Five Year Plan

Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group proposed 5 year plan 

Written May 2021 -  priorities to be determined by Trustees

              Prepared by Simon Day, Chair of CBWG, using Trustees’ suggestions

Key Area




Objectives – what do we want to achieve?

Achieved? Y N P


Cabin/seating area

To extend and overhaul the outdoor seating area behind the cabin.  


Prepare area, lay membrane, lay hardcore foundation and top with chippings. Repaint/clean seating  

To enhance quality of seating environment for members of the public  


Explore all factors in funding and replacing existing cabin with newer/larger design

Considering all factors involved ie design/function/funding streams and size before making final decision

To ultimately replace existing cabin which can accommodate simultaneous activities at any one time due to its design

Cabin/seating area 

Aim to extend opening times/days of the existing cabin

Seek permission if required to open on a certain number of days on an annual basis

Allowing more opportunities to open during warmer months and during public/school holidays

Secure a greater number of people willing and available to volunteer in the cabin

Freedom to open cabin at peak times to target increased footfall

Increase in cabin volunteers on rota

Monthly income from cabin shows increasing trend

Education Area             ( across the compound from the cabin)

To increase number of habitats in the area to provide a greater number of activities 

Create ( with permission and agreement from Robin) a pond habitat to the left of the walled entrance

Habitats increased

Pond project completed

Education Area  

To provide the opportunity for birdwatching activities

Construct a bird viewing screen or hide and develop a bird feeding area for birdwatching activities

Screen constructed

Additional birdwatching area provided


Education Area  

To enable bug hunting activities

Create areas for bug hunting by laying a variety of surfaces eg logs/stones etc

Areas located and completed


Education Area  

To provide a designated and dry meeting point

Provide permanent or removable covering over the logged/ chippings meeting area

Meeting point covered and sheltered


Education Area  

To meet/liaise with users and meet specific needs where possible

To provide a manageable range of natural materials for such use as Forest School activities

Increase the frequency of usage of the Education area by visiting groups

To provide a range of habitats for visitors to explore and learn from


Bird viewing area

To undertake an overhaul of the area

To improve the environment for visitors/photographers

Source, transport and replace old/rotten logs/branches with new ones

Dig over surrounding area behind and in front of screen and re-landscape with insect attracting plants

Railing installed for steps

Explore idea of ramp option into area

Trim back encroaching willow

Repair perimeter fencing

Design and create reflection pond

Improved   quality of the feeding environment, range and location of feeders extended.

 Improved opportunities for bird observation and photography

Bird viewing area (s)

To encourage as many species of visiting birds as possible and minimise spread of disease

Keep supply and feeders well stocked

Weekly changing of feeders in all 3 locations using colour coding system

To sustain a constant food source for birds throughout the year

Observations suggest disease- free visiting birds


Whole site

Introduce themed walks eg tree and flower walks for members of public to follow

Liaise with ‘experts’ to ensure correct identification eg Bel Hale, Steve Blacksmith/our own volunteers

A range of worksheets available in cabin and in regular use by families/school groups

Whole site - signage

Install welcoming signage 

Liaise with Robin for signage size and design

Assist with installation of signage if appropriate

All relevant signage installed

Meadows/grassland areas

Improve the quality of meadow/grassland areas on site in order to

  • increase diversity of wildflowers

  • create better ground nesting conditions for species such as meadow pipit and skylark .

  • increase diversity of insects/invertebrates


Carefully planned programme of adding specific wild flower species such as Yellow Rattle which would enhance quality and diversity.

Purchase of chosen wild flowers

Contact Scientific Society to request insect/invertebrate survey

Monitoring and recording of species in grassland areas shows increase in wild flower diversity and increase in number of targeted bird species and insect species







Install bird hide on lagoon bund with ramped access form riverside walk


Suggested construction of 10m x 3m metal structure with seating and shutter windows

Funding costs/grants

Hide erected, in use and maintained to appropriate standards






North Loop

Create winter feeding seeded area for birds and small mammals on stretch of grassland between the back of the hide and the metal gate


Rolling out membrane to cover the area to provide a base

Placing variety of free-standing stones over membrane

Wood planks to provide border frame

Monitoring shows successful attraction of birds, particularly migrant flocks during winter months

Possible mammal trapping shows increase in mammal activity.

Barn owl food supply increased






North Loop

Increase diversity of wildlife – particularly aquatic life

Work in partnership with Calder Greening and Environment Agency to install water features such as pond and boggy area in designated areas on NL

Monitoring and recording shows increase in aquatic life on NL







To increase membership, volunteers as our human resources.


To explore ways in which to further increase our membership/volunteers – particularly those of younger age groups eg through newsletter/Saturday Volunteer days and visiting groups

Encourage members to pay membership online.

Membership increases

Regular volunteering increases

Membership of younger age groups shows increase

 Public education and enjoyment of the site enhanced 

 Mental health and wellbeing opportunities provided

Publicity makes it clear that all income is spent directly on Reserve management







Update all CBWG information boards up to date eg sightings board to improve communication


Replace old black information board outside gate.

Display publicity posters directing the public’s attention towards all our activities/fundraising eg ‘Litter picking’ day

Boards kept up to date

Posters clearly visible in prominent places.


Explore feasibility of providing information to walking visitors about the wildlife on the Reserve electronically 

Place QR codes in specific places on site which, when activated on phone/tablet is linked to information from the website

Explore idea with Robin

Access expertise in how we could set this up and its viability

QR code system set up and in operation for the public to use






Sphagnum Bog 

To establish what wildlife exists there and to explore how it could be improved to attract new species.


Install variety of bird feeders

Explore other ideas to encourage diversity

Monitoring and recording shows current levels of diversity

Monitoring and recording after introduction of feeders and other strategies shows increase in diversity

Generating income

Explore opportunities for increasing income – with sales of items related to the Reserve or CBWG

Keep looking out for available grants


Eg selling small badges/accessories eg mugs??

Apply for grants which match our projects and ensure completion within timescale if bid is successful

Income streams identified and agreed

Income is received from sources deemed to be viable and profit making

Grants applied for

Some success with applications

Successful partnership with providers/contractors

Projects funded/part funded and completed






Community engagement

Re-instate activity days on the reserve for the general public and for school and community groups..


Ensure we have the capacity and time to provide these events

Work in partnership Calderdale-led events to provide a manageable programme

There is a calendar of events which is attended by the public

Community engagement

Increase number of visiting groups


Publicise the availability of the Education area/Reserve in general, to the local community

Accommodate all requests from different groups to take part in activities, as far as is reasonably possible

To look for opportunities to liaise with similar wildlife organisations

Informal records ( visitors’ book) show that we have at least accommodated all requests

Most, if not all requests take place

Positive links are made which generate ideas 






Human Resources

Increasing skill base and qualifications 


Increase number who have Emergency First Aid at Work qualification

Increase the number who pass tractor driving test

Increase number of qualified users of electrical equipment such as strimmers /hedge cutters and workshop machinery

Increases shown in all areas.






Whole site  

Address growing spread of Balsam  


Organise ‘Balsam bashing ‘days using volunteers and community groups who want to assist us

Have a rolling programme of areas to target over time

Radically reduce the areas of the Reserve covered in balsam

Plan to be monitored at monthly  Trustees’ meetings and reviewed annually prior to Chair’s report at annual AGM

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