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Fairy tale thorns and hounds abound

So today our original event was to collect yellow rattle seeds from Seven Acres Park to then sow on Leverhulme Park, but with the uncertainty of the weather, we changed our activity. So we decided to clear a path in a beautiful area on Seven Acres and also clear a hillside so that it could return to be the natural habitat of mining bees. Natalie pronounced whilst entering the area that she was now 'Defender of the Balsam!' as it was so beautiful at this time of year.

Jasmine, Simon and Natalie attacked the braced on hillside with shears and heavy duty gloves. This was fierce stuff but it was all carefully done. It was like wading through 'Sleeping Beauty's forest of thorns!' Oh and Bobby offered his enthusiasm.

It was fabulous to meet Henry Lisowski at last, who turned up just before lunch with his doggies Roscoe and Bella. Henry is a fantastic photographer of different areas and wildlife in Bolton and he had expressed that he had wanted to come along and meet us and see what we were up to. We had a lovely chat about the aims of NEWT and conservation issues in his area, which is Walker Fold. He invited us to go up there for a walk sometime, to which we said that we would love to.

Chris decided to do some crown lifting, using a hand saw, to expose a lost path up the hillside. He made sure this was done safely, shouting out to everyone when a branch was about to come down.

Then it was barbecue time! Henry and Ruth (who brought her doggie, Ellie) joined us for this. It was lovely to relax, chill and eat outdoors in this lovely area of natural beauty. A real joy.

Simon and Jasmine used the opportunity to try to get some decent wildlife shots. We chatted about f-stops, exposure times and ISO settings, all very geeky but great fun.

There were numerous families out on the park, many with dogs, who stopped to see what we were doing (people not dogs!). There is such a community spirit about and we hope some more of these folk will join in the fun at our next event.

To end, here is Simon's portrait of Jake, a loveable welsh collie who jumped around and came to see each of us for cuddles.

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