Sunday, 21 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, 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.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

It's nearly time..... For AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND 2018

Voting opens on Tuesday so please come back then to follow the link and cast your 10 votes....  All for us we hope!

We are really hoping to buy a small tractor to help with  getting tools and large equipment around the reserve without exhausting our trusty volunteer crew. If you've ever joined in on a work day you will know how useful that tractor could be!
Please help us - and get all your family and friends and colleagues and students and anyone else to help!  Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter - what better to tweet about?

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?

Saturday, 22 September 2018

All Newsletters

Our  Autumn 2018 Newsletter  is now readily available to read, download or print.

Friday, 21 September 2018

The AVIVA benches are in place.....

A riverside stop in sun or shade
The AVIVA benches were installed recently by our ever busy volunteers, with some welcome help from Robin Dalton. There are three - here are pictures of two of them - you'll have to hunt down the third for yourself. It's a good excuse for a walk!

a canal cruising holidaymaker stopped by for a look at the birds

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Moth Night!

The trap will be out & running this Saturday 15th from around 8.30pm onwards, for those interested.

It should be light cloud with light breeze - We shall see on the night!

Monday, 10 September 2018

Bird Survey and Walk

This Saturday, September 15th    Bird Survey/Walk   Meet the group for a walk/bird survey at the cabin for a 10 am start.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Kingfisher Family

     Family of 6 Kingfishers seen at Cromwell Bottom this week.
     It has been great watching them a couple of them nearly
     landed on my shoulders.



Monday, 20 August 2018


A surprisingly warm and calm night brought in plenty of moths to keep everyone happy. There were quite a few new ones for the year, a new leaf miner for myself, a couple to still ID and a rather "unpleasant" beetle that took a shine to Barry ;-)

Perhaps the one I was most interested in finding was this Bulrush Wainscot. I'd found larval feeding signs in the spring on the nearby Bulrushes in the wheel wash ponds so it was pleasing to eventually see one of the adults.

Two Elder Pearls (Anania coronata) continued our good run of Anania species for this year

A well marked noctuid that had me stumped on the night was taken for ID - it turned out to be a Flounced Rustic.

Another tricky one to pin down was much easier to do the next day under natural light - a Rosy Minor showing the grey and reddish markings.

The late summer/autumn sallows are becoming more regular now including this fine Centre-barred Sallow.

Two of the "bird dropping" micros on the night were Bordered Marbles (Endothenia marginana).

A leaf mine found on Crack Willow last Tuesday on Tag meadow was thought to be Willow Midget (Phyllonorycter viminiella). The adult (below) emerged yesterday to confirm my tentative ID. One of the plainer phyllos.

A very small plume with a forewing of just 7mm was located by Barry. It may be just a small, late generation moth of a common species. I'll have to find out more about this one.

Here's one for any beetle experts out there to have a look at. It took a liking to Barry (!) at first as he approached the light and then tried to wander off along the ground where I potted it up.  It's a Nicrophorus species but I'm not sure which one. It was covered initially from head to toe with dozens of mites and smelt quite disgusting. They're carrion feeders and it's not one I've seen before so was wondering if anyone knows of it's status in Calderdale.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Moth Night!

Dust those nets off!
This Saturday the 18th we will be running the Moth Trap again.
All the usual crew are invited + anyone else who may be interested.
Please turn up after 8.30pm, light will get turned on around 10-10.30pm.
Count this year 228 so far, Hopefully we will improve that by a few more on Saturday.
See you there!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Todays visit

Birds seen on my visit today were -:
6 Goosander, 2 Kingfisher, 4 Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch,
Treecreeper, Cormorant, Jay, 2 Blackcap and the regular
viewing area birds.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Our Summer Special Newsletter

Hello everyone
The newsletter was emailed out yesterday. If you're a current member please check your inbox and your junk mail just in case.  You certainly won't want to miss this edition. Please email if you think we've missed you.
If you're not a member yet - we can help!  Just follow the link on this page.

Happy reading!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Friday night / open day morning moths

Around 60 species recorded with at least 12 to add to the year list which now stands at 226.

Highlights were:

Blood-vein - 2nd Cromwell record this year of this scarce Calderdale moth
Dusky Thorn
Old Lady
Haworth's Minor - a strange record as they usually prefer moorland with cotton-grass and sedges
Chevron x 3
Birch Marble (Apotomis betuletana) - one of the many "bird-dropping" micros
Rush Marble (Bactra lancealana)
Sallow Kitten x 2
Sallow x 2 - First of the autumn
Least Yellow Underwing - the fifth species of Yellow Underwing this year
Six-striped Rustic x 3

Lime-speck Pug - my moth of the night demonstrating that not all pugs are worn and hard to ID

One of two Pale Prominents - the classic "dead twig" moth

Antler Moths becoming quite common now, this one was in the cabin!

Angle-striped Sallow - One of five of this northern speciality

Small Square-spot - a small pinkish noctuid

This Canary-shouldered Thorn kept me company for most of the night so I couldn't resist a photo

One of several Small China-marks of both sexes made an appearance. Possibly coming from the nearby wheel-wash ponds

This Small Birch Bell (Epinotia ramella) was netted before the lights went on - one of twelve new species for me on the night.
Last but not least this False Cacao Moth (Ephestia woodiella) was in the trap just before dawn. It's a VC 63 first and only the second county record.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Our 2018 Open Day was Saturday August 4th

It is our Open Day was Saturday the 4th of August 2018

If you missed it then you missed an exceptional day.

Report to follow.

We will have Birds of Prey, The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, soft toy Tombola, Raffles with cracking prizes, Nature walks to show you around our Reserve, face painting, pond dipping sessions, small mammal handling, craft and photography stalls and of course our Cabin will be open for tea, coffee, cold drinks, ices and snacks. Seating areas at the cabin. toilets.

Free car parking, drive down by "Oils Well" on the A6025 Brighouse to Elland road.

Open 10:00 am till 4:00 pm


Friday, 27 July 2018

Tying up loose ends from last Saturday

This came to light at last Saturday's moth night, it was in the trap at emptying time. It's a Mouse-ear Groundling (Caryocolum fraternella) - it's the first record we have for Calderdale and it's Yorkshire status is rare and local resident.

FOODPLANT: Common Mouse-ear and Stitchwort.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Spotted this solitary wasp at the Tag Loop pond today.

I think it is a Sand Tailed Digger Wasp - Cerceris arenaria   Can any experts out there comment as it could be added to our species list.

Alan Pullan

Monday, 23 July 2018

Last Saturday's moths

Another cracking night with plenty of new species added to the 2018 list including some scarcities:

Brown-line Bright-eye
Southern Wainscot
Angle-striped Sallow
Small Rivulet + some I can't recall?
Also a few good micros and good numbers of Scalloped Hook-tips and Canary-shouldered Thorns

Scalloped Hook-tip - looks amazingly like a dead birch leaf at a glance. One of five.

Southern Wainscot - a reedbed specialist. This is a pretty fresh looking specimen still with a delicate pink flush. Fourth wainscot species of the year with surely more to come.

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing -(almost fell asleep typing that one) one of four species of yellow underwings on the night. The photo below shows the fantastically green head, thorax and underparts.

Pebble Hook-tip is a regular visitor at the moment.

Lesser Swallow Prominent is one of those species that you never tire of seeing. Nice to get a shot of it in it's natural resting position.

Meal Moth which as it's name suggests is a pest of stored cereals especially in warehouses. Someone will have to check in the cabin's bran flake boxes :-)

And finally one of my specialities, a micro - Cochylis atricapitana. One of six new species for me on the night.

The 2018 list now stands on at least 212 species. Where will it all end?