Monday, 18 February 2019

Large Midget emerges

Anyone interested in botany will be familiar with the clump of Snowberry growing by the public footpath behind the cabin. Last September I finally found some lepidopterous mines on it which turned out to be those of the Large Midget (Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella). They are not common miners in the UK and are the first of this species I have seen anywhere. They are underside mines which cause the leaves to pucker as shown.

Shortly after collecting a couple of mines the larvae spun these neat, rugby ball shaped cocoons.

After the pupae had over-wintered in my garage they were brought indoors about a month ago and the first adult emerged this morning - all 5mm of it.

The area behind the cabin seems quite rich in leaf mining moths for some reason, it often produces good finds.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Watching this nuthatch pecking its way into a monkey nut was a sight to behold.  It's always great to feed the birds but to watch them display their natural behaviours in this way is something else.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Moth night

Well, we had a lovely freezing wind on a nice cold night & absolutely nothing in the trap for the 7 people present. But the goo produced a Satellite & a Chestnut moth, walking round the woods produced 3 Grey Birch Buttons (Acleris logiana) & 2 flightless Female Dotted Borders.

The 3 winter moths not shown on here before:
 The Chestnut
 The Satellite
Dotted Border
Hopefully hauls should start improving as the nights get warmer - they will, wont they?

Sunday, 10 February 2019

A few shots from this weekend down at the viewing area...

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Moth night this Saturday

Barry will be running a moth night this Saturday night the 9th of February, start time approx 5pm at the Cromwell Bottom Cabin.  All welcome.

Please wear warm clothing, bring a torch.

Thursday and Second Saturday

Just a reminder that every Thursday there is a volunteers meeting at Cromwell Bottom. Come for a short time or stay the day. Hot drinks in the Cabin.
Every second Saturday is another volunteer meeting. Join Robin from Calderdale Council. Always wear sturdy footwear and warm clothing to these meetings.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Bird Sightings 23/1/2019

I had a couple of hours spare at lunchtime today so managed to fit a walk round the reserve and counted the species I saw/heard;

mute swan, little grebe, mallard, teal, grey heron, moorhen, cormorant, black headed gull, pink footed goose, Canada goose, GS woodpecker, nuthatch, treecreeper, LT tit, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, robin, dunnock, wren, blackbird, goldfinch, chaffinch, bullfinch, C. crow, jay, woodpigeon and reed bunting.

Nothing too unusual but a good selection.

We've recently spent a few volunteer Thursdays servicing the nest boxes and I was pleasantly surprised how many of these were being examined by pairs of birds already. Hopefully we can have a good breeding season this year.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Saturday January 12th


Wishing you a Happy New Year! If you fancy the opportunity to blow out the cobwebs, the first Saturday work party of 2019 is coming up this weekend. Turn up at the cabin for 9:30 for a cup of tea (courtesy of the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group), before a trip onto the Reserve to tackle the tree felling work which we missed out on in December.

Please bring sturdy footwear, (we will try to keep out of any wetter areas...), and gloves if you have them. Also lunch if you wish to stay on into the afternoon. Hoping to see you on Saturday.

All the Best,


Friday, 4 January 2019

Tesco Bags of Help...... Use those tokens!

Here we go again......    use those little blue tokens to vote for "A VIEW FOR ALL" in TESCO.

We're in the current round of TESCO Bags of Help, hoping to raise funds towards a viewing platform across the reedbed lagoon. This will be a great viewpoint especially for wheelchair users and your little blue tokens will help to make it happen. We could receive £4000 if we are the overall winner.
So, if you shop at Brighouse TESCO in January and February please remember to pick up a token and drop it in our slot in the voting point as you leave the store.
Four Tesco Express stores are also in this group - at Dalton, Scissett, and Wakefield Road and Leeds Road, Huddersfield.
We know you're all supporting us in lots of ways already and we really are grateful - people power is working for wildlife!
Wish us luck!

PS - later this month we'll hear whether our AVIVA bid has succeeded, so watch this space - and thanks again!

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Our Latest Newsletter

Many thanks to Val and the entire Newsletter team for producing another superb publication, not forgetting the Members who submit articles and pictures.

Our latest ... Winter 2018-2019 Newsletter

along with all the others is available on our Website ...

Monday, 17 December 2018

Some birds from last week

Little Grebe on the river at Brookfoot Loop slowly moving downstream towards Brighouse.

A nice comparison shot with a Mallard.

A Teal on the river bend above the weir. I had heard reports of a female there so this drake was a nice surprise.

The recent rain seems to have pushed good numbers of Goosander on to the canal where fishing is no doubt easier.

I never tire of seeing Nuthatches at such close quarters at both feeding stations

One of a small flock of Siskins around the cabin feeding station - a first for me here.

I keep hearing that Cromwell's a great place to photograph Kingfishers but I've yet to see one that isn't a distant blur as it shoots along the river - I will keep trying though!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Just a little tractor please!!

Your votes rolled in for our latest fundraising effort - we'll be hoping for success in the final judging. If you want to check us out on AVIVA's website here's the link:

Thank you everybody!

AVIVA voting closed today

 And you gave us a massive 2047 votes!!!  What a brilliant  effort,  thank you so much for all your support. 
Now we have to wait...

On 27th November Aviva will reveal
the finalists in each category.  We're hoping to come through in the Environment category at the £1000 - £5000 level.
From 24th January onwards the winners will be announced so keep your fingers crossed and thanks again!

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Unwanted Guest

On the reserve this morning

Monday, 12 November 2018

We have a lot of friends.....

... can you find a few more?

Thank you so much to all the people who are voting and sharing the word about our AVIVA bid. Thanks to you we have 1622 votes this morning. That's a wonderful boost for all our volunteers - people really appreciate what's happening on the reserve.

If you haven't banged on about it to absolutely everybody you know there are still just 8 more voting days left, so you know what to do......


Here's that all important link for you:



Sunday, 4 November 2018

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Ramble Round the Reserve

Join us for a nature ramble round the reserve at Cromwell Bottom. Saturday 27th October 10:00am start . We hope to finish at 1:00pm for lunch in cabin.

Meet at cabin. Suitable footware and warm clothes necessary.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Moth Night Saturday 27th

If you are not too tired after your Ramble - The Moth trap will probably be running from around 7.00pm I reckon. It gets earlier & earlier now. So 7.30pm onwards at the Cabin if you wish to try your hand at catching them! 

Friday, 19 October 2018


Bel Hale, our tree expert will be taking a walk around part of the reserve. She will show us how to identify some of the trees we have on site. This walk is suitable for all ages. Dogs on lead please. Refreshment available in the cabin. Start 1:30 until 3:30 pm. All welcome. Meet at the Cabin.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018


Had quite a productive walk around Tag meadow yesterday adding around another ten species or so to this year's moth list.

My highlight was several mines of what will probably be Large Midget (Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella) in Snowberry, not one I've recorded before. A long, underside mine causing the leaf to fold longitudinally with upper surface mottling. I'll try and rear some through.

Perhaps more uncommon is the Fern Smut (Psychoides filicivora). It mines the fronds of Harts-tongue Fern using the sporangia to build a case out of which provides pretty good camouflage. Not recorded in Yorkshire until 2008 but has spread somewhat since.

A more abundant species were a few of these Large Birch Pygmy (Ectoedemia occultella) in Birch. You can see one of the larvae feeding in the right hand side mine.

Other mines found were (for Barry's use mainly):
Tischeria ekebladela
Ectoedemia albifasciella
Stigmella glutinosae
Stigmella continuella
Stigmella atricapitana
Parornix devoniella
Phyllonorycter rajella

Nice to see a bench planted on the meadow for us weary travellers!


Saturday, 13 October 2018

Cromwell Bottom Work Party Saturday 13th October. Volunteers Needed

This Saturday 13th of October we will be in the lagoon cutting, raking and burning reed, albeit dependent on the weather. Wellies needed!

You may also be pleased to know I’ve also acquired 8 brand new grass rakes since the last work party, which will be stationed down at Cromwell Bottom!

If the weather really does take a turn for the worse, our fall back option is planting wild flowers within the North Loop meadow. Either way, please come prepared, and I hope you can make it on Saturday. With thanks.

Refreshments in the Cabin, and Later . . . Stay for another Moth Night (see post below)

Meet at 09:30

Kind Regards,

Robin Dalton

Area Countryside Officer – Lower Valley

Moth Night!

Yes two weeks have passed & it is time to get the trap out again!
The Moth trap should be up & running from about 7.30pm this Sat 13th - assuming it does not lash it down. Meet at the Cabin from 7.30pm onwards.
On the 29th we had 7 new species for our records at CB :
Barred Sallow, Frosted Orange, Pinion Streaked Snout, Dark Swordgrass, Lunar Underwing, Streak, & Red Line Quaker.
Nearly all were good lookers, the Frosted Orange being exceptionally marked - I wonder what will visit us this time?

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Thanks a bundle!

Thank you so much  to the anonymous person who left some bags of sunflower heads  at the feeding area last week.  The birds - and quite a few mice - are enjoying your gift!

Monday, 1 October 2018

Here we go again!

Now that our AVIVA benches are in place for visitors to the reserve we're on the funding trail again - and this time it's for some help for our volunteers who are out in all weathers, and tackling some major jobs which need some serious tackle. As our plans get bigger so do the tasks we undertake - and the tools and equipment just get heavier! Although we don't like to admit it, we're not all youngsters, so a lift with the bigger loads is definitely appreciated which is why we want to buy a small tractor to use with a trailer (already donated) for lots of jobs:

  • to get strimmers to our meadows
  • take a heavy pump and a generator to our dams and ponds when needed 
  • carry tools for path maintenance
  • cart bundles of trees for planting
  • carry all the equipment for our annual autumn cut in our reedbed - one of the most exhausting tasks of the year.

We are hoping to get a grant of £5000 so we will be asking for your votes on the AVIVA website from 23rd October onwards. 

It's great to have a supportive membership and we know you'll pull out all the stops - so please spread the word with your family and friends and get them to support us too. We'll need well over 1000 votes to be in with a chance - last time we only scraped home because another project dropped out.

Thank You!!

Monday, 24 September 2018

Moth night Cometh again!

For anybody interested - We are holding a Moth night this Saturday 29th September 8.00pm onwards.
As Autumn & winter are approaching the night temperatures are dropping, so we are now looking into "Sugar posts" as well as the light.
I shall make  up a batch of "Moth goo" based upon numerous ingredients people swear by. From what I believe it will look like, smell like, & brush like - Goo is probably the best description. This I shall splatter on a few trees/posts late in the Afternoon. We have never tried this before, so nothing to lose & apparantly some moths will only come to this & not the Lights.
Lets see which method is more productive on Sat - The Light or The Goo?