May 31 2021

Smithills Volunteer Update 31st May

Welcome to out Smithills Volunteer update…

Wildlife group – our monitors began transects in April… a year late but undeterred, we’ve finally started the Estate monitoring part of the project. April’s results are currently being analysed by the group… 1204 species records, including 62 species of bird, 133 plant species and 20 types of fungus… analysis due back next week, and May’s transects have been continuing over the last few weeks.

The first moorland bird survey took  place yesterday and one volunteer had the opportunity to train in how to conduct a moorland bird survey. Two more will be trained at the next survey.

History group – some exciting research on Two Lads this week. One of our volunteers has been reading through the various work / theories on Two Lads over the years (centuries in fact) and shared her report with me and the archaeology curator at Bolton Museum. He is working with her on some snippets of info from his archive… and on whether the structure at Two Lads is actually on the site of something much much older.

The oral history group is finally resuming too! Again, a year later than planned… but our five intrepid interviewers are hoping to meet onsite soon and we hope to use an outdoor interview space to crack on with our recordings over summer.

A big thanks to Tony Greenwood, who has submitted his draft of the script for the audio Trespass Trail – a huge undertaking from him, and it’s now with the ‘testers’ from Live From Worktown (they walk the route and report back on directions etc).

Fire patrollers – Many thanks to our six patrollers  who will be out over the weekend litter picking and checking for fires.

Litter pickers – our patrollers have been photographing the various litter they collect on the Estate as part of an awareness campaign we hope to run in June… watch this space!

Wardens – Thanks to to our volunteer wardens, who will be out supporting Kelvin Archer and Jonny Walker on all kinds of tasks Monday, Tuesday and Thursday!

It’s good to have so much to share – feels like old times!

Vicky Entwistle – Smithills Engaging Communities Officer

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