The preparation for today's task was kindly carried out by Paul, Jan and Howard during the previous morning. They had inserted tree posts where they were needed - all labelled according to a strict code and site map - and placed tree tubes over each one in readiness.)
The day dawned grey and misty and headlights were all that could be seen over Blubberhouses Moor. The sun, looking like the moon, was clear and white in a dull misty sky. As we came through Greenhow and up the valley to Lofthouse, the sun broke through the clouds and it began to feel like spring. The warm sunny weather held all day as we planted a total of 500 trees on 3 sites. 100 Oak, 150 Downy Birch, 150 Hazel, 50 Rowan, 20 Alder and 10 each of Hawthorn, Crab Apple and Bird Cherry.
The trees were bought by Harrogate Rotary Club and 4 members turned up to help us plant them, plus 13 NCV's as well as Howard, a Tree Warden, 6 NY Volunteers and their co-ordinator, Catherine. Marion and Ann Challis had organised this event (and a further 700 trees to be planted on Sunday). The trees are primarily being planted as a cover for shooting and 2 "shooters" turned up to help us plant.
The morning was exhausting, digging, carrying, climbing, hammering and walking up and down steep banks.
|The misty start, posts and tubes at the ready.....|
|.... and then the sun came out...|
|... meaning Paul could be spotted |
whenever he took a photo!
|Ros E leans on her spade hoping no-one |
notices she's having a quick snooze.
Meanwhile Bob practises his yoga forward bends in the background.
|Will decides to utilise a nearby |
tree tube as a coffee cup holder.
Then lunch time arrived - Hooray! Anita began networking, asking us all to collect plastic bottle tops for a recycling project. Ros K. lay down to day dream, while Ros E. thought Howie's leaking flask was the possible result of too much " plunging ".
|A perfect lunch spot|
|Like flowers we all turned our faces to the |
sun instead of the beautiful view behind.
After lunch we left the Blayshaw Crag site and planted up the campsite field, at last the ground was fairly level and planting was quickly done.
|The last three stragglers are chivvied |
down the hillside to the campsite by Paul in the Jeep.
The day itself was quite beautiful and peaceful with the sound of the river breaking over the rocks as it rushed ever downward on its way. It was an easy place to be lost in ones own thoughts, only to be disturbed by the distant sound of idle chatter and Spike, the border collie, rushing excitedly past. There was a strange silence to the land around us, the distant hills, the remains of the old smelting works, the strange feeling viaduct, the eerie sounds of times and peoples long since past. Thank you, AONB, for booking such a lovely warm day for this, our 30th blog.