Smithills Estate Update 1st March 2019
Welcome to our new volunteers –
Sarah Hodgetts (Woodland Working Group / Volunteer Photographer)
Gael Kouam (Woodland Working Group / Wildlife Group)
Our wildlife volunteers have been photographing plants and wildlife across the estate, including frogspawn and lesser celandine (the ‘herald of spring’)… spring is certainly on its way!
(Lesser celandine / Peacock butterfly / song thrush / hazel flower – all photos by Jim Ormerod)
First public event of 2019
Our first public event of 2019 was last weekend – our Winter Trees guided walk led by Debs from Greater Manchester Ecology Unit. 21 people came along to learn about identifying trees before their leaves have reappeared… a tricky task! Rob B was our WT volunteer on the event, thank you to Rob!
Practical tasks on the estate
Our Wardens have been out and about beginning the re-seeding of the moorland. You may see what look like some small cairns near the car park… those are the work of our Wardens who cleared rocks out of the field next to the car park so it could be seeded. In 2,000 years this will be a puzzle to archaeologists…! Other volunteers (including Phil C, Pam and Keith) have been litter picking… thank you all for helping to keep the estate tidy.
The next two weeks are our community tree planting weeks. On weekdays we have community and schools groups visiting us to plant trees, and at the weekend we have the public tree planting day and the volunteer task day. We estimate we could welcome between 800 and 900 visitors to the site to help us plant trees across the two weeks… wow! Joining us are the Environment Agency, the Bolton Family (a group of Bolton businesses), Bolton Council of Mosques, Bolton Hindu Forum, Kenny Waste, IKEA, Selfridges, Nationwide, the Co-op Bank, Lancashire Fire Service & Cadets, the Princes Trust, Bolton Christian Cohesion, Backup Bolton, Phoenix Futures, All Souls Mens’ Group, All Souls Womens’ Group, All Souls Parents and Tots Group, the Olive School, Johnson Fold School, Brownlow Fold School, Devonshire Road School, Shoosmiths Law, Enterprise Car Hire, City of Trees, and Myerscough College. An amazing response and a lovely way for community groups to come together and help us to create new woodland at Smithills.
Our Guided Walk Leaders are busily putting together routes for potential guided walks on the estate – there will be practice walks soon to which you will all be invited, if you would like to come. This will be a great way for the Guided Walk Leaders to try out routes, see which parts of the walk people are interested in / what kinds of questions they are likely to be asked. The walks will also be a great way to learn a bit more about the estate itself. Watch this space for news about that.
Vicky Entwistle- Engaging Communities Officer, Smithills