Countryside report – Spring 2019

The last winter newsletter signed off by advertising a \’Carols and Cake\’ event at Churchfield, where Skelmanthorpe Brass Band accompanied singers gathered by decorated trees. The success of this and the late summer picnic ensured that these events will be continued this year, as will maintenance of the site including wall repairs, sowing of a wildflower area and development of the orchard area. The allotments continue to thrive also.

Countryside report – Spring 2019

Winter also saw continued maintenance of the newt ponds along the Kirklees Light Railway, although access is now proving difficult due to the encroaching building work at Scissett. Nevertheless, the project was celebrated by the unveiling of interpretation designed to compliment the Great Crested Newt sculpture at the Clayton West station, followed by a train ride to Shelley and walk back, via the ponds.

The 10 Village volunteer group are instrumental to this project, as they were in establishing St Augustine’s community garden project in Scissett.

The project has taken part in numerous litter picks recently, many of which were tied into Keep Britain Tidy’s Great Spring Clean. The Parish Council were also pleased to support Cara Inch, Denby Dale resident and Greenhead College student, in her litter-picking initiative. This helped her earn Duke of Edinburgh gold….well done Cara!

Countryside report – Spring 2019
Countryside report – Spring 2019

Work with other schools continues, e.g. at St Aidans, Denby CofE First, Skelmanthorpe and Cumberworth, where pond dipping, growing, bug-hunting projects and a hedgehog presentation have been supported.

Working with River Holme Connections and the Riverfly Partnership, we ran a training workshop for volunteers to enable them to analyse river samples for pollution indicator species. Results for the Dearne are already being fed into a national river’s survey:

Work continues at Cliffe and East Hill Woods, for example installation of bird boxes at the former and preparations for the Woven in Kirklees exhibit at the latter. East Hill also hosted a visit from Natural Kirklees experts for a species survey which will feed into their management plan for the woods.

Also for future reference, the Countryside Officer would like to encourage you to take part in the forthcoming East Peak Outdoors festival (22nd – 30th June), especially the walk around Denby Delf on the evening of Friday 28th June and the bike ride on the Kirkburton to Denby Dale section of the Trans Pennine Way on the following day. There will also be a bat walk around Churchfield, Denby Dale on the evening of Friday July 5th.

The invasive Balsam bashing season is also about to begin, so if anyone would like to get involved in that or any other activity described in this newsletter, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with:

David Wilde on Tel: 07939 446581 
or Email:

If anyone has the misfortune to see any badger casualties on the road, or any more positive badger information, then please report it to:

The Kirklees Badger Group: Tel: 07745 378039

Finally, the Countryside Project was recently recognised by Cummins for supporting them to build more prosperous communities, along with many other inspiring projects.

Countryside report – Spring 2019