up. You can string monkey nuts together and hang those up somewhere in your garden.

They're not hard to make, and you'll be surprised at how they really do attract the birds!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Marsden Jazz Festival 2010

Marsden was alive with jazz over the weekend of the 9th and 10th October with the annual Jazz Festival taking place. We had our usual National Trust stall there, and this year we had a seed planting activity too. People could come and sow either heather, bilberry or cotton grass seed in a recycled plant pot and then take it away to nurture it over the winter. Next year we will be having an event to plant all these out on the moors once they are big enough.
We also were selling tickets for the duck race, and as usual, all 1000 tickets got sold. The onlookers also got to give a good cheer when one of the volunteers took a splash in the river while trying to fish out the ducks. Hooray!!
We sold a fair few of the plants from the yard as well, altogether a rather successful weekend for us.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Birds in the Wildlife Corner

Our new wildlife garden, which doesn't have a huge amount in it yet, is already attracting birds. Several bird feeders made by the youth offending team were put up a little while ago, and today we saw a number of different sorts of tits feeding from them. We managed to catch this little chap on camera!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Eastergate after heavy rain

After the heavy rain at the beginning of October, this is what the river at Eastergate looked like - more like a raging torrent than a babbling brook!

Friday, 1 October 2010

John Muir Certificate Presentation

The group from the Oldham Youth Offending Team that completed their John Muir Award in the summer holidays came back for their certificate presentation. The plan had been to have a walk out onto the moors and have the presentation taking place at the top of Pule Hill, but due to the persistant heavy rain it ended up taking place in the exhibition room!

Despite this, it was great to get the first lot of certificates for the John Muir Award and hopefully there will be more groups in the near future.

Getting Muddy Planting Cottongrass

A number of people from the Adult Services team came and helped us plant cotton grass on White Moss. The weather, for a change, was actually rather good. Despite it starting off a bit misty it soon cleared up and we were working in some nice warm sunshine.

The day wasn't without it's mishaps as we got a welly stuck in the peat, and shortly after having got the boot free then the whole person got stuck in the peat. Luckily, we managed to save him before he sank below the surface.

As the group was working so hard, all the cotton grass plugs were in the ground by lunchtime, so after lunch we had a walk along the path to look at some cotton grass that had been planted last year and to see how much it had grown. We also looked at how deep the peat was in one of the gullies which everyone found very interesting. Some hard work and a good day out for all!

Heather Seed Collecting with 100 children

We had two days out on the moors with pupils from Marsden Infant and Juniors, and Slaithwaite Juniors collecting heather seeds. The seeds were being collected so that we can sow them - which will happen at the Jazz Festival next weekend - they will be nurtured and then can be planted out on the moors to help with our regeneration.

With about 150 pupils and helpers altogether we managed to collect several tubs full of seeds which is brilliant.

The children seemed to have a good time, bouncing about in the heather, getting a bit dirty and we also found some interesting wildlife. There was this lovely caterpillar, along with some beetles and lots of spiders and spiderwebs.