On Tuesday 19th and 26th May two footpath conservation events took place. Working in partnership with Bradford Council, volunteers from the FoIM spent two days resurfacing a section of the footpath opposite the Cow and Calf Inn. Volunteers made a real difference in helping to maintain the network of footpaths on Ilkley Moor and also gained skills in access management in upland areas. Ilkley Moor is greatly used by the local community and annual visitors from outside of the area. It suffers from overuse by a wide range of users. The provision of a network of well defined, hard wearing footpaths is a great resource for everyone, including less able walkers and also helps to protect the adjacent habitat and species.
On Sunday the 31st May a guided walk to discover the birds of Ilkley Moor took place, led by Ernie Scarfe from the Wharfedale Naturalist Society and Tracy Gray from the FoIM.
It was an informative morning with people listening to the different bird songs that could be heard, looking for birds which could be seen and identifying these. People also learnt about the different nesting habits of birds: ground nesting birds, birds which nest in trees and those birds which use the nests of other birds. The ecology of Ilkley Moor was discussed and how its management can affect populations of bird numbers.
Ilkley Moor forms part of the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) designated under the European Union Bird’s Directive for its internationally important bird habitats. It is a great place to discover birds, particularly upland waders, which use the moor to nest and raise their young.
It was too windy and wet to climb the higher slopes to record these birds but staying on the lower slopes and also walking through Hebers Gyhll, young Ornithologist Amaru Saravia Etchell and his mum Helen Etchell helped record the birds which were seen there. The following birds were seen and heard: Blackbird, chiffchaff, chaffinch, woodpigeon, robin, blue tit, magpie, willow warbler, swallow, kestrel, mallard, tufted duck, meadow pipit, cuckoo, carrion crow.
In the afternoon a ‘Stroll on Ilkley Moor’ walk took place to discover the general beauty and special heritage of Ilkley Moor. This walk was aimed at people new to walking or people who just wanted a gentle stroll. It was an easy walk of 1.5 miles on flat, sometimes slightly sloping paths and was designed so that it was suitable for people with push chairs and wheel chairs. There will be another opportunity to join a Stroll Walk on Sunday 7th of June 2pm-4pm meeting point Darwin Gardens.
Everyone had a great time and leaned about the heathland and peat bog habitats of: Ilkley Moor, Ilkley Moor’s conservation status and why Ilkley Moor is important in global conservation strategies; discovered the plants and wildlife which could be seen and how these were used historically for food and medicine; and spent time taking in the whole landscape views from various resting points along the way.
Every one said they look forward to attending more events from this year’s events and learning programme so they can discover more of Ilkley Moor’s amazing heritage.
The events programme and heritage walks can be downloaded from the FOIM website www.ilkleymoor.org or collected from Ilkley Information Centre and shops in the Town.
From Tracy Gray FOIM Project Officer. (For further information contact Tracy on 07780535860)
Events Programme – July 2015
Members are encouraged to participate in these Events & bring along friends and family.
Heritage Walk: Twelve Apostles and Beyond This walk takes about two-and-a half hours, starting at White Wells car park. Climbing to the highest point on the Moor, the walk includes areas of archaeological and geological interest. This is graded a strenuous walk.
Sunday, 12th July, 2pm - 4.30pm. Leader Barry Wilkinson and Tracy Gray, Friends of Ilkley Moor. Meeting Point and Parking White Wells car park. Booking Not needed Dogs Welcome on leads.
Heritage Walk: White Wells Moorland This walk takes you from the edge of the town on to the high moor, with wide views across Ilkley and the Wharfe Valley. The walk takes about two hours and is on reasonable paths, although there will be muddy areas in wet weather. The first part is all uphill but with a good break halfway at White Wells. This walk is classed as moderate to strenuous.
Saturday, 18th July, 10am - 12pm. Leader Barry Wilkinson and Tracy Gray, Friends of Ilkley Moor Meeting Point and Parking Darwin Gardens car park. Booking Not needed. Dogs Welcome on leads.
Heathland Conservation Make a real difference by helping to control bracken on the lower slopes of Ilkley Moor. Controlling bracken will keep the access routes clear and open; and provide a beautiful display of the heathland flora in summer. Bracken is a highly successful and vigorous plant that can overtake areas of the moor. Learn why bracken control is carried out, which wildlife benefits from this and which areas this is undertaken in.You can also discover which species use bracken for food and shelter.
All events 10am-12pm - meet at Darwin Gardens Car Park on:-Sunday, 19th July **; Tuesday, 21st July; Tuesday, 18th August* - meet Cow and Calf car park. ** except 19th July - 2pm - 4pm. Leader Tracy Gray, Friends of Ilkley Moor. Booking Essential. Dogs Welcome on leads.
Video Introduction to the Friends of Ilkley Moor
The Management of Ilkley Moor
The management of Ilkley Moor works to a plan and is not arbitrary. Management prescriptions are determined by the Joint Nature Conservation Council and enforced by Natural England (the government’s advisors on nature conservation in England). NE sends all SSSI owners and occupiers a statement of what the ideal management should be.
Ilkley Moor Volunteer Days - help us to maintain a unique environment...
Come along and help us maintain the unique ecological interest of the heathland. Our next volunteer day is Tuesday January 20th.