Friday, March 22, 2019

Digging up Pendle Hill's Past


The community archaeology project in the Pendle Hill LP is now well underway with plenty of people involved and lots of ideas suggested about what we could do in the upcoming years. This work is being led by Northern Archaeological Associates’ (www.naaheritage.com) Community and Outreach Officer, Rebecca Cadbury-Simmons, who is working as our Community Archaeology Co-ordinator.

Part of the project is a series of training workshops for local volunteers to take part in and learn key archaeological skills and techniques. Five workshops have been run this year, focusing on finds identification, geophysical survey, archiving and desk-based research, LiDAR interpretation, and how to plan and run a community archaeology project.
Volunteers have been able to try their hand at identifying different types of 'finds' that are commonly found in archaeological excavations, and also at reconstructing broken pots from fragments of pottery.



They have also used geophysical survey equipment to investigate how different features would show up in the results. During the LiDAR and desk-based research workshops they were shown what resources are available to them for free, both locally and online, that can aid their investigations of local archaeology.

Finally, the volunteers brought their ideas for possible community archaeology projects together and learned how they might be able to turn those into real projects and what steps they would need to go through to complete this.



The attendance at all these workshops was excellent and volunteers brought along their own ideas and suggestions of what work could be undertaken within the Landscape Partnership area. We are hoping that these training workshops will equip people with the skills and knowledge to start planning their own small-scale archaeological research projects.


By giving local individuals and groups the skills to run these projects themselves, we are optimistic that the legacy of community archaeology within Pendle Hill will continue and expand beyond the life of the Landscape Partnership. 

In addition to the training workshops, we also ran two open days during the excavations at Malkin Tower Farm, by UCLan in summer 2018. During one of these days, volunteers were given the opportunity to have a go at archaeological excavation. Students taught the attendees what they had learned about excavating and recording, as well as being able to show off what they had found so far. The second open day saw groups of interested locals being given tours of the site at the end of the excavation. This allowed people to see the progress that had been made before it was all covered over again. 


This is just the start though; there is lots more community archaeology to come within the Landscape Partnership.

On Tuesday the 23rd April 2019, we will be holding an Archaeology Forum that will feature talks and displays about all the archaeological work currently being undertaken in the area, as well as information about how you can get involved. This will be held at Clitheroe Castle Museum and is free for everyone to attend. We will also be running more training sessions in the upcoming year, featuring topics such as archaeological landscape survey and how to use software called QGIS (a very important tool in recording and reporting on archaeology). If you would like to find out more about these events, or for information on how you can get involved, please email Jayne Ashe (jayne.ashe@lancashire.gov.uk).

We are really looking forward to the coming year of community archaeology within Pendle Hill and we can’t wait to hear what other ideas the volunteers have come up with! 

See more about the Malkin Tower on our short film here 



Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Why are hedgerows a heroic feature in the landscape?

You may see hedgerows in the landscape when you're out walking, but have you ever wondered about why they are there, and why they are so important?

History of Hedgerows

The first hedgerows appeared when woodlands were cleared to make room for fields and sometimes strips of trees and shrubs were left to make boundaries.  Between 1604 and 1914 Enclosure Acts were enforced, to put boundaries on land to mark out the individual holdings. This transformed the land from open and communal to being separated by planted hedgerows and walls.

Farmers planted rows of trees and shrubs not only to separate and mark out farm and parish boundaries; but also to control the roaming of livestock and to provide them with shelter from poor weather. Popular species planted as hedgerows include hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, hornbeam, dogwood and dog rose. Other species such hazel, ash and oak are sometimes used.

During the Second World War, the government encouraged the removal of hedgerows to increase field sizes so production of food could be increased and the UK could become self-sufficient. Financial incentives were put in place to encourage removal of hedgerows and new, bigger, more powerful machinery was created which was too big to be used in small fields. Other factors such as changes in farming practices and development has also caused the loss of hedgerows. This resulted in a huge loss in hedgerows throughout the country, and therefore a huge decline in species that relied on them, especially birds and dormice. To find out more about the history of hedgerows go to https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/conservation-and-sustainability/advice/conservation-land-management-advice/farm-hedges/history-of-hedgerows/

Removal of hedgerows is now recognised as having had a negative impact on the landscape, biodiversity and natural flood management and now more planting has started across the country. Government changed their financial incentives from removal to re-planting of hedgerows to try and regain the habitat and increase species populations.



Why do we lay hedges?
Hedgerows that are left unmanaged will grow into a line of trees which makes it a poor habitat for many species, see picture on the right. Small mammals and birds will not use tree lines to nest or shelter as they are too open to predation. Livestock do not get much shelter from a line of trees either, and generally if it is used as a boundary, farmers will end up fencing along the line of trees to make it stock-proof.




 Laying the trees in the hedgerow is the traditional way of managing hedgerows and creating a living stock-proof barrier. By laying a hedge it creates an amazing habitat for a wide range of species from mice, to hedgehogs and birds. It creates a wildlife corridor for species to move throughout the landscape which decreases the chances of disease, population fluctuations, starvation and inbreeding. Hedgerows are also used for nesting sites, food, shelter and hiding from predators. Hedgerows also double up as shelter for stock and reduce wind speeds which helps with reducing erosion of soils.

How do you lay a Hedge?
To be able to lay a hedge, firstly a cut called a pleacher must be made at the base and to one side of the tree depending on which way it is to be laid. All hedgerows are laid up hill, although if it is a hedgerow alongside a road it is always laid in the direction of the traffic.
Using hand tools is the traditional way of hedgelaying. Tools used include an axe and billhook, which are used to create the pleachers. Bow saw, pruning saw and loppers are used to trim the tree back and cut off the left over stump – a feature called a heal. To see pictures of these tools follow this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/123521075@N07/33016820636.







This is a picture of the first cut being made to the tree with an axe. This will reduce the thickness of the tree so that it can be laid down to create the hedge, however not so thin that the tree snaps off from the stump. This will leave a section of the tree trunk left behind, which is called a heal which will be cut off once the tree has been laid.








 
Once the tree has been laid into the hedge, a diagonal cut towards the roots of the tree can be made to smaller branches which stick out too much from the hedge. By doing this it is representing the pleacher cut of the tree trunk and allows the branch to be bent towards the hedge to make the laid hedge thicker and denser so that it is more stock proof.










Professional hedgelayers use chainsaws to lay the hedges as it is quicker and more cost effective. The chainsaw does the same cuts, so this picture is showing the pleacher cut being put into the tree trunk.











This is a picture of the final laid hedge. The lighter coloured parts at the bottom of the tree trunk is the pleacher cut which enables the tree to be laid. Stakes are then put in about every meter on alternate sides, to retain the hedge. The material from the trees is used to give the hedge thickness. Everything in this hedge is still attached to the trees so it creates a living boundary.









Sometimes when hedgelaying, technical cuts such as this 'Z' cut is used to fill up a gap in the hedge. This is not often used but it is a good way of filling the space. A cut is made either side of the trunk shown in the picture on the left. It is then bent backwards and then folded on top of itself – shown in the picture below, to fill in the space but the tree is still being laid in the same direction. The heels of each cut are taken off to neaten it up.


All cuts that are made to the tree, will
encourage the tree to re-grow, and therefore
make the hedge thicker and more stock-proof.









Different styles
There are more than thirty different styles of hedgelaying across the UK. Each style has been developed over many years to cope with the climate of the area, different farming practices and the type of trees and shrubs that grow in the hedge.

The Lancashire & Westmorland hedge style; which is used in the Pendle Area, need to be well maintained to retain both cattle and sheep. Wooden stakes are placed about 18″ apart on alternate sides of the laid hedge with the pleachers (cut stems) layed between at approx 45°. The pleachers are woven around the stakes and the hedge finished to a height of at least 3′ 6”. To find out about other common styles and the pictures of them follow this link https://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/pg/info/styles.aspx 

If Hedgelaying has interested you…
Come along to the Bowland Hedgelaying Grand Prix Competition, on Saturday 2nd March at Cockshotts Farm in Sabden, BB7 9EH.

Come see the hedgelayers in action, join a guided walk around Sabden Valley at 10.30am, get involved in a family friendly nature trail, and have a go at hedgelaying and drystone walling. Refreshments and local stalls available all day!
For more information visit: www.pendlehillproject.com

Want to get involved in the landscape and join our volunteer group?
The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership offer a variety of volunteering opportunities at various locations.

·      Want some experience of dry stone walling, archaeology, conservation management or working with schools?
·       Got some spare time this year and love your local landscape?
·        Love sharing your stories and researching about local historic figures?
·       Want to keep fit, learn new skills and assist your local community?

If you answered YES to any of the above then head to our website to find opportunities for you to #GetInvolved www.pendlehillproject.com/get-involved









Thursday, February 7, 2019

Why Artists?


By Andy Abbott and Anna Taylor of In-Situ Arts

Now we’re into quarter four with almost a full year of The Gatherings behind us, we’ve been reflecting on our experiences of embedding arts and artists into the various projects that aim to connect people to Pendle Hill.

It’s also a time of reflection for us within In-Situ. We’re both finding our place in the self-organised artist-led-organisation turned Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation with a new permanent home in The Garage at Northlight Mill in Brierfield.

As part of the process we’ve been discussing what it means to embed arts into everyday life, the particularities of Pendle and the immediate area that we’re in, how we connect with diverse audiences, what the proper approach to that is and the pace at which it can be done well. Key to this, with regards to The Gatherings, is ‘Why is it important for artists to work on environment projects?’

Why Artists?

Whilst artists aren’t the only people that can help people connect with the hill, we believe they do have a particular knack for offering fresh perspectives and helping people see things in a new way. We hope that through engaging and working with artists that people who previously didn’t think the hill – or the various activities and projects that make up the project activity - was for them, find a way in.

As an artist led organisation another thing we find that the thing that unites us, and the artists we work with, is a curiosity for people and places. It’s fascinating to learn and understand more about the relationship between the landscape and how this affects daily life of residents be it through their work, leisure or outlook on life.


Being curious involves working in an open-ended way, where the outcome remains responsive and adaptive to what is learned through the process of spending time in a place and with its people. Like a good coach, a good artist working in this way may be wary of looking for what they want to hear or tell people, offering full stops, statements of fact and telling people how its done. Instead they may ask questions, start conversations, notice the unremarkable, or unearth the remarkable in everyday places.

Listening projects

Listening, then, becomes a crucial skill in an embedded arts practice. How well have we done this over our first year? What have we heard and how has it shaped the outcomes of the projects?



Our major commission in year one was for an artist residency alongside the archaeological dig at Malkin Tower. Over the course of the five-week dig Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee recorded the process through photography, sound and video, interviewed and chatted to the archaeologists and students on the dig, explored the landscape and researched local and social histories. Half way through the project they shared the material they’d been gathering through a series of sessions held in libraries and community spaces around the hill to get feedback from local people about what elements stood out or connected with people. Knowing they were going to be working towards a performance of some kind they also offered singing workshops to people interested in engaging with project this way.  The resulting performance was a multilayered ‘micro-opera’ that offered an interpretation of the dig through the perspective of objects, trees, animals and people that either witnessed or took part in it. 





We have also played a part in the Summit Stones commission by supporting artist Henrietta Armstrong. Through working with In-Situ Henri has been able to extend her sculptural practice in an embedded and socially-engaged way.













The twelve stones that she has created to be installed around the trig are the result of conversations with local people around the hill and what it means to them. The way in which the stones will be installed – partially buried with only the top face visible – hopes to create a new folklore and rural/urban myth about their form and function, to be uncovered by archaeologists of the future. 



Also as part of the Summit Works we commissioned artist Alice Withers and designer Ben Holden to create some signs that aimed to inform visitors about the works, but also sparked and captured conversations. Alice posed as a ‘curious tourist’ chatting to people on the hill about what brought them there, capturing their stories and encouraging selfies. 





















Local voices and the year ahead.

Although it was the smallest project it is perhaps Alice’s engagements that have best embodied the type of work In-Situ has enabled and practised since its formation in 2012. The project acted as a sounding board for local people and visitors, offering them an ear and, through some of the signs produced from the conversations, a voice visible on the hill.


It quickly and easily generated a plethora of anecdotes and stories that ranged from the informative to the romantic. It also created room for some of the more challenging conversations arising from the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership that we need to acknowledge going into the second year. Some local people have really felt the benefit, and others find that this change is spoiling the rugged natural landscape that they want to spend time in and take a pride in. There are questions around who benefits from the work being done as part of the Landscape Partnership – visitors, locals or both?  

 Going into the second year of the PHLP and The Gatherings strand specifically we want to put this idea of listening and reflecting conversations at the heart of the programme. If our role is to uncover, reveal, strengthen, develop and expand relationships to the hill then how can we better connect and work with local knowledge and skills, including that of artists? What if the hill could listen, or ask questions? What would people say to the hill? What do all of these things mean to people here? Can we be the ears of Pendle? Our first annual Gatherings event in May will be a chance to find out. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Pendle Radicals, what a busy first nine months


Pendle Radicals has had a busy first nine months, powered by a very lively group of volunteer researchers.  Faye Wetherall of Mid Pennine Arts reports on progress, and on what to look forward to this year.

Our diaries are already starting to look very full as we are springing into 2019 with lots of activity on offer for all to get involved in…
Radicals Research Team
Tea Parties and Radicals outings have been keeping us busy over the last few months. We are delighted by how our volunteer Radicals Research Team is continuing to grow and how members are so eager to help lead this four year journey of discovery.  Most recently we embarked on a research trip to the Working Class Movement Library to make use of their amazing archives, in particular the extensive material they had on Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.  Ethel Carnie was the first working class woman in Britain to publish a novel and because of this has caught the attention of many of our volunteers.  It was great therefore at the WCML to see a vast number of her books, exchanges of letters between herself and others, her death certificate and even a copy of her own handwriting…  We felt very close to our local mill girl turned best-selling author!



The team have also recently attended a seminar at Huddersfield University by Dr Nicola Wilson which was again based on the remarkable poet, journalist, feminist, social activist and Radicals’ volunteers favourite, Ethel Carnie Holdsworth!  It was great to hear how interested in the project Nicola was and the trip helped to fill a lot of gaps in our research enquiry.
Prior to this a group of volunteers also headed to Salford University to attend an enlightening conference organised by the WorkingClass Movement Library that looked at the fight for women’s suffrage called More Than Just the Pankhursts – the wider suffrage movement.

‘Let us go then, and make banners as required, and let them all be beautiful.

We are extremely excited to be a part of Super Slow Way’s British Textiles Biennial next October, where we will come together with a host of artists, designers, makers and community members to explore the politics of cloth.  Last month we invited banner conservation expert Jenny Van Enckevort from the People’s History Museum to talk all things banners to our volunteer team.  Over lemon sponge and coffee we learnt more about the history of banners and banner making, giving us lots of food for thought in terms of what we plan to put forward for the Biennial.  
We look forward to welcoming artist Jamie Holman to our next banner tea party who has recently worked with Durham Banner Makers to produce a very impressive banner commemorating the heritage of acid house in Lancashire. Jamie has also been asked by Super Slow Way to produce a solo exhibition for The British Textiles Biennial 2019, and so we are excited to hear about Jamie’s methods of research and making and we hope to get a special glimpse of the banner itself!
As we welcome in a new year, we look back on how we finished the last one on such a high…
Dissent launch
On Saturday 10 November we hosted a launch event, in collaboration with Clarion House, at Clitheroe Library for the new publication Dissent, by Clitheroe based historian Roger Smalley.  Dissent explores the long history of the Clitheroe constituency, which in the past included areas now covered by Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, represented in Parliament since 1558 and therefore mentions a number of the change makers and radical thinkers that Pendle Radicals is investigating.  Selina Cooper for example, a hero of the suffrage movement in spite of having to work in the mills from an early age. All 50 places were booked in advance, and attendees enjoyed readings from the book plus presentations offering context for individuals and organisations featured, including one from UCLan Lecturer in Public History, Dr Jack Southern. The East Lancashire Clarion Choir entertained with songs of dissent from across the ages, and the author took questions from the audience.  Lots of copies of the limited edition publication were sold with all profits going to support Clarion House.







From Suffrage to Citizenship

On Saturday 24 November we were invited by the Women’s Local Government Society to be part of a celebration event in Leeds to celebrate the Suffrage Pioneers. A project which aims to celebrate and raise awareness of 100 incredible, but very often forgotten suffrage pioneers, from across the UK.  Earlier this year we nominated one of our Pendle Radicals - Selina Cooper.  We were delighted that Selina was selected to be a Suffrage Pioneer, but why wouldn’t she be?  Despite working in the mills from the age of twelve she was a powerful force, campaigning for women’s rights both in the political and employment arenas, as well as being a passionate advocate for peace.  We were very excited to share her story at the event and learn more about the other pioneers.

What to look out for in 2019…


  •      This year we aim to put in place the first six sites of the Radicals Trail, establishing a permanent footprint for the project. This will be a trail of discovery which will encourage visitors, local people and especially the next generation to look beneath the surface and see our area with fresh eyes.  It will initially feature six points of historic interest, which we then aim to build on in years to come. 

  •      We look forward to working more on our exhibition which will feature as part of 2019’s British Textiles Biennial… look out for more information soon about what we plan to put forward for this!

  •           We have also began work on something to feature as part of Pendle Walking Festival 2019. This will celebrate the likes of adventure holidays pioneer Thomas Arthur Leonard and Thomas Criddle Stephenson,  a ‘radical rambler’, a hero of the campaign for the right to roam and an overlooked inspiration behind the creation of the Pennine Way.


Get Involved!

We have had some great feedback about the project so far which aims to develop further over the next four years, driven by that team of volunteers who are quickly becoming remarkable ambassadors for Pendle Radicals.
‘’This project has given me a passion. All of my life I have had a driving force and for a few years since retiring I haven't had one. I felt rudderless. Now I have got it back. Thank you.’’
Are you interested in becoming part of the Radicals Research team?  Or would you simply like to know more about the project?  Contact me (Faye) for more details. 

If you enjoyed reading this find out more information about the project here: https://pendlehillproject.com/project/pendle-radicals


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Discovering Pendle Hill through Sustainable Tourism


The Discover Pendle Hill Project is about working with tourism businesses located around the hill and providing new opportunities for visitors with an emphasis on sustainable tourism.  So when we talk about sustainable what do we actually mean? And why is it so important that we engage with the tourism businesses themselves?

Assheton Arms - Foodie Foray Event
  
Sustainable tourism is about developing opportunities that will have minimal impact on the landscape and communities. It's about promoting and attracting visitors to an area, and encouraging them to experience and enjoy the place, whilst not spoiling it for other visitors or local people. We often refer to sustainable tourism being about encouraging quiet enjoyment, and re investing in the economy and communities which support that landscape, and also ensuring it stays special for many years to come!
So while we, as a partnership, can promote this ideology and those opportunities that focus on quiet enjoyment, this only goes half way to minimising the impact of tourism.  What is also key is getting the businesses themselves on-board working towards that common goal.
Sustainable tourism isn't a new approach for us, the Forest of Bowland AONB has been supporting a programme of work for last 13 years. The key to its success has been the engagement with businesses. Because foremost, as a partnership we have limited access or interaction with visitors to pass on this vital information and secondly, conversations with businesses enables us to encourage them to develop their own business in a way that respects the landscape and supports the community in which they are located. 
Gisburn Forest by Jon Sparks

Those initial conversations with businesses are just the start of the process, and sustainable tourism at a destination level, or even a smaller scale (as it is for the Pendle Hill Scheme) needs time and patience. Businesses will engage with initiatives that resonate most with them, not everything is a perfect fit, so for us as an organisation it's about providing many opportunities that businesses can link with.  Having said that, developing a sustainable tourism network for all businesses wishing to be involved is vital, to provide those networking opportunities and exchange of information and ideas.  The Forest of Bowland sustainable tourism network has been active for the last 12 years in the AONB, and we'll be encouraging more businesses within the Pendle Hill LP area to be part of this in the next few years. 

Forest of Bowland Sustainable Tourism Network


One of the key projects which has been a big success within wider Bowland, is the Sense of Place project.  Sense of Place has helped businesses over the years to gain a better understanding of what makes Bowland so special, what makes it locally distinctive, and how to use these messages in the marketing of their own businesses.  Sense of Place refers to the elements that make a place special, such as memories of past visits, views, sounds, people, tastes, even the smell of the place!  During 2019 we'll be developing a sense of place toolkit for Pendle Hill, to increase awareness and understanding of this beautiful part of the AONB drawing on its own distinctiveness, but also applying elements from the existing wider Bowland toolkit.

Another key initiative that has enabled businesses to address their own approaches and day to day business operations has been to support them through green accreditation.  Over 40 businesses have achieved green awards over the last 10 years in Bowland, and while they may have joined and left various schemes, the framework and practices they have adopted for their businesses – to operate in an environmentally friendly way – have remained.  The reason we support individual businesses through this process is because of how rigorous these schemes can be, and how they address every aspect of 'being green' – from water use, waste and energy to the provision of information on walking, cycling and wildlife watching as well as their commitments to supporting the local community.  Over the next three years we'd love to hear from businesses in the Pendle Hill area who want to adopt this approach, either formally through an accreditation scheme, or informally to develop new ideas amongst their staff.  This a great way for businesses to begin to understand what being a sustainable tourism business is all about.

Lancashire Green Tourism Project

Pendle Star Trails by Robert Ince
Sustainable tourism also incorporates our dark skies work in developing the quiet enjoyment of the area at night!  And while the landscapes of the Forest of Bowland are captivating by day, after the sun sets there’s a whole new world to discover in the dark skies over Bowland.  Businesses in the Pendle Hill area will have the opportunity to become 'Dark Sky Friendly' and gear themselves up for providing the best opportunities for staying visitors wishing to venture out into the night. 

Similarly, the celebration and promotion of local food is very much linked to our sustainable tourism work – delicious local food and drink is one of the AONB's sense of place themes.  This theme acknowledges that farming methods have shaped our land – creating field patterns with dry stone-walls and hedgerows; farmsteads and barns. Without food production our countryside would look very different!  Our Foodie Foray was launched in the autumn to begin some early engagement with the food businesses in the Pendle Hill area – it was a celebration of the local food producers and the distinctive local dishes found at the foot of our landmark hill. The five-day programme included walks, talks, foraging and feasting, linking with local eateries and producers on both sides of the hill.  Overall it was a great success and hopefully got visitors and businesses thinking more about food provenance and the importance of supporting local food producers and our local economy.
Foodie Foray Herbal Medicine Walk

Foodie Foray Foraging Walk

If you're a tourism business reading this and want to find out more about how you can link with our sustainable tourism work and the opportunities coming up over the next few years, then we'd love to hear from you – email hetty.byrne@lancashire.govuk Or if you’re a visitor or local person, hopefully it's given you an insight into why and how we approach the development of tourism in a sustainable way, and maybe you'll be able to experience first-hand how collectively these kind of developments can have a positive and lasting impact.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas – enjoy buying local this festive period and if you're venturing out for a walk or cycle ride maybe combine it with a visit to a café, pub or shop and help support your local communities and economy!





Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tackling our Victorian heritage, and planting trees


At Ribble Rivers Trust we are co-delivering the Woodlands and Invasive Non-Native Species (WINNS) project as part of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership scheme. 
The aim is to improve biodiversity and river health on and around Pendle Hill and to promote better environmental awareness around the area by creating 19 hectares of new woodlands in total, managing existing woodlands, and tackling invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam.

Himalayan balsam in flower

Himalayan Balsam control
In particular, during this year’s gloriously long hot summer, we’ve been out in force tackling Himalayan Balsam. For those who aren’t sure what it is, it is an Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) and a prize goes to anyone who can guess where it originally came from…? 
You got it, they’re from the Himalayan mountain range in Asia. I’m sure you’ll agree the wonderful Victorians introduced us to some spectacular plants during the plant hunter era but they have also introduced a monster, in the invasive sense, that it can now be found almost anywhere in the UK. 
It is most visible along river banks as it enjoys living in moist soil and can spread at an alarming rate due to its seed dispersing capabilities (it basically shoots its seeds out of their pods). Its roots do not penetrate far into the soil so when the Balsam dies back in winter it leaves riverbanks vulnerable to erosion as there is very little stability and no roots holding the soil together. Consequently this means that the soil may wash away.

Balsam can be tackled very easily; by holding the stem at the bottom, you can pull it straight out of the ground as the roots are very shallow. 

shallow roots and hollow stem of balsam plant

All you need to do then is snap the stem in two between the roots and the first node; it has a very satisfying crunch sound! This should prevent any roots sprouting from the nodes further up the stem. Then ideally, if you can, hang them up to dry out over a fence, but if not you can also leave them in a pile to rot down. 

Pulling up a  Victorian monster!

The optimum time to pull Balsam is between May and late July before the seed pods form and start popping.

We worked over various sites this summer including Pendle Water in Barley, Swanside Beck near Sawley and Raven’s Clough Wood near Brierfield. We had over 20 volunteers who spent over 120 hours of their time pulling Balsam this year and we hope to increase these numbers in 2019!

Volunteers removing balsam at Swanside Beck

Tree planting
This winter we will be planting over 11,000 trees to create 4 new riverside (‘riparian’) woodlands, totalling more than 9 hectares. Not only do riparian woodlands provide great habitat for wildlife living in and around the river, these new woodlands will also help to connect up existing woodland and hedgerow habitats within the area, helping wildlife to move across the landscape. Riparian woodlands also help to reduce the amount of pollution entering the river, they reduce the risk of flooding and riverbank erosion, and they cast shade over rivers, preventing them from getting too hot during sunny summer days. All of this helps to increase the health of the river and ensure it continues to function normally, for the benefit of wildlife and people.
The winter tree planting season got off to a flying start on Sunday 2nd December when 22 volunteers helped to plant trees in Swardean Clough as part of National Tree Week. The team did a fantastic job, despite the wet and wild weather, planting more than 1000 trees!

Tree planting at Swardean Clough

Get Involved
There will be two volunteer days each week over the winter months to plant the remaining 10,000 trees.  If you are interested in coming along, or want to help pull Balsam next summer, then we would love to welcome you! 

To find out more you can email admin@ribbletrust.com call 01200 444452 or visit our events page on our website www.ribbletrust.com for full details and just turn up on the day 😊

WINNS sites across the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership area, 2018-19