Monday 30 December 2019

Feeding area

Good to get out and take a few pictures

Xmas Fungi Foray

I had a fungi foray along Tag Cut on the 27th and really enjoyed the leisurely walk in solitude with just the occasional peep from a Kingfisher and the occasional, mournful song of a Robin.
NOTE TO TRUSTEES: Please don't lay a new path along there, the wildness and lack of fellow humans was quite refreshing :-)
Main fungi highlights were some very photogenic Common Eyelashes and a couple of new species for myself.

Common Eyelash (Scutellinia scutellata) growing on a fallen birch log. It's been a few years since I've seen these so photographing them with a modern(ish) camera was a real treat.

A close-up of the hairs that give the fungi it's name.

At around 5-7mm across they're easily overlooked.

Crimped Gill (Plicatura crispa), wonderfully soft and bendy, almost like marshmallows.

Scurfy Twiglets (Tubaria furfuraceae) by the towpath at Cromwell. Not so many mushrooms about at this time of year but these are well know for fruiting well in to winter.

There were a couple of Blackfoot Polypores (Polyporus leptocephalus) where Tag Cut meets the river but the rain prevented me getting my camera out so this one's from Pixie wood a few years ago. The name derives from the dark base to the stem.

Maybe the best sighting of the day was this cup fungi - possible Bay Cup (Peziza badia) but it I'll have to wait for microscopic examination by an expert for a positive ID.

Other identified fungi seen:
Hairy Curtain Crust
Glistening Inkcap
Velvet Shank
Sulphur Tuft
Common Puffball
Blushing Bracket
Silverleaf Fungus
White Brain
Witche's Butter
Scarlet Elf Cup

My Calderdale Fungi Blog:

Thursday 26 December 2019

A Fragrance of Boxing Day!

The Winter Heliotrope Petasites fragrans, long known at King Cross, Halifax, opposite the Fire Station, in the graveyard. We went to find it today and if we bent down the fragrance was gorgeous. We agreed it was almonds we could smell.

A few years ago I came across this patch on the top of the wood above the Elland by-pass, and we found it again this Christmas day, with flowers not yet open. It must have been a garden escape from the adjacent Halifax Zoo, reputed to have had beautiful gardens in the early 20th century,  now the pitches of Siddal Rugby Club.

The West Yorkshire Plant Atlas 1994 has only one site for the Calderdale area, and only six others in West Yorkshire, all around Leeds or east of there. It is an alien from the Mediterranean region.

The next flower to look out for is the White Butterbur, Petasites albus, a relative of the above. This we go to find in the Colden Valley from late February - March, a more showy flower, but not scented, and another garden escape, originally from central Europe and the Caucasus.

The first outdoor meeting of the Halifax Scientific Society (all welcome) is on 1st January, meeting 10.30 at Clay House, West Vale, Elland, HX4 8AN for the traditional New Year's Day Bird Count. Meet in front of Clay House. The walk is about 7 miles, through North Dean Woods (the woods are very muddy just now,) round Norland Moor, back by an alternative path through the woods to West Vale before dark. A stop for a sociable picnic will be taken somewhere in the woods - bring a waterproof layer to sit on. We count the number of species seen or heard.

Merry Christmas

All of us at Cromwell Bottom wish every Volunteer and Visitor a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. 
See you all in 2020


Our volunteers will open the Cabin on Boxing Day the 26th of December, as well as every Sunday as normal. Walk off those mince pies or have another (if there are any left).

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Moth Night 28th

Yes - last chance for 2019 this Sat 4.30pm kick off
Warm clothes, good footwear for wood walking, & torch recommended.

Friday 20 December 2019

Winter Newsletter

Our winter 2019/2020 Newsletter is now available to download. Copies will be available from Boxing Day in the Cabin.

Click HERE to view or download the Newsletter

Thursday 12 December 2019

Moth Night 14th Dec

Arrivals around 4.30pm & all done by around 8pm.
Nice warm clothing & torch a must, boots for walking the wood optional.
See you then. 

Sunday 1 December 2019

To Mrs E Harrison your bank card was found on the reserve if you could contact me on I will return it to you if no contact I will return it to your bank .yours Graham

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Moth Night Sat 30th

A shorter Moth night this Sat 30th 4.30pm start & should be well over by 9pm.
Usual Warm clothing, footwear for muddy conditions & Torch are recommended.
It is also looking good for no rain at weekend!
See you then!

Sunday 24 November 2019

The second edition is now available

Wednesday 13 November 2019

winter work program

Hi All
          just a few words to let you know what is happening at the moment on the reserve .
During the summer we applied for a few grants to which I'm glad to say we were successful, the down side to that is, its a lot of work ,we were hoping to spread the work load over  a few months but our preferred contractor only had a window in November , so we are taking the opportunity to try and complete all the major work before Christmas and of course the breeding season, with the help of Cromwell volunteers ,Calderdale MBC and there volunteers The PATH TO THE BIRD VIEWING AREA , is almost complete and we were hoping to have that open now but last weeks deluge has put it back a week we had to install more drainage pipes ,we do not like closing paths but in this instance for every ones safety we have had to if coming on to the reserve please RESPECT THE SIGNS and  BARRIERS THAT ARE IN PLACE they are there for your safety.
Further along the paths to Cromwell lock we are installing a viewing platform with a grant from TESCO PLASTIC BAG FUND AND BRIGHOUSE LADIES CIRCLE,  because this area was a bit tight we have made a passing place to the side this will all be complete in 3 weeks time as the concrete has to have time to cure but will make a lovely area to sit a while and let the world go by. The PATH ACROSS THE BUND BETWEEN THE REED BED AND WET WOODLAND  is being up graded although not an official path people were still using it and a couple of people have fallen over the exposed tree routes we are now making that safer with a grant from the Rastrick Big Local and this will be completed by the end of next week (weather permitting ).
 After a survey by Access For All for less abled or should i say more abled people we found we needed to fix a few things and one is a disabled toilet we are working towards doing that and a couple of areas on the reserve to upgrade the paths, this wont be completed for a while but we are working to make it the best in Calderdale if not Yorkshire for disabled and wheelchair users. please bare with us we  are trying to improve the reserve for eveyone, although not everyone agrees we are doing that .

Hope this clarifies what we are doing . yours Graham Haigh

Moth Night Sat 16th

Arrivals from around 5pm
Warm Clothing, good foot ware, & a torch are recommended.
We do little walks into the wood looking for flyers & goo lickers in winter + find the occasional Flightless female wafting Pheromones.

A very high risk of some of these - They are Winter Moths & particularly like Goo (sugaring) only occasional ones found in the trap.

Why not come along on Sat & find your own Satellite (Eupsilia transversa)

Recent Work, November

The volunteers (ably led by David) have been working on various projects recently. Around 30 arrived on the 7th to upgrade existing paths and also develop a new path opposite the cabin. Please bear in mind the work on the paths may result in a muddy walk, there are alternative routes to the Bird Feeding Area close by. Please always respect any temporary posted restrictions.

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Moth Night at the Cabin.

This Sat 2nd Nov

Yes, the Vampires Special events are back on, arrivals around 5.30pm.
Bring a torch & nice warm clothing, as dodging daylight can be nippy!
See you there.

Friday 18 October 2019

Cromwell Bottom's New Book

A brilliant publication by Val and her team. 
If you would like a copy then please call in at the Cabin any Sunday or leave a message in the message box on the right.

Monday 14 October 2019

Friday 11 October 2019

Fungi Nuthatch

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Thursday 26 September 2019

Autumn Edition

Hello All

As promised the Autumn Newsletter has been emailed to members today. Please check your inbox and your junk mail/spam box.

Monday 23 September 2019

autumn 2019 newsletter is now available

The latest edition will be emailed to members shortly and will be available online at soon, where all the newsletters are stored.

Printed copies area available in the cabin.  If anyone would like to contribute to the winter edition, please get in touch.

Newsletter team (lyn, val, jane)

Cool photograph from Dave Brotherton - thanks Dave!  

Sunday 15 September 2019

Halifax Scientific Society Pond Dipping Session 14.9.19

Excuse me for not putting the whole post on which can be seen on Calderdale-wildlife. (Tab at the top.)

With much appreciation for the management of the reserve and the excellent facilities provided at the cabin.

Saturday morning visit love the new set up

Thursday 5 September 2019


Over the reserve at 0725 > SE and 44 no.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Moth Night - Aug. 24th (UPDATED)

It was a mild, calm night turning quite chilly for the last couple of hours. There were eight attending including a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable young chap called Edward accompanied by his dad.
I counted 51 species on the night but Barry may have others.

UPDATE: Highlight for myself was the Gelechiid - Elm Groundling (Carpatolechia fugitivella). A typically plain species which needed it's bits dissecting.

This smart looking Grey Poplar Bell (Epinotia nisella) is of the form decorana which is new to all of us I suspect.

This Marbled Piercer (Cydia splendana) had me going for a while before it took  up a more relaxed posture a revealed it's true identity.

A female Dusky Thorn which was a photo lifer for me and looks laden with eggs in that plump abdomen.

One of a few Rosy Rustics that turned up late in to the night (morning).

A rather tatty Mouse Moth which is stated to be common but it's the first one I've ever seen so maybe not so common in our neck of the woods.

Ypsolopha parenthesella
Argyresthia goedartella
White-shouldered House Moth
Brown House Moth
Carpatolechia fugivitella
Mompha raschkiella x 2
Blastobasis adustella
Light Brown Apple Moth
Apotomis betuletana
Celypha lacunana
Ancylis badiana
Epinotia nisella x 1
Cydia splendana x 1
Mother of Pearl
Agriphila tristella
Crambus pascuella x 1
Water Veneer x c10
Small China Mark
Pebble Hook-tip x 1
Riband Wave
Blood-vein x 3
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet x 1
Yellow Shell
July Highflier x 1
Chevron x 1
Small Phoenix
Clouded Border
Canary-shouldered Thorn
Dusky Thorn x 1
Mottled Beauty
Iron Prominent x 2
Lesser Swallow Prominent x 1
Pale Prominent x 1
Straw Dot
Buff Footman
Copper Underwing agg. x 3
Rosy Rustic x 4
Flounced Rusic x 4 (Not Confused as thought)
Angle-striped Sallow x 2
Smoky Wainscot
Flame Shoulder x 1
Large Yellow Underwing  one or two :-)
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Square Spot Rustic
Setaceous Hebrew Character.

There maybe omissions (or spelling mistakes :-)