Our next work party is on Saturday 8th July and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers. We meet at 10.00 am at the top of Intake Lane and work until 1.00 pm with a break midway. If you wish to come later check the “Welcome to Hagg Wood” notice board at the entrance to the wood, where a note will indicate where we are working in the wood. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies. All the necessary tools are provided.
Although the beautiful display by the wood anemones and bluebells is over for this year, there is still lots to enjoy in the wood. The foxgloves are now looking good, especially in the glade area along Crater Track. There are many other species of flowers to be seen including yellow flag iris, ragged robin, yellow rattle and red campion.
On Wednesday 24th May, following our AGM, Maria Gill gave us a fascinating talk on the history and work of St Nicholas Fields Nature reserve, which is just a mile from York city centre. Its 24 acres, which were formerly a landfill site, now support a wide range of habitats for wildlife. The local community and especially the children, are encouraged to participate in the many activities that are organised by the staff and volunteers and thereby gaining a greater respect for the area.
On Saturday 3rd June, a bright sunny day, 8 of our members enjoyed a cycle ride to both Aughton church and nearby Ellerton Priory church. The cyclists were given a very informative talk on the history of Ellerton Church by Ann Sotheran, which was especially enjoyed by 2 of the cyclists, Margaret and John Eastwood who were married in this church in 1969.
Our next work parties are on 8th July and 5th August, from 10am – 1 pm and we will be pleased to see any new volunteers, even for just an hour. Meet at the top of Intake Lane or find us in the wood. Details of where we are working will be on the notice board at the entrance to the wood.
On a lovely sunny day, eight members enjoyed a cycle ride out to visit Ellerton Church via Elvington, Sutton upon Derwent, Storwood and East Cottingwith.
After lunch we made an extended ride to visit All Saints Church in Aughton. The church is reached through a gate at the west end of the village then via a track that goes between the moated site of the Askes’ manor house and the earthworks of a motte-and-bailey castle.
Moving on to St Mary Church at Ellerton where we were met by Ann Sotheran (Treasurer of the Ellerton Church Preservation Trust)
The church stands at the west end of the village overlooking the Derwent Ings. An early work of the celebrated Victorian architect J. L. Pearson. Built in 1846-8 it replaced a remnant of the church of a Gilbertine priory. Redundant but cared for since 1995 by the Ellerton Church Preservation Trust.
The ride to Ellerton Church was of particular relevance to two of our members – John and Margaret Eastwood. They were married here in 1969.
A couple of forthcoming events to be held in Ellerton Church
Many thanks to Alan Briers and John Eastwood for organising and leading the ride of 27 miles. Also a special thanks to Andy and Lynne Hunter (Margaret’s brother and sister in law) for their hospitality on our lunch stop and to Ann Sotheranfor her very interesting insight into Ellerton Church.
Our next work party is on Saturday 10th June and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers. We meet at 10.00 am at the top of Intake Lane and work until 1.00 pm with a break midway. If you wish to come later check the “Welcome to Hagg Wood” notice board at the entrance to the wood, where a note will indicate where we are working in the wood. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies. All the necessary tools are provided.
It has been hugely encouraging for all the members who have put in so much effort over the years to see how beautiful the wood has looked this Spring. During a walk in the wood in early May I counted seventeen species of bird and I particularly enjoyed the singing of the returning migrants, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.
We are striving to improve the biodiversity even further by establishing “Glades”, which are aimed at providing areas which will benefit pollinating insects and butterflies. However, some of our efforts have not been well received by every user of the wood. We have tried to establish the Crater ponds as wildlife areas, but obviously some prefer to use them as a play area for their dogs, making it almost impossible for aquatic life to flourish.
Our next event is:- Saturday 3rd June – Cycle Ride to Ellerton Church. Meeting at 11.00a.m. at the play area on Intake Lane the ride will take in the quiet lanes beyond Elvington. This interesting church will be open to explore at 2.30pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Our next Woodland Working parties will be held on Saturdays the 10th June, 8th July and 5th August. Meet at the wood end of Intake Lane at 10 a.m., or just find us in the wood. Details will be posted on the notice board as you enter the wood. All equipment will be provided and we usually work through to 1.00pm. You will be made very welcome even if you only stay for an hour or two.
Jonathan Dent is the Nature Reserve Manager of the St Nicholas Field Nature Reserve, which has claims to be “the Green Heart of York”. It is 24 acres of unique green space just a mile from York city centre between an industrial zone and a housing estate. It became a Local Nature Reserve in 2004 to conserve and maintain a diverse range of habitats to sustain wildlife. It now contains a great variety of trees, plants, shrubs, birds and butterflies. Current projects include improving the management of water courses in York’s becks, including the conservation of local water voles.
Our next work party is on Saturday 6th May and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers. We meet at 10.00 am at the top of Intake Lane and work until 1.00 pm with a break midway. If you wish to come later check the “Welcome to Hagg Wood” notice board at the entrance to the wood, where a note will indicate where we are working in the wood. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies. All the necessary tools are provided.
Many visitors to Hagg Wood during the winter period, complained about the muddy paths. This was caused by the frequent heavy spells of rain that we experienced. This raised the water table level in the wood and resulted in flooding of paths. There is a need to create more ditches alongside the major paths to ensure that water can soak away more quickly. The Forestry Commission has been made aware of this problem and hopefully can provide a resource for the work to be carried out.
In the meantime, we have carried out some remedial work on raising the path levels in flood areas along the Millennium Path and Crater Track. We have also created an alternative “dry” track which runs alongside Crater Track to the junction with Keepers Way.
Here are some pictures of the work that was carried out during February and March 2017
If you are visiting the wood to view the bluebells most of the paths are relatively dry so there is no need to wear wellington boots.
Over the Easter period the wood took on all the joys of the Spring season. The wood anemones have flourished in recent years and are now quite stunning. The bluebells have spread to many different areas of the wood as a result of the thinning of the wood and the ongoing work of the volunteers. Primroses, foxgloves and cherry blossom are also adding colour to the wood.
In early April, 18 members of the Friends of Hagg Wood had a fascinating day out to Drax power station and the Skylark nature reserve. The latter is managed by the power station and provides a huge area of woodland where plant and animal life is a priority. In the reserve one can find one hundred species of wildlife on land that previously was wasteland. The visit to the massive power station gave us all an insight into the use of biomass fuel which is shipped from USA on a regular basis.
Our AGM takes place on Wednesday 24th May at 8pm in the Reading Rooms. Following the AGM we will have a talk by Jonathan Dent who is the Manager of St Nicholas Field nature reserve in York. This consists of a site that covers 24 acres and is only one mile from the city centre and is located between an industrial zone and a housing estate. Admission is free for members and a £1.50 charge for non- members.
On Saturday June3rd we will be having a cycle ride to Ellerton church down the quiet lanes beyond Elvington. Meet at 11am at the play area on Intake Lane. Please bring a packed lunch.
Working parties continue as usual on Saturday mornings and will take place on May 6th, June 10th, July 8th and August 5th. Please meet at the end of Intake Lane at 10am – if you wish to come later check the notice board for a note that will indicate where we are working in the wood.