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.
BEFORE | Ready to cut
AFTER | Volunteer John busy raking
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.
Gareth weighing a wood mouse
Ready to go back!
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.
BEFORE | Collapsed wall
AFTER | That’s better!
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…
Chris putting up a new birdbox
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.
Driving in the stakes
Jonny and Gareth take 5
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.
Gathered around a tree at Fountains Abbey as part of the Tree Safety Management course
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!
Jonny high-pruning a dangerous limb
BEFORE | Oak tree over path after heavy winds
AFTER | Gareth posing after clearing
Gareth making a start on clearing up a dangerous tree
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.
Chris, Jonny & volunteers posing with finished fence
Josh making a start on the timber steps
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.
HOBS ready for work!
A typical Silver Birch that would be removed
Heading out to graft
Tackling a smaller shrub
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.
Jonny doing a spot of litter picking
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…
The Three Amigos – volunteers John, Mick and Fraser, as happy as ever!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed winter will keep us just as busy, and just as happy!
Chris | National Trust