From the undergrowth: On course for trees in the Loop

Wren. Photo by Graham Haigh
Wren. Photo by Graham Haigh

A meeting took place at the Mulberry suite, Brighouse, on May 8 to discus the North Loop area at Cromwell Bottom. This is a former refuse tip that is being recapped and then will have to be landscaped.

Council officials, representatives of various interested groups and individuals attended.

On site Robin and Graham co-ordinated 20 volunteers from the Rotary Club and the CB Wildlife Group into two groups. One group planted about 200 saplings on meadow two. We have another few hundred to plant later.

The number planted so far this year on the meadow is close to 1,000 and we hope to plant a further 1,000 over the coming winter.

The other group continued clearing dead wood from Tag Loop.

May 28 was a busy day. First we had 18 members of staff from Lloyds Bank and members of Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group on site to “Balsam Bash” and also to trim the riverside hedge and clean up some paths.

A fine specimen of Poplar Hawk-moth was discovered. Laothoe populi was also found, while the Balsam Bash was in full swing. The weather was wet but warm.

We would like to thank the Lloyds volunteers for their hard and valuable help with this essential work on the reserve.

Also in the afternoon a bee walk took place even though the wet weather offered little in the way of appeal to attend a guided walk. Nine hardy adults and children attended a walk to look for bumblebees.

Thankfully, the interest of the numerous wildflowers kept all happy to wander on, and the group was rewarded with a surprise sighting of four garden bumblebees feeding on the pollen of the yellow flag iris, despite everything being soaking wet.

Look out for further walks run by the council’s countryside service and Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group in the Wildside! publication, available from libraries, the leisure centre or request a copy by emailing

Other visitors to the reserve included Brownies and Beavers from St John’s in Rastrick and HPIC (Huddersfield Photo Imaging Club) has been coming down onto site in recent weeks.

Many young birds are now fledged including Dipper, G/S/Woodpecker, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Blackbird, Robin and Canada Goose, along with Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tit and first Swallow with three young, as well as two broods of Goosander, one having 12. Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat are in good numbers, as well as Sedge, Reed, Willow and Garden Warblers. Many of the summer migrants have eggs and some late arrivals are nest building,

Down the Calder Valley three Cuckoos were still calling. An Osprey was seen over Elland in late May as well as Herring Gull over the reserve.

On Saturday, June 21, we are having our open day at the reserve from 10am until 5pm with live reptiles and insects, face painting, raffle (drawn at 3pm), refreshments, guided walks at noon and 2pm, artist display/sketching, photos for sale, and members available to answer your questions.

At 7.30pm a summer solstice walk will take place, a gentle stroll around the reserve. All are welcome to both events.