Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Fishpond Wood: 17-09-2019

A return to an old favourite

This week the NCVs didn't have far to go from their workshop - just around the corner in fact. They were returning to Fishpond Wood in Bewerley, last visited in January 2018 - an old favourite where they feel they have made a BIG difference. This time there was a number of cleaning jobs on the to do list, so lots to keep them busy. 

Without further ado let's see what was achieved by the world famous NCV Clean Up Team (NCVCUT). According to reports they had a lovely day and their work was admired by many of the woodland's visitors.

This solar panel needed a good clear around. 
Any possibility this could be done?

Of course it could!

And we can clean all the signs into the bargain.

Tut tut - what grubby looking steps.

No problem. 
Step cleaners extraordinaire sorted them out in a trice.

Now then - what about path gullies that are blocked?

That's fine too - we can do anything!

Surely you can't de-silt streams?

 Why on earth would you say that?

Mucky job - but someone has to do it.

It just needs a bit of careful fitting of a pair of waist high waders.

There are some rhodies growing where they aren't wanted 
- both along the path and on the island. Possible?
Of course - just pass us that rope please.

We'll send our best team of wader clad experts to sort this out.
Careful now lads. We don't want anyone falling over.

Ooooo. Now then - what's under here?

No Man Friday - just rhodies and brambles.
Let's float a brash raft back to the shore.....

.....for piling up.
(Just an aside - one NCV - who shall remain nameless - did end up with a pair of water filled waders. We shall say no more.....)

This new education / well being centre didn't need any cleaning out at all.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Hackfall Woods: 10-09-2019

On the day that parliament was prorogued for an unusually long period of time and Britain moved ever closer to a vertical drop-off that was the Brexit cliff face, the NCVs decided to venture into the magical world of Hackfall Woods to undertake a quest. In this 'Choose your own adventure' day there were a number of challenges from which to select. It just depended on how brave, fit or skilled in the dark arts you were as to which path you took.

The choices? Well...
  • Deal with an eroding path edge - basic carpentry skills were needed for this, although dragon slaying experience could be useful if any happened along.
  • Remove fallen trees – chainsaw training or disappearing spells preferred but the ability to use saws and loppers would be helpful.
  • Start removing silt from the Alum Springs - not for the faint hearted. Stout wellies, strong shoulders and the ability to prevent sand being washed off the shovel were definitely required. Magic wands optional.
  • Clear culverts - Expelliarmus incantantion (removing an object spell) useful, otherwise the knowledge of the inner workings of a pick axe and spade  would be handy.
So - which of the tasks did the game players opt for? How did they get on in their own, personal adventures? The photos tell the tales.....

This blocked culvert lay in wait to catch out 
an unsuspecting NCV.

But luckily Anita was on the lookout and sorted it out with a waggle of her wand.

A group of adventurers entered Alum Spring with some trepidation. 

They were right in being cautious. Whole shovelfuls of silt simply 
disappeared into thin air as they were lifted out of the water.
It was akin to one of the labours of Hercules - impossible!

 Once the task was 'completed' the questors decided to have a trug race.

 They then set off in search of other debris 
blocking the stream's progress....

...often having to make perilous crossings.

At one point an emergency supply of magic wands was transported across the trug race course and rushed to the upper reaches of the wood.

They ended up at Mowbray Castle, where the
eroding path needed attention.

 Work was soon under way, removing old steps...

 ...and inserting new edging boards.

A LOT of magic was needed here, with many NCVs battling 
against the slippy, inclined surface.....

...and a LOT of effort.
(If the video doesn't work then click HERE)

But with one mighty bound the job was done.

Some NCVs tried to use mud to conceal themselves from 
the dragons that were roaming the woods.

But they need not have worried - the dragons did not seem to want to attack.

This fallen tree was a real challenge. Ken and Angela did their best 
with a pair of loppers but it  proved too much. 
A disappearing spell was definitely called for. 

There were extra rations provided by both Audrey and Anita.
Anita's plum flapjack was particularly tasty and can be conjured up from THIS SPELL
(NB apparently additional oats need to be added to the mix and a larger tin is required
for complete success.)

 Once the adventures were over the NCVs re-grouped 
and made their way up to the car park.

There they dutifully washed their boots and tools to ensure none of 
Hackfall's enchantment was taken away.

Back at the barn two other NCVs were weaving a bit of magic of their own. They were sharpening tools and carrying out a number of maintenance jobs on the barn itself. An excellent list of tasks was achieved.
 The Grim Reaper made an appearance at one point, 
waiting on the side lines for a freshly sharpened scythe.

Jan was happy with his scythe peening quest, 
pity he had to miss out on the plum flapjack!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Rivers Training: 03-09-2019

Pateley Pigeon Post         



Our roving reporter A.N.Other just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture these shocking images on Monday morning. When he questioned the adult who appeared to be in charge of this small band of hard working children (NCV co-ordinator Ms Milner - aged 21 and a bit) she seemed to have no shame in admitting that the Nidderdale AONB was, indeed, using child labourers to complete the clearing of the cut vegetation from Glasshouses verge. He immediately went to the nearest telephone box and contacted social services to alert the authorities. 

It is not yet clear what the outcome of this outrageous behaviour will be.

Ms Milner tried to make it look as if she was doing all the work....

 ...but it was clear that this was not the case.

This particular child was ordered to goose step with gusto
 in order to fit the grass into the trailer.

The child was left so exhausted by the experience 
Ms Milner had to support her to remain upright.
"I'm glad to be going back to school tomorrow" the child was heard to say.

News round up from other parts of Nidderdale....

Now then - what appears to be the problem?

The NCVs weren't quite sure what to bring with them this week. Did they need a stethoscope? A blood pressure monitor? A thermometer? 

The reason for this musing arose when the email went around announcing that they were to have 'Healthy Rivers Training' this week. Now, whilst the equipment listed above may well be handy for a human health check it may be less so when it comes to rivers. So - in the end they just decided to take a packed lunch and a pair of wellies. If a river was involved then wellies were bound to come in useful.

A morning spent with traineJackie Smith in the Pateley Bridge Council Chambers classroom soon ensured that they were well up to speed with all the necessary facts, acronyms and sampling techniques to allow them to go forth in the afternoon to practise their newly acquired medical skills on their patient - namely the River Laver at Laverton. 

Some highlights from the NCV HRMS (Healthy Rivers Medical School) were reported by the group leader as follows:

Ros K. found a piece of grass but was sure it was a Crayfish. Perhaps some further work needed here Ros?

Sally tried to sit in the white sample trays herself. Whether or not this was by accident or design it is not clear but she then made up for her error by catching two eels. Well done Sally!

Ken caught  a Bullhead fish. (See bottom left of picture below.)The details of how this was done were not forthcoming. He could have been using a fishing rod, a net or simply tickling the fish's belly but, however he did it - impressive. He won't go hungry on a desert island!

Liz rescued a tiny toad from some large boots - Good work that woman!

Lots of Mayfly nymphs were found by everyone.