This past Sunday (2 September) we were out helping City of Trees at Urmston Meadows with some habitat management: thinning out trees, mostly willow, as part of a larger project which aims to improve local conditions for water voles.  It is thought that there are already water voles at this site and the work aims to enhance the conditions for them.

Many thanks to the new volunteers who came along – it was good to meet you all!



As in previous years, today we were once again out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at Hogswood Covert and then Brookheys Covert (sites now managed by the National Trust), continuing the battle against the invasive Himalayan balsam in these woodlands. It was pleasing to see that there was less balsam to be found than in the past, so the battle against the invader is gradually gaining ground!

Many thanks to the small but dedicated band of volunteers who made it out today to help renovate a set of worn-out steps at Chorlton Water Park.  What an improvement!

A hot day at Hollinwood

Today we were back at Hollinwood Scout Camp – the development of the camp and woodland has progressed apace since we were here about a year ago.  We did some clearing work around the “main camp” part of the site, particularly for the removal of the invasive Himalayan balsam and in preparation for further ongoing management of this area.  We were glad of the shelter of the trees in today’s heat, and of course for the excellent supply of tea and biscuits!


SACV goes to Ireland!

This month saw SACV’s first international outing!  We spent a long weekend in Ireland and joined in with voluntary work being done by Mountain Meitheal, a group of environmental volunteers who have for the past fifteen years undertaken conservation and restoration projects on mountain and forest tracks and have won awards for their work.

Our volunteer Mike is a past member of Mountain Meitheal and nobly organised the trip over to Ireland for nine SACV members.  In glorious weather, we worked with Mountain Meitheal on path maintenance and waterbar construction on Three Rock Mountain (Saturday 5th) and were taken on an instructive guided walk (Sunday 6th) around Glendalough to see some of Mountain Meitheal’s past projects.

It was a great weekend.  Very big thanks to Mountain Meitheal who gave us a warm welcome, contributed very generously to the cost of our accommodation and were informative and engaging guides to the local area.  And of course – very big thanks to Mike who came up with the idea and planned the weekend, booked the ferries and youth hostels, drove the minibus and pulled the whole thing together!


On Sunday 22nd April we volunteered for the City of Trees project.

City of Trees is an innovative and exciting movement set to re-invigorate Greater Manchester’s landscape by transforming underused, unloved woodland and planting a tree for every man, woman and child who lives in the region – within a generation.  City of Trees is part of the Northern Forest project: a 25-year vision to plant 50 million trees across the North of England, stretching from Liverpool to Hull.

Working in the Firs Plantation, a community woodland in Sale, we helped with planting oak, hazel and cherry saplings.  A job well done!


This past Sunday saw our final visit for this season to the Woodland Trust’s Spud Wood.  Wintry conditions had returned and although snow wasn’t exactly thick on the ground it was very chilly – good reason to keep moving!  The Friends’ usual excellent home-made parkin pulled us through and we finished the planned area of hazel coppicing.  And of course a local robin gave some encouragement too.