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Burton Conservation Volunteers






Woodland management in the delightful setting of Scalpcliffe Woods in Stapenhill (Jan 2009). A well-attended task – so popular that we had to rush out and buy a further supply of helmets to kit everyone out.

February saw the launch of our new BCV logo and also the long-awaited new trailer.

Christian Fields, a new wildlife area on the northern edge of the city of Lichfield. We have assisted Lichfield District Council with various work parties there, working towards Local Nature Reserve status. Recent tasks have included scrub control, path clearance, and installing natural barriers. (Feb 2009)


Hedgelaying on the Kingfisher Trail (Jan-Feb 2009): The Kingfisher Trail is a recently restored wildlife corridor and cycle route which runs alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal in Burton. The work carried out by BCV and other community-led environmental groups over the last two years culminated in the Kingfisher Trail being awarded Green Flag status in 2008. The pictures show part of our latest hedgelaying section, which we completed during January and February, and also a living dome structure built from willow sticks which we cut back from the reed beds at Branston Water Park as part of our ongoing environmental management plan there.



More pictures to follow.




In January we had a busy weekend surveying and maintaining the footpath network in and around Rolleston-on-Dove, following up the work we did in the summer of 2007.


On the Saturday we installed a new pinch-stile on Shotwood Hill Lane (pictured left), and on the Sunday we carried out some repairs to existing stiles on the path running between Marston Lane and Cornmill Lane (pictured right).


To complete the weekend, we had the BCV late Christmas meal at the Albion pub on Saturday night, which was attended by no fewer than 22 volunteers – another great meal enjoyed by all; many thanks to Jo for organising the event.



A barbecue on the Allotment followed by wassailing in the orchard!


Footpath work: This is one of three gates we installed at Rolleston-on-Dove, part of a short circular route from the church which is now stile-free!

Repairs and drainage improvements to a path at Severn Valley Country Park near Bridgnorth, following the flood damage.


Left: A bluebell walk along the river at Hardcastle Crags in Yorkshire, where we recently spent another weekend working on this National Trust site.


Right: Going batty on the Bat Walk on the Burton Washlands. It was a wet evening, but our patience was rewarded with the detection and sighting of a few bats towards the end of the walk.




Here are a couple of photos from Lawrence – showing the hedge we laid at Knightsbridge Way in Stretton, and also the willow screen at the back of Blackpool Street – both looking very healthy.




April was a busy month with various projects on the BCV Allotment including the installation of some French drains, and also the building of a new tree nursery, pictured left. The nursery is protected by gravel board on one side, and a rabbit-proof chicken-wire fence on the remaining three sides. The tree nursery will be used for growing saplings for planting on later in other sites where we work.




After many delays due to problems with the supply of suitable timber, we finally installed the big bridge at Yoxall Lodge on Easter Saturday. Made of solid oak, the bridge is a massive 40 feet (12m) long. The main problem was to move the two 40-foot spans without breaking them. This was done with a lot of bodies, and a set of wheels under the middle. These then had to be manoeuvred across the field, through the woodland and up to the bank of the lake.


With the aid of ropes, using the trees as pulleys and Matt in the lake with a pair of waders, each span was put in place. Once this had been done, the rest was plain sailing; we had marked all the joints and it was put together in no time. It's always nice to complete a project in one day and see the results. We are now negotiating to put in the third river crossing over the Trent! More pictures

WILLOW-WEAVING February 2007

On the Saturday we cut back the willow on the reed beds at Branston Water Park (left). This is part of the ongoing active management plan to preserve the special reed bed environment which is attracting increasing numbers of waterfowl. The resulting willow material was put to very good use: on the Sunday we built a living willow bird screen (right) on Burton Washlands, using entirely natural material including the bindings. Although we didn’t quite finish it on the day, we completed the screen after an extra session there two weeks later.



Burton Conservation Volunteers achieved a total of 519 volunteer-days of work during 2006. Read about all of the major projects that we completed in the BCV Annual Report 2006.





Burton Conservation Volunteers is proud to have gained a Gold Gilt Award at the 2006 Staffordshire Green Awards which were held at the JCB headquarters in Rocester.


The Green Awards are presented annually to businesses, schools and community groups which have demonstrated a commitment to good environmental practices. The Gold Gilt is the highest award in the Community category, and recognises all of the major projects done by BCV over the past year, and our ongoing environmental initiatives such as the re-use of natural materials (for hedgelaying stakes amongst other things), and the involvement of, and the benefits to, the local community.


Lawrence and Richard represented the group by attending the awards presentation, and received the award – a magnificent inscribed Wedgwood plate plus a cheque for 200 to be used for a future environmental project. Well done to everyone in the group!


Click here for the Staffordshire Green Awards website which has details of all of the winners.

A working weekend away, preparing timber at the National Trust’s Hardcastle Crags site in Yorkshire. More pictures here.



SNAKES-HEAD FRITILLARY at Broad Meadow, next to the River Tame in Tamworth. We raked over an area of the meadow, removing the accumulation of compacted grass, and set up some areas of protective wire netting to encourage the growth of more snakes-head fritillary plants. This was in an attempt to reverse a decline over the previous year or two. The project has resulted in a dramatic increase in numbers on the site of this rare meadow plant.

Our task on our annual trip to the Severn Valley Country Park near Bridgnorth was to build a build a wooden pond-dipping platform/ boardwalk on the edge of a secluded pond. A gorgeous location, but a time-consuming task that we didn't quite manage to complete. More details and pictures.


We constructed this flight of 25 steps and a handrail at Jerusalem Hill near Yoxall, to allow easy access from a public footpath up to a very pleasant viewpoint. More details and pictures.


Hedgelaying at Chasewater: The picture opposite shows just a small section of the hedge that we laid over the course of three sessions in Chasewater Country Park in a nice spot overlooking the lake - around 100 yards (90 metres) of hedge completed overall, an excellent effort.

Maintenance work on the Jinnie Nature Trail – a popular nature trail which runs along the length of the old railway track between Stretton and Rolleston. Most of the time there involved clearing and de-silting the pond at the Stretton end of the trail, removing the overgrown reeds and duckweed with the aid of a mini-digger and dumper. We also cleared some of the ditch and maintained the pathway. Not only has the pond area greatly improved visually (you can actually see the water now!), but also the work will ensure that the water from the ditch will continue to have an area to flow into, instead of flooding the path which would eventually happen without this necessary work.



"Before" and "After" pictures showing the clearance work on the overgrown pond, which is the centrepiece of the school's wildlife area.


BCV originally built the concrete pond a few years ago, and later the viewing and dipping platform as a subsequent project.


As well as tidying up the pond, our maintenance day there also included some scrub clearance and tree pruning.




We had two very enjoyable task days in this delightful ancient woodland on the edge of the Needwood Forest. We opened up a circular pathway to form part of a new woodland walk, clearing and burning some of the invasive rhododendron, and creating a few gaps on the water’s edge to provide some viewing points over the scenic lake. For the second task, we installed a pre-constructed solid oak bridge over the brook, which will be part of the new walk leading from the woodland into the open fields. More pictures




One of our major projects during 2006 has been helping to design and build a new sensory and wildlife garden at Saxon Hill School in Lichfield. We organised the River Wye Source-to-Sea Challenge, a combined hiking and canoeing expedition of 140 miles in 10 days, to raise funds for the project. Some of the BCV members assisted the pupils with the main tree planting day in November. More pictures

FLYING THE GREEN FLAG: Many congratulations to Lawrence and his team for achieving the Green Flag Award at Branston Water Park, one of our regular sites, for the second year running. The Green Flag Award is a national award which recognises high environmental standards in parks and green spaces. It was also good to see that the Severn Valley Country Park has also won a Green Flag Award this year – a site where we have arranged annual working visits over the last few years including our recent weekend there building a pond-side platform.


Hedgelaying at Stretton Balancing Pond (off Knightsbridge Way) - part of a hedgelaying training weekend - around 35m of hedge completed.

Harvest time on the BCV allotment

Crown-lifting a National Forest plantation at Stretton, as part of One World Week

Above: Monk's Walk, Lichfield: an ongoing project to restore a walled Victorian garden. We joined forces with the Monks Walk group for another work-day, continuing the planting work - the garden is really beginning to take shape now. We also surfaced a further section of path.

Above: Pictures from the apple identification day held at Walton Hall. (Photos by Shane)

Right: Clearing the bracken and maintaining the heathland at Gentleshaw Common, part of an open day at this SSSI on the edge of Cannock Chase. Some BCV members also took part in the Heather Hike, a walk for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, on the same day.

Left: Foxley Wood - a Woodland Trust site in Linton. Continuing the work we started last year, clearing a further section of reed mace from the local pond, to attract pond life when the water returns.

Above: Clearing the meadow - one of our tasks during our recent weekend working at the Severn Valley Country Park, near Bridgnorth. More pictures

Above: Croxall Lakes Nature Reserve near Alrewas: Removing the temporary fencing initially put up to protect the lakeside plantation from geese. The fence will be re-used elsewhere on the site.

Maintaining the fence at the Burton Mail Centenary Woodlands, as part of the open day to mark Environment Month. (Photo by Shane)

Above: Repair work on the steps and handrail on the Jinnie Nature Trail between Stretton and Rolleston.

Left: This is a section of footpath that we completed at Hardcastle Crags - a National Trust-owned wooded valley in the Yorkshire Pennines. More pictures.

Preparing the BCV allotment at Anglesey Community Park, Burton. (Photos by Shane)

Burton Trader article April 20th, 2005

Honouring pub support for society

Burton Conservation Volunteers' Society has made a presentation to the licensee of the Thomas Sykes pub, where members have been meeting for 12 years.

Members presented Norman Goddard with an engraved lighter thanking him for his continued support. Mr Goddard said he was 'honoured' to receive the gift.

The society is temporarily moving to a new monthly meeting place at the Prince Alfred pub in Derby Road, Burton, while the Thomas Sykes pub, in Anglesey Road, is being refurbished. Members carry out practical conservation work mainly within Burton and the surrounding area, providing a positive environment for wildlife while improving public interest and awareness of local environmental issues.

Group spokesman Lawrence Oates said: "We. have a very busy schedule ahead of us carrying out a variety of conservation tasks. We are also working outside the area, helping the National Trust in Yorkshire at Hardcastle Crags at the beginning of May to relocate some stone steps to minimise erosion to preserve the popular path.

"So if readers fancy helping to improve the environment, learning new skills and keeping fit, pop along."

The group works from 10.30am to 4pm at weekends and anyone is welcome to take part for all or part of the day. Full training will be given and all tools are provided, so no experience is necessary. For more details phone 01283 537074.




In 2004, Burton Conservation Volunteers achieved a total of 468 volunteer work days! For more details about all of the group's achievements over the past year, click here for the 2004 Annual Report.

Left: Hedgelaying
at Daniel Hayes Farm

More pictures

Right: We used willow coppiced from Branston Water Park to create a tunnel sculpture suitable for wheelchair access, at Saxon Hill School in Lichfield.

More pictures

Pruning hawthorn and apple trees
at Shobnall Brickyards

Removing ivy growth from apple trees
in the orchard at Walton Hall

Coppicing willow at Branston Water Park



Right: Building bridges to improve access on Burton Washlands




Below: Building a clay-lined pond at Moira Furnace



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Page last updated 15/06/09