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?

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.