Tuesday 29 December 2015

Some Shots of the Damage

A few pictures of the damage to the Brick Bridge and two barges that sank after hitting the bridge. The path is deep in mud and we have three fridges in the Reserve. Our bund bridge has been dislodged as well and some of the reeds in the Lagoon flattened.
We have got off very lightly considering the devastation along the valley. Elland Bridge is now closed to traffic and is in danger of collapse.

Monday 28 December 2015

Battered Bridge

The road bridge over to the compound has taken a bit of a battering after the floods forced two barges under it which then sank further up the canal. There are also a number of fridges deposited near the weir and the wooden bridge by the lagoon has been moved. On a positive note the lagoon is now full!

All at Cromwell Bottom offer sincere thoughts for all who are suffering from the recent floods along the Calder. The damage to our reserve is very small in comparison. David has contacted me to say that the Post Office in Southowram is accepting food and any other parcels to be distributed along the Valley. There are other ways you can help as well.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Christmas and New Year

Wishing all of you a very Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.Mike and Sally Henshaw.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Festive Season

On behalf of the committee I would like to thank all the volunteers for there hard work this year and all our supporters and visitors and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year and hope to see you all soon . Yours Graham

Sunday 20 December 2015

Saturday the 12th of December in Pixie Wood and the Sphagnum Bog

We cleared a large area of encroaching willow. This has to be done as willow dries out the bog and the diversity becomes depleted. 

 Grateful thanks to Martin for these pictures.

MORE pictures here:       

Friday 18 December 2015

Pleasant Hour by the Feeders

Managed a quiet hour by the feeders today. The bullfinches are back with three pairs enjoying the seeds. One of the jays has an injured leg but seems to be coping judging by the nuts it was scoffing. Also lots of coal, great and blue tits, a couple of fighting robins, two male blackbirds and a few chaffinch.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

A bird fix

Judging by a lack of bird photographs on the blog, it would appear a species not showing well recently at the reserve is the bird photographer - I count myself in that observation!  For those of you needing a fix of bird photographs, here are some from earlier in the autumn :) Enjoy!


Great Tit



Blue Tit


Coal Tit

Monday 7 December 2015

Make some Bird Feeders

This Thursday December 17th


Meet Robin Dalton from Calderdale for bird feeder making from willows to take home. Children and grownups welcome. Start at 10:00 am. Cost £2:50. Contact Robin on 07712 867619 for further information. 
Hot and cold drinks available in the Cabin. All welcome

Grants for the Group

Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group is very grateful to Calderdale Council Community Grants for a grant to support our work on the reserve during the coming year. 

Saturday 5 December 2015

Wet and Windy!

Sometimes you just fancy a bit of fresh air don't you? So off I went, camera and binoculars in hand, despite the weather forecast. You can always find something interesting at Cromwell Bottom even on a day like this, so here's what there was....

We don't often see the river gauge this high

As I walked upstream to the weir I saw 4 goosander frantically battling the current, but looking quite comical as they "swam" backwards down the channel.

We don't often see the weir running so fast either

Onwards to the newly excavated ponds...... Visitors may not realise just how much work has gone into this project already but its making a massive difference to the prospects for pond dipping next year. The ponds are now about 4ft deep in places and very muddy at present. Over winter they will settle and clear if we can avoid disturbing the water as much as possible and all the seeds, roots, eggs and hibernating pondlife will gradually reappear. When weather permits we will put some information there about the project. 

By June this year the ponds had dried out

What a difference! There are now 2 ponds, with an island in the lower one and an overflow to carry water out towards Tag Cut

Not surprisingly there were very few birds around. They were avoiding the rising winds I guess. Not me! I pushed onwards to the bird feeding area and found a couple of magpies raiding the peanuts, and a loyal robin on the table.

Roll on Christmas?

The fungus on the stump looks really bright in the rain

How deep is the hole on the peanut stump?
Roughly half a squirrel deep!

As I walked back over the canal bridge to the car park I spotted the goosanders enjoying a more sheltered stretch of water on the Calder & Hebble and decided they had the best idea, so headed back home for a nice cup of tea.
Won't it be great when we can open up the cabin regualrly for warm drinks!

Thursday 3 December 2015

Waxwings Today 03/12/2015

Three Waxwings seen today near Cromwell at Rastrick by A.C.  Keep your eyes and ears open.

Monday 30 November 2015

Work & walking Party Thursday November 26th

Last Thursday around 8 members and friends came along to one of our Work Parties to clear Willow and brush from the eastern end of Pixie Wood. The sphagnum area is drying due to willow growth. Loppers were used to cut the young willows. These were piled to create a fence nearby. About an acre was successfully cleared cleared.
A walking party also came along and strolled around part of the site on accessible paths led by Graham our Chair, followed by hot drinks in the Cabin very ably served by Jane and Margaret.

               Part of the Walking Party

We assemble in Pixie Wood 

The cleared area amounts to about an acre. A job well done until next time.

Friday 20 November 2015

Next few meetings

Our next meetings and into 2016 are now on our Website  Our next two are Thursdays December the 3rd and 10th. We will be tree coppicing and fence installation around our new pond. All these start at 9:30 am.

Also on the 26th of November there was a walking party (only a mile or so) for the elderly or disabled on flat paths. Boots recommended after recent rain. 10:00 am start. Everyone really enjoyed the gentle walk. More dates on our Website HERE.

Thursday 19th

Cromwell Bottom would like to thank Steve Downing for his contribution to the reserve. We later showed Steve some of what we had done to improve the site for visitors and wildlife.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Today's Work Party November 14th 2015

15 volunteers came along to cut reeds this morning, A really big thankyou to all. No one got wet - it did not rain, we achieved what we wanted. A very pleasant lunch in the Cabin was a welcome break.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

2 of my images have been shortlisted in the Small World category of Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2015

The Burnet shot was taken at Cromwell Bottom.

Monday 9 November 2015

Some of the reserves delightful birds

Over the last month, like many others I have met at Cromwell Bottom, I have continues to enjoy the Nuthatches and other birds. Here are a selection of what I have taken.
                                   Different Nuthatches continue to visit the two feeding stations
                                       Don't you just love these charasmatic chartacters

                                          It pays to keep a lookout when you are on the menue

                                             Not many Bullfinches coming down yet.
                 The Goldfinch is one of the birds that is doing well throughout the UK
                          We have quite a few Chaffinches coming to both feeding stations
 Some may think that the Dunnock is just a small brown job but I think they are special. Just look at the detail in the feathers
                                              The Coal Tit is a great active little bird

 This Great Spotted Woodpecker looked really disappointed when he found there were no nuts. They are visiting both feeding stations.
 This male Siskin was delightfull to see and even more delightful when it came down in front of the Viewing Station.
                          The Long Tailed Tit is many people's favourite small birds.
                                     The Jays are back and as hungry ( or is it as greedy) as every.