This autumn has flown by! ‘Time flies when you’re having fun‘ comes to mind. Or maybe, ‘Time flies when you’re busy at work (and having fun)‘. Day to day tasks as a Ranger can vary, with certain jobs necessary on a weekly, monthly and seasonal basis. This autumn, as always, has seen us carry out a huge variety of different jobs…
Back in September, we began work on the management of our lime-rich pasture at Bridestones. This enclosed area of grassland on Bridestones Moor is special due to it being a unique habitat, where a number of notable species can be found. Our job was to cut and rake the area to make sure the grassland species can continue to flourish.
We carried out some small mammal trapping at Sonley Wood in Farndale in September too, as part of our on-going wildlife surveys there. These surveys can help us determine how we manage certain areas.
In Bransdale, we have spent a bit of time helping to repair and rejuvenate some of our tenanted properties that are currently empty, so they can be re-leased in the future. This involved re-building the wall below, but also lots of grass cutting, weeding and general tidying up.
Autumn is the time of year that we clean out and repair our birdboxes at Roseberry Topping, ready for spring. Our chief birdbox surveyor is our volunteer John…
We also started a new project at Roseberry Topping, to replace the long flight of steps in Newton Wood that form part of the main route up to the summit from the car park at Newton-under-Roseberry. See Jonny’s blog post HERE for more information.
In October, I went on a Tree Safety Management training course, ran by the National Trust at Fountains Abbey. I learnt how to survey trees to detect potential problems, how to mitigate against issues that could arise and when to take action.
Putting this into practice, we made a start on our annual tree surveys for the year in November, subsequently taking out some dangerous trees on tenanted properties in Bransdale, as well as dealing with issues arising after the heavy winds in October!
Over the last few months we have spent a few days down at Ravenscar on the Yorkshire coast, helping out the ranger team there with a few tasks – including some post and rail fencing at the Peak Alum Works, and some specially built timber steps on a footpath that had become quite treacherous.
Another task which we begin at this time of year is scrub clearance. We have areas that we manage at both Roseberry Topping and Bridestones were scrub is removed to conserve and protect a particular habitat. In November we had our super group of volunteers from the National Park’s HOBS out, helping us tackle scrub on Bridestones Moor.
As always we make sure we get out on all of our sites as often as possible, keeping them clean, tidy and litter free for everyone to enjoy.
Finally, and most recently, we have been cracking on with a large scale fencing repair job at Bridestones. With this, like most of our tasks, we couldn’t get done what we do without the help of our volunteer team…
Let’s keep our fingers crossed winter will keep us just as busy, and just as happy!