Thursday, 5 February 2015

Carding Mill Valley Wildlife Garden

You may have noticed some changes in the garden at Carding Mill Valley, our Tuesday volunteers have improved the paths and volunteer Pat is helping to install a pond. There is lots more to be done over the coming months so that we can attract as much wildlife as possible to the garden.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Reverend Carr - 150 years later

On January 29th commemorating 150years (to the day) when the Vicar of Woolstaston became benighted for 24 hours on The Long Mynd, National Trust Learning officer Chris Stratton led a walk in very similar conditions.

Photo courtesy of Pat Holbourn-Williams  
Reverend Edmund Donald Carr was caught up in one of the worst snowstorms to hit the Long Mynd the century before last.  In trying to return from his Church service in Ratlinghope to his home parish of Woolstaston he lost his way – the ferocity of the storm blowing him down time and again and preventing him from seeing where he went.  No one had seen so much snow fall for nigh on fifty years. Several others died on the hill that night. After a whole night and day of struggling in snowdrifts, and after losing his hat, boots, gloves and nearly his life he was eventually found by children playing in Carding Mill Valley.

Photo Courtesy of Malcolm Roddy

Winter Education Visits

On Monday our Learning Officer instructed a group of 22 M.A. students from Birmingham University through the processes of leading Geography fieldtrips.  Within a year we hope that they all find a teaching job and make a return visit with their students, confident in the activities of booking, risk assessments and conducting river studies.

Rectory Wood Makeover

 Over the past couple of weeks the Tuesday Task Force have been going to Rectory Wood to help rebuild the paths and steps there. The wood is on the edge of National Trust land and belongs to the council, these days have been a part of an agreement between the National Trust and the council to help keep the woods looking their best. Before the TTF joined the effort the paths were eroding away making it more and more dangerous to travel along them.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Volunteer Training

On Thursday National Trust volunteers and staff came together for a training session on water insects and valley history. The session was led by Learning Officer Chris Stratton. We started in the Carding Mill Valley tearoom and heard about the history and geology of the valley. We went outside and did some kick sampling in the stream before heading off to our labs to examine what we had caught.

After that we walked up the valley towards the reservoir discovering more of Carding Mill Valley's rich past on the way. Everyone enjoyed  themselves and the cake helped us forget about the chilly weather!

Felling in Walcot

If National Trust rangers are stood in a wood and a tree falls, does it make a sound? ............ Answer - yes. This week The rangers went to Walcot wood to fell some Cherry trees, Placement student Rob has been doing his chainsaw course and used his new skills to help out, as can be seen in the video. The trees have been made safe and left where they are for a volunteer group to come in and sort.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

TTF get splitting

 Last week Carding Mill Valley was provided with 21 tonnes of logs and 9 crates to stack wood in, so naturally we asked our lovely Tuesday Task Force to come and help us fill them up and they did not let us down. Including some of our old empty crates and the new ones the TTF managed to fill 11 crates in a mornings work, some were chainsawing, some were splitting and others stacking the logs in crates ready for the tractor to take them away. These logs come from our friends at Wenlock Edge and go into Carding Mill Valley's wood boiler, the tearoom fire and shop fire.


 Carding Mill Valley happily welcomed McConnel to demonstrate the powers of their Remote Controlled, Unmanned Tractor. They very helpfully cut down some gorse, saving the National Trust two days of group manual labour....... thanks a lot. Due to the design and structure of the machine it is able to go on steep slopes that a manned tractor would not be able to drive on. Not only this but a manned tractor would never really go accross a slope but up and down, that all changes with Robopower.

McConnel spent a day at the valley using the time to show what Robopower could do for a reporter and take pictures. The weather wasn't ideal what with the fog and rain showers but we made it work and had a successful day.

Pictures courtesy of McConnel

Thursday, 20 November 2014

TTF head to Walcot

This week our Tuesday Task Force headed over to walcot to clear one of the hedgelines. With trees and brambles out of control and everywhere, it was a tough job but the volunteers made a huge improvement. With loppers, slashers and saws at the ready the majority of the hedgeline was cleared in no time and the brash made a lovely fire to keep everyone warm.