Jan 17 2020

Skipton Castle Woods Volunteer Update 15th Jan 2020

Good morning,

Happy New Year (that was such a long time ago) and I hope you are all well.

Here’s an update from me for this month.

  • Welcome Barn – The project is progressing with all contractors appointed. Proctors (main contractor) have conducted site visits and the first job will be to install our power supply.


  • Our overnight camper in the woodland has vacated as of 14/1/2020 and our contractor has cleared the area.  Any further sightings, please continue to report and many thanks for your assistance with this.


  • Carol and I recently met with Nigel and Alan, our Volunteer Task Leads to talk about the year ahead.  Task Days will commence again in March while we use the next few months for training and tool box updates.


  • Volunteer Open Day – some of you will recall our last volunteer info day back in 2017 and we are pleased to say we are hosting another on Friday 21st Feb at Skipton Town Hall. Nigel and Alan have kindly agreed to assist – if you would like to help, please get in touch with Carol as she is leading on this event.


  • Induction Day – We are hosting our first 2020 new Skipton volunteer induction day on Thursday 12th March, AM session is  classroom based with Claire Green, PM session is a site familiarisation walk led by me.  If you would like a refresher or have yet to attend an induction, please do feel free to attend. Claire will send invites out for this date in due course. Other site fam walks will be held thought-out the year.


  • Further 2020 training and toolbox talk dates will be sent by email with a link to book online through our ticketing system. For diaries, the next is Sat 25th Jan – Ancient Woodland Management with forestry site manager, James Jesson. This session will cover tree health, management going forward, each compartment in the woodland, some ID tips and a discussion on how we can encourage more biodiversity in the wood. Improving this is a big ambition of mine for Skipton and I know it’s important for many of you too so this will be a good foundation for this work. Myfanwy, another of the volunteer team, is currently exploring how this ambition links to the town and to tree planting in the area. More news on that later.


  • Leaflets – Both our leaflets are currently being revised for 2020 and so we may have a short period where we have a low or no stock. I wanted to ensure we send nothing to recycle this year.


  • Events 2020 – these are now all approved and Carol is updating them on our ticketing system. Once complete; I will share the info with everyone. First public event is Easter, Sat 11 April.


  • Volunteer Gathering for the North – April 25th .  A fabulous event organised for us by Claire for the North region – I would love to see you there if you can attend.  These get togethers are incredibly informative and a good chance to socialise with other north volunteers and staff.  Please book online via Yorks & Humber Volunteer Gathering, 25th April 2020, Humberstone Bank Farm, near Harrogate and pop a message in the Facebook group should you want to care share or are looking for a lift.   We cover travel expenses including public transport.


  • Membership Development Officers in the wood – you may see some of our membership team in the wood over the next few months while we recruit a post for Skipton. Esther, one of the North Team MDO’s, recruited four new members in the woodland this month. That’s a good indicator of how the community appreciates this wood and all the work done to protect and care for it.  Great result.


This is going to be an amazing year for this woodland and the wildlife that depends on it, on us, on you.  Thank you for your support as always – any questions or comments, please do get in touch.


Hazel Birdsall – Visitor Experience Manager, Skipton Castle Woods

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