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.


The last Sunday of February saw our first hedgelaying of 2018 (after our abandoned plan for hedgelaying at Spud Wood earlier in the month).  We had a very cold but bright day on the Middlewood Way and worked on a good section of hedge with Ed from the Cheshire East Rangers.

We’re back at Spud Wood on Sunday 18th March so might yet get some more hedgelaying this season!

Return to Spud Wood

Today we were back at the Woodland Trust’s Spud Wood.  The weather wasn’t as kind as during our visit in January, shifting from hail to bright sunshine and back again, but nonetheless we made some good progress with the coppicing of hazel and some other woodland thinning.  We put the possible hedgelaying on hold for today, although we might yet make a start on it when back on 18th March.  Thanks again to the Friends of Spud Wood for the welcome and for fortifying us with home-made cake!

Elusive snow in the Peaks

This past weekend was our first residential weekend of the year.  We were working as usual with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, but the weekend was a little disrupted – not so much by snow as by the constant forecast of possible heavy snow!

Plans for our activities therefore had to be altered but nonetheless we were able to work on Saturday on the removal of a fence which had previously been part of a project to protect an important habitat for water shrews.  The land is no longer grazed by livestock so the need for the fence has gone and access to the brook’s bank has been restored.

By Sunday morning the snow was starting to fall so, with our other activities having been cancelled, we had the chance of a walk to enjoy it!

Thanks to all who came out today to help with coppicing work at Spud Wood, a Woodland Trust site.  A great start to 2018 – a good turn-out from SACV, a warm welcome from Friends of Spud Wood, lovely sunshine, an excellent site – and homemade cake!  Here’s to more days like this for the rest of the year.