Dec 12 2018

Smithills Update

Hello all

It’s been a busy week or two here on Smithills Estate, here’s an update for you.


Thank you…

Our project funder – the Heritage Lottery Fund – visited us last week and we were able to let them know that volunteers have contributed over 1100 hours this quarter!!! Amazing stuff!

 The video shown about the Smithills Volunteer Group at the Volunteer of the Year Awards is now online, you can watch it here:


Events and activities

 Our photography workshop went well on Sunday, some sample photos taken on the day can be seen here:

 There was also a hedgelaying workshop on Sunday, with Bolton Conservation Volunteers, resulting in 70 metres of hedge being laid along the tramway at Walker Fold Woods!

 The last event of the year is the Christmas event on 9 December… details on this here:


Corporate Task Days

 Thanks to everyone who is volunteering on the two upcoming corporate task days (this Thursday with Co-op, and 30th with Galliford Try).


Wildlife group

 Russ Hedley has been working hard to pull together the volunteer training programme for next year, which looks like it will include training on surveying riverflies, bats, voles, and hares, plus continuing our monitoring of grassland, butterflies, and birds. Russ has also been looking into a new way of recording the species noted by volunteers, to make it much easier for us to monitor species diversity across the estate.


History Group

This month the group had an update on research carried out by volunteer Tony Greenwood on the history of Smithills Moor, in particular the Five Houses and coal mines, plus the famous ‘murder on the moor’ in 1838. The group are going to be doing some training in oral history interviewing, and we are planning to hold a reminiscence morning in which members of the public can come and share memories and photos of the estate, starting with Barrow Bridge. Our guided walk training programme is also taking shape, and will start in early 2019…

 Members of the group also accompanied students from Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Architecture to Burnt Edge, to give them an idea of the history of the site. The students are about to start a project on designing a toposcope (viewing platform) to fit into, and tell the story of, the landscape. The designs are theoretical only… but it will be interesting to see what they come up with!


Practical volunteers

 Our volunteer Wardens are as always busy out and about on the estate, helping Mark Gordon with practical tasks which at the moment includes a lot of ‘beating up’ – assessing which tree saplings from our March planting sessions have not survived . We will be replacing the lost saplings with new ones over the next few weeks and during the tree planting weeks in March 2019.


Upcoming training

OUTDOOR FIRST AID TRAINING: this is taking place on 3 and 4 December, and is for any volunteer signed up as a Practical Group Leader or a Guided Walk Volunteer.

 PRACTICAL GROUP LEADER HEALTH & SAFETY TRAINING  : This is on 17 December, and is essential for those volunteers who want to be a practical group leader.

 INDUCTION TRAINING: For any volunteer who hasn’t already had an induction. 4th December, 6pm



 So far we have a grand total of zero nominations for Chair of the Smithills Supporters’ Group… have a think, could it be you?!


Drone Video of the Estate

 Thank you to Pete Hargreaves for sharing this video of a drone flight over Walker Fold Woods and beyond… an aerial view of the estate:

 Vicky Hargreaves- Engaging Communities Officer- Snmithills Estate


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