Friends of Dalby Forest

Volunteering in the Great Yorkshire Forest


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Frosty start to 2022

It was a cold and frosty Dalby morning for our first work task of the year. In previous years, we’ve often had to split the willow task across two days, but we had a brilliant turnout of volunteers so we managed to give all the structures a haircut and get them under some sort of control!

We cut back most things by hand but were rather jealous of ranger Holly’s mechanised loppers! We also said goodbye to Simon, our go-to ranger for everything these last few years, as he moves roles within Forestry England. We’re sorry to see Simon leave, but he can definitely come back anytime if he brings more of those cakes for breaktime!


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Christmas 2021 work task

No helping with the Christmas tree sales or festive crafts for us this year, but it did mean we had our first December work task ever! This year we spent it at the maze which was new to a few people including Andrew who is joining us as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award.

It was very muddy (as usual) but we had mince pies at break time and managed to prep more areas and clear paths as the last circle starts to take shape.

Merry Christmas!

Mark plus a happy band of muddy volunteers at the maze


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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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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.


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Fear in the Forest (2018)

The Friends of Dalby Forest will be at the annual Fear in the Forest event on Halloween night (31 October). Amongst the live bugs and bats, Wizard Phil and Haunted Hedy will be helping the younger visitors with some spooky crafts.

Book your tickets https://www.forestryengland.uk/forest-event/events-dalby-forest/fear-the-forest

 

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Frosty work task at Ellerburn

Thank you to everyone who came out this morning under an amazing blue sky but frosty underfoot for our worktask today.

We removed the tree tubes from the hedge saplings we planted a few years ago along the Ellerburn trail. We had a great turn out, one of the largest of the year and also welcomed new volunteer Janet.


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Thank you to FoDF Hillary and Peter

We are sad to be saying goodbye to Hillary and Peter Turton who have recently stepped down from their FoDF volunteer director roles in September 2017 as they are moving away from the area to be closer to family.

It has meant some reorganisation of administrative responsibilities for the Friends as Peter was chair and Hillary was both treasurer and worktask organiser!

Julie Dadswell has taken over as treasurer and Judith Winters (already a director handling the website, Twitter and Facebook accounts) has taken on the worktasks and events role and will liaise with the Forest Rangers.

We are very grateful to Peter and Hillary for all the time they’ve spent on keeping the Friends going as they stepped in at a time when it is fair to say we really needed some momentum, energy and spark to keep going. They have become great friends to many of us and will very much be missed!

They may be around for another work task as the house move goes through but we hope that won’t be the last we hear of them!

hillary-peter


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September worktask at the maze

Carved stones and carving workshops for the maze are becoming increasingly popular but we’re not running out of walls to build them into quite yet!

Our most recent worktask saw the clearing of the area that will  become the third circle – my, we shifted a lot of stone in one sunny September morning!

It was lovely to discover a small ‘votive’ offering too – thanks to an anonymous visitor!