Friends of Dalby Forest

Volunteering in the Great Yorkshire Forest

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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!


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Fear in the Forest

Get those fiendishly fearsome costumes at the ready! The Friends will be there with some spooky crafts for the younger ones.

All walks are ticketed and must be booked in advance.

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Sleningford – our forest garden’s spiritual home!

Today a group of FoDF had a wonderful visit to the forest garden at Old Sleningford farm

We had a morning session exploring forest garden basics, followed by a fabulous, forest garden lunch, and then spent a couple of hours exploring the garden itself with its creator Rachel.

We are really grateful to Rachel for freely sharing her time and expertise. I know we’ve all taken so much on board and that our little forest garden at Dalby will benefit hugely. Some of our plants had  came from Sleningford and a few more are making their way to their new home in Dalby!





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2017 dry stone wall maze open day. Will you be there next year?!

Firstly, thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help out with our maze open day for the first cohort of supporters who had bought a stone or attended a workshop.

It was a fabulous day and it was thrilling to see everyone discover their stone now it has been built into the maze. Everyone left with a smile on their face, even those who were unlucky enough to have booked their slot when the rain arrived at the end of the day!

Book your stone here and you’ll also get invited to view your stone in situ while the maze is under construction.



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Birdsong in the forest

After a meeting in the forest this morning, I stopped by the bird feeders by the lake, which the Friends keep topped up. I just had to share the beautiful birdsong.

In 10 mins I saw Coal tits, a Woodpecker, Chaffinches, Great tits, a Robin, Blue tits, Dunnocks and a Blackbird.



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The Dalby Dry Stone Wall Maze – from the Air!

We just love this video of the Maze under construction in summer 2016 by Merryn, from Ashcroft Digital.

Remember if you would like to support the maze project, either by attending a carving workshop where you can carve your own initials into a stone or by buying an initialled stone, then you can do so via


Dalby Drystone Wall Maze from Ashcroft Interactive on Vimeo.

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Have you booked your workshop yet?

The Dry Stone Wall Maze is looking good in the spring sunshine. Here are some pictures of recently carved stones now built into the wall.

Book your workshop or order your stone here

Carving workshops start 14th of May, there is one place left on the afternoon session.

21st May afternoon session now full, and the 9th of July afternoon session also full, but still room on all the morning sessions.

Hope to see you there!


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Spring has most definitely sprung…

Spring has most definitely sprung in the forest this month. For our April worktask, we were in two parties in the forest garden and at the park, working on the willow structures.

No pics of the former I’m afraid, but the willow structures in the play area had really sprung into life in the last few weeks of sun we’ve had. We did manage to weave in shoots and tidy up two of the willow tunnels. We also filled in some gaps by planting some of the cuttings. We decided to leave one with a sprouting top and it will get its haircut later in the year!

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Planting apple trees – planning for the future

Thanks to everyone who came to our worktask this morning in the forest garden. And welcome too to two new volunteers Becca and Leslie.

With spring just around the corner, it was time to plant the apple trees we had, as reported after the last worktask. We also tidied up more of the beds, started some log piles for the insects,  as well as replanting some of the square bench planters across the bridge. We then finished early and made our way to the visitor centre for our AGM.

There was lots of discussion and plans for the future, but the main news is that Hillary and Peter announced that they would be stepping down as directors at some point later this year as they are moving from the area. They will be a hard act to follow and I thank them for all their hard work and support over the last few years,. However we welcomed Julie and Hedy into treasurer and director roles respectively, joining Judith and Margy, who will continue in director roles. The future of the Friends still looks bright!