Friends of Dalby Forest

Volunteering in the Great Yorkshire Forest


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Baptism by mud for some new volunteers!

We welcomed 3 new volunteers on our work task today, two of whom are joining to add to their volunteering portfolio for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, and making 3 DoE volunteers with FoDF in total.

Alongside checking initialled stones and mending pallets, we mostly got very muddy by clearing the finished sections of large and small stones. Well done everyone!


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Halloween Happenings

Thank you to small merry band who turned up to get wet in the forest today! We cleared and prepped the trails and performance areas and the “tunnel of terror” for this year’s Fear in the Forest.

You can book your tickets here https://www.forestryengland.uk/dalby-fore…/…/fear-the-forest

We will be back in the forest next Sunday to help with the Centenary planting to which all are welcome. https://www.forestryengland.uk/…/ev…/centenary-tree-planting

The tunnel of terror (under construction!)


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Stepping out at Staindale

Our September work task was in the sun at Staindale and we also welcomed new volunteer Lucy. For the first hour, we cut back and cleared the bird feeding area and erected a new sightings white board. We then crossed to the other side of the lake to block up a path that was eroding the dam and cleared the almost hidden steps to encourage their use. The steps appear to have been railway sleepers and we were intrigued to know where they came from!

Pics courtesy of Rob, our treasurer, who came along later on a bike ride and Judith F, although most of us had gone by the time we remembered to say cheese!


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Pictures of our Duck Dask August 2019

The rain and thunder thankfully held off for our duck dash on Sunday. Thanks to everyone who turned up, bought a ticket, played the tombola and joined us for some quacking good fun. We raised over £300 for the Friends, every single penny of which goes back into our work within the forest. Lovely pictures courtesy of Colin Dadswell.


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Staindale feeding station 2019 update

Based on a report for FoDF AGM by Lindsay Wardell

It has been a good year for the birds of Staindale Lake feeding station. Not only has the area been given a spruce up and up-grade, there has been a very obvious increase in the number of birds using the area. The Friends have improved the area and there are numerous Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tits, in numbers so high they seem to be all around the feeders get filled! There are lots of Chaffinches, which more than once, have been joined by Bramblings. Greenfinches, Robins and Blackbirds. Siskin numbers are also up on the year before too, and Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers are frequent visitors.

In the summer months, you are almost sure to see Warblers, including Lesser Whitethroats and Willow Warblers and the iconic Chiffchaff. On the lake, a Kingfisher has been hunting , and there are lots of Bullfinches and Jays. The Winter saw visits by Yellowhammers and a Goldcrest.

New bird houses have been added

The amount of visitors who have approached Lindsay whilst filling the feeders, are aften asking about the birdlife and complimenting the area.

During the 2018/9 winter, accessing the area was an issue. Troublesome snow and ice persisted for quite a while, making it impossible for us to get to the birds when they would have desperately needed the help most! However, despite the cold conditions, when we finally managed to get up to the lake safely, there were plenty of birds all around, and so most managed to make it.

New feeding arch which has allowed us to add a greater variety of feeders such as Nyger

We now have two new bird tables now and a feeding arch full of different feeders. This year we added Nyger feeders to possibly attract Redpoll and they certainly are attracting Siskins.  We have yet to record Redpoll, but always keep a look out!

We are considering adding a low barrier across the area where currently cars pull right in and are hoping to put a seat there instead to allow visitors to stop, sit and watch the birds.


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The one where we got the powertools out (May 2019)

Thank you to everyone who turned out today.

Some muscles, the drills and the chainsaw came in handy at the Enchanted Wood today.

We had two working parties out in the forest but we still achieved a lot in both the Forest Garden but also the Enchanted Wood (see pics). There, we carried out more boundary work and started to re-erect the original EW metal sign that is being relocated. Those fence panels were heavy — feeling achy now…!


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Lizards, April showers and some new volunteers at the Maze

Our worktask this morning was at the maze. It was colder than we were expecting and we even had some hailstones and rain showers every so often. We mended pallets, shifted stones and weeded the inner circle, and even found a little lizard – who did not move very much having been fooled into thinking that the earlier sun meant it was warm!

Thanks to everyone who came including two new volunteers Sue and Vanessa.