News Update .................
18th February 2013
Foss Islands - Big Tidy for 9th March 2013 - 10am at Morrisons
Lots of emails and meetings about future maintenance of path now that Ward Committee funding has been withdrawn. Its filling up with rubbish.
Balloon Tree Wood
Brunsick Organick Nursery team out agin, this time planting native shrubs to increase biodiversity
14th January 2013 Our next bid
Yesterday the committee finalised a bid to Awards for All, focussing on work on the York to Selby path with work due to start in July. In the meantime we will be thinning trees in Balloon Tree Wood on 21st and 28th January and joining in a mass litter pick on March 9th (tbc) on the currently sadly neglected Foss Islands Path.
In the meantime - at least until the Himalayan Balsam starts to appear - most of our time will be spent lobbying funders, landowners and environmental agencies to get some progress on our other project areas.
20th October 2012 Annual General Meeting
Pedalling Picnic and Grand Bench Unveiling
We are allvery busy preparing for the Annual General Meeting on Monday
22nd and the Pedalling Picnic with children for Bishopthorpe Schooll and
workers from Brunswick Organic Nursery. Hope for nice weather.
We had our meeting regarding Derwenthorpe and submitted a proposal for the
future management and maintenance of the Foss Island path.
Still waiting for news from Escrick Sidings.
Hurns Gutter closed for several days after the flooding - let's hope the Tansy Beetles survived.
21st August Its all happening !!
- We have met with the new owner of Escrick Railway Sidings and are very hopeful of progress towards a permanent Nature Reserve.
- We have arranged a meeting with the developers of Derwenthorpe to discuss improvements to the Derwent Light Railway path near Foss Islands.
- We have met with the Environment Agency and the land owner of the path near Skelton to discuss works next year.
- We are planning a Big Picnic ride out with Brunswick Organic Nursery to celebrate the work they and other volunteers did thanks to a grant from Trafford Hall
But its not all talk - though this should lead into a great programme of work for next year and beyond . The battle against the Himalayan Balsam continues and the new scythe has led the struggle against the rampant growth that has threatened to close off the path in some places.
See the projects page for more details.
11th June 2012 SUCCESS !!
The war against Himalayan Balsam may not be over but we are winning battles. Last year's efforts on the section between the Ouse bridge and the Naburn cafe meant that only isolated outbreak were evident last Saturday when a small but committed group removed the remaining evidence on this section. No doubt some more will be lurking but we just need to keep a regular eye on it as the season continues.
Other sections remain to be done so watch out for further work-days but the key message is WE CAN BEAT IT
We also rolled out our secret weapon, our newly purchased scythe. Not only does it not use carbon fuels, need insurance or noise pollute - it works twice as well as the strimmer. Come along next time and have a go.
Final piece of good news from Bishopthorpe - the information board has not been graffitied yet
29th May 2012
Work Day - Saturday 9th June -10am to 230 meet Naburn Station with nettle-proof gloves, long sleeves and trousers
Year 2 of our 3-year plan to eliminate Himalayan Balsam from the path. HB threatens to interrupt the green corridor (recognised as a SINC, a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation) from York to Selby. This green corridor is essential as a migration route for plants, insects and mammals.
17th May 2012
The last couple of months have mainly been spent planning this years programme and funding priorities. However we have erected Interpretation Boards on the Foss Islands path near St Nicks and at Bishopthorpe. They look great and so far haven't been graffitied. The new drainage pipe went in and we hope to help reinstate the verge with some interesting wildflower seeds.
Funding got off to a good start with a successful bid for £500 from the Trafford Centre to continue work on Route 65 near the River Ouse. We have also been talking to the Naburn Cafe about improvements round there - over and above the Himalayan Balsam which seems to have been replaced by nettles at the moment. This section is now part of Sustrans Route 66 to Tadcaster and Leeds so it needs to be special.
Attempts to create a wildflower meadow near Skelton have stalled while Green King decide what to do with the stable block behind their pub, but we are hopeful in the long run. We are also looking to manage the mature woodland at Hurns Gutter. This section is now part of the Way of the Roses and ought to be a spectacular welcome to York.
The mystery of who now owns Escrick Sidings continues but we will get there in the end.
We harvested quite a lot of timber from Balloon Tree Copse and it will be on sale in handy sized logs at Brunswick Organic Nursery at the end of the year. In the meantime we are relying on walkers to establish the footpath we hacked out in the winter but laying off the tree thinning so the birds can nest in peace
If you want to know more detail about any of the above , go to the appropriate page but also look out for a programme of work days (or half-days) any time soon.
25th February 2012
The Funding training at the Trafford Centre was both useful and motivating so we (well Graham, mainly) are busy working up funding bids for the coming year. In the meantime work has been continuing.
Despite the snow we had a great day with Open Country who came over from Harrogate Open Country clearing brambles near St Nicks for plug planting in the spring. On Monday we have the Brunswick Centre team coming to Balloon Tee Copse to clear a footpath before the birds start nesting (from 945 if you want to come and help). Its great that we are getting so much help from partner organisations, without whom we would be very restricted in what we could do. Sustrans Rangers were out last week clearing brambles near Layerthrope so plenty of room for plug planting next month.
Peter met the parish councillors from Stamford Bridge and Gate Helmsley to keep them in the loop and they we keen to offer whatever help they could. We also are in talks with the Forestry Commission who are offering advice and encouragement.
More work-days planned for March and April so keep checking the website
New Year started on Sustrans Route 65 helping Roger's team tidying up the trees on the access path at Naburn station. To see what we did copy and paste this onto your internet explorer https://picasaweb.google.com/100479903138288883757/Volunteer
Next week the Committee (that's Graham, Sara and Peter) are off to the Trafford Centre for a two-day course on fund-raising for environmental projects. Lets hope it gives us the skills to continue the project once our lottery funding runs out in March. We have enough momentum to keep going after that on volunteer effort alone for a while but we will need new funding if we are to consolidate our current projects let alone develop new ones.
Some of our remaining grant will be used to buy in stocks of new plants for plug planting through the year
A start was made on the Balloon Tree Copse, marking out the proposed path through the trees, and Peter has been invited to meet councillors in Stamford Bridge early in February. Also looking for a tree warden.
See 'Current Projects' for an update on exciting intrigues on Escrick Sidings
21st October 2011
PLUG PLANTING and MOWING
Last week we have raked up the arisings from the mowing that was done along the Foss Island Way
and had a plug planting session,
This week two teams from the Brunswick Centre planted hundreds of wild flowers alongside Route 65 in Bishopthorpe.
Himalayan Balsam is about to pop its seeds so this is our last chance to control it this year. There are always individual maverik plants that escape the blitzes so if you have an hour or two and feel like a ride, why not take a pair of gloves and cruise Route 65 from Ouse Bridge south looking out for the odd one that has been missed. Just pull it up and hang it in the trees.
After this we can move on to something a bit more positive - plug planting will begin on 20th September - more details here nearer the time. If you want to know more about wildflowers but are afraid to ask - check out our new link to 'Wild about Plants' on the links page.
- · NEXT EVENT - 25th August - this Thursday - at 10am Naburn station.
- There is another stretch beyond Howden Lane and Peter is going up there Thursday morning with the brush cutter but any manual help much appreciated. All you need is long trousers, long sleeves and gloves.
- 29th July volunteers from Sutrans, YWT and Network Rail had another go at the Himalayan Balsam. We eradicate 99% between Naburn station and the Ouse Bridge with help from a brush cutter for the larger patches. Very satisfying.
If you wonder why we bother, take a look at the photo gallery to see a picture of the BEE ORCHID recently discovered along the track. Rare species would be threatened if the spread of Himalayan Balsam is not checked.
- 17th June Brunswick Nursery - first go at the Himalayan Balsam between Naburn station and the River Ouse. With help from staff from Network Rail and regular volunteers we made a good start. If you missed it come on the 29th to finish the job.
- 18th June at St Nicks (see link to their website) Wildflower Walk was of great interest to those of us who can't tell a wildflower from a weed
- 10th June Foss Islands - we raked off the grass arisings after the verge was mowed. This creates a better environment for wild flowers.
- Two projects have been identified for the first year :-
- Foss Islands Way - we have done an initial clearance of fly-tipping.
- Brusnwick Organic Nursery, Bishopthorpe - our first job will be to stem the march of Himalayan Balsam along the path. Work day with volunteers and Network Rail staff this Friday 17th June
- Other projects in the pipeline
- Hurns Gutter
- Balloon Tree Wood
- Escrick Sidings
- A map of the ecologically valuable sites in and around York with Greenway links between them is being developed.
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust seconded a part time Project Worker - Claire Jackson.
- York Greenways Champions has obtained an £8,000 grant from the Big Lottery to implement the first stage of the project