Addingham’s Natural Environment

Environment Group at Civic Society meeting

Posted by: Don Barrett at 19:40, September 28 2017.

Great Civic Society Environment Group speaker meeting last Thursday on the subject "How green is our village?" It included an update on the group’s activities by Rick Battarbee, a session on Renewable Energy by Richard Walton and a workshop on how to make our village becks more valued led by Charlotte Simons of the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. The meeting was buzzing with good ideas! Details will appear on our Environment Group website - -  in due course

Creating a wildflower meadow on Skipton Rd. September 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 16:17, September 24 2017.

Creating a wildflower verge on Skipton Road September 2017

Following on from the wildflower initiative taken by Garden Friends on Old Station Way, we have now started work on the banking on Skipton Road at its junction with the bypass.

As agreed earlier in the year the banking had remained uncut through the growing season. A couple of weeks ago at our request, it was cut back by Bradford Council and last Saturday (16th September) we cleared the bank of the cuttings and sowed yellow rattle seed. We now need to manage the cutting regimes, weed out docks and add more wildflower seed, especially things like knapweed and ox-eye daisy. It will take time but eventually, it should become attractive not just to passing motorists but also to passing bees and butterflies.

Thanks to everyone who helped

Balsam bashing, August 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 19:40, August 19 2017.

Before and after clearance

Members of the group have been out and about bashing Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) that is now flowering profusely along our becksides.  Although it has an attractive flower it is a highly invasive non-native species that needs to be eradicated. It is extremely pervasive and in some parts of the Parish, for example along stretches of Lumb Gill Beck, it is almost out of control. However, it’s easy to spot and identify and it’s easy to pull out.

We’ve now cleared most of Back Beck and much of Town Beck, but plenty remain especially along the Wharfe.  So more work is needed this year and in subsequent years until the seedbank has been exhausted.

Thanks to all those who have helped so far!

The Neighbourhood Plan for Addingham - Green Spaces Survey Results, 9th August 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 19:35, August 19 2017.

There was a good response to the survey devised by Jan Hindle together with the Neighbourhood Plan Forum and our Environment Group to gather more information and views from residents on Addingham’s Green Spaces as part of the consultation work for the Neighbourhood Plan. More than 100 questionnaires were returned.

The survey showed that all areas of green space in and around the village are used and valued by residents. Three areas are exceptionally well used, 98% of respondents said they use and enjoy The Church Field, at St Peter’s either frequently or occasionally, and 90% Manor Garth, together with the Sugar Hill, Back Beck Lane, Sawmill Pond ‘green corridor’ through the heart of the village. The least visited space was Hoffman Wood Field, between Church Street and Ilkley Road at the eastern edge of the village, even so it was used frequently or occasionally by almost two thirds of respondents.

Residents were also asked which areas they valued as an amenity for the village, as a whole. Again, The Church Field came out top with 87% rating this area of high importance, with the Memorial Hall Recreation Ground and Manor Garth both scoring over 80%. The Dawson Crossley Field, Hoffman Wood Field and the former First School site were at the bottom of the list, but still valued highly by between 55 and 60% of respondents.

The survey gathered information on what people enjoy doing in Addingham’s green spaces. Taking a walk is the most popular activity, with 95% of respondents doing this frequently. Enjoying views of the surrounding countryside, the wildlife, trees and plants and the peace and tranquility associated with the village’s green spaces is also highly appreciated. Walking through or past green spaces as part of daily activity is also important.

Views on how Addingham’s open spaces could be improved were also sought. A high proportion responded to the question regarding priorities with over half offering comments, ideas and suggestions. Managing and improving green spaces for wildlife was the top priority, with 63% rating this as high and a further 24% as medium priority. Improvements to footpath links, including making provision for family friendly cycling was rated as high priority by 40% and medium priority by a third. Improvements to seating and play provision were cited by many, but were rated as much lower priority, although there were many ideas for how these could be enhanced.

The full survey report can be read via the Working Groups Page, paragraph 1(iv).

Thanks to Jan Hindle for this text and for leading this initiative and to Lynda Haggarty, Carol Miles and Richard Walton for their help.

Wildflowers – Plans for Old Station Way, 24th July 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 19:25, August 19 2017.

Our overall aim in the Group is to increase wildflower populations in as many village green spaces as possible not only to enable us to enjoy the beauty of wildflowers but also to attract pollinators and other wildlife and allow pollinators especially to move as easily as possible between patches.  Together with Garden Friends and the Parish Council we are using the small green space in Old Station Way (GS13 on the map above) as a village centre wildflower showpiece.  Shirley Bolton, Fiona Walton, Don Barrett, Daniel Ross and Rick Battarbee met on site on the 24th July to agree a management plan.  After the grass is cut and removed in the autumn, Daniel will sow a wildflower seed mixture to over-winter ready for spring next year.  Although grass paths will be cut the main grassland area will be left uncut, as in previous years, to allow wildflowers to grow, flower and set seed in succession through the spring and summer months. Other participants in the wider village project include St Peter’s Church, the Methodist Church, the Parish Council and Bracken Ghyll Golf Course as well as several private landowners. Thanks especially to Daniel Ross for his advice and Fiona Walton for her local management skills.

Open Gardens weekend 15-16th July 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 18:48, August 19 2017.

The Open Gardens weekend (July 15th and 16th) organised by the Methodist Church was a great success.  Our display in the Church Hall focussed on “Wildlife Friendly Gardening” and featured a range of advisory leaflets from organisations such as the Royal Horticultural Society.

Several of the gardens on show included elements of “Wildlife friendliness”, the stand out being Ramon Porter’s allotment garden on Silsden Road, that included wildflowers, a bee hotel and a hedgehog home surrounded by a stunning mixture of high-quality fruit and veg.  Hopefully, the 80 or so individuals who visited his allotment were inspired to follow his example.  Wildlife-friendly gardening, especially to attract pollinators, is a theme we are continuing to pursue in the Environment Group as part of our village-wide Wildflower Project.

Thanks to Janine and Chris Acomb for their invitation to take part.

Gala Day 8th July 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 18:45, August 19 2017.

Gala day on the 8th July was a warm, sunny day with most of the population of the village in attendance at one time or another.  Our Environment Group display attracted considerable attention.  We had many interesting conversations about wildflowers, becks, climate change and sustainability and we enlisted a good number of new members.  Can I thank everyone who looked after the display during the course of the afternoon, especially Beryl Robson.

The Addingham 4Becks Project, 27 June 2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 20:10, August 18 2017.


The village Becks project is now formally under way.  It includes not just Town Beck and Back Beck but also Lumb Gill Beck and Wine Beck – so it’s called the 4Becks Project.  

The first meeting of the Steering Committee took place in the Methodist Church lounge on June 27th and the second on the 8th August.  The committee is chaired by Charlotte Simons of the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust and includes representatives of the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, The Wild Trout Trust and Bradford Council as well as the Parish Council (Catherine Coates), the Angling Association (Tony Brady) and the Environment Group (Jan Hindle, Stuart Tomlinson and Rick Battarbee) here in the village.

 The group aims to design and implement a plan for the becks that balances wildlife conservation, pollution prevention, and flood control.  However, the first objective is to engage with residents in the village and raise awareness about the becks to discuss what can be done to take care of them (the becks not the residents).  More soon!

Environment Day Report - 13-5-2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 15:19, May 29 2017.

Addingham Environment Group held their first Environment Day on May 13th.

Click HERE for a full report and pictures

Solar Panels in Addingham 28-5-2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 20:45, May 28 2017.

To avoid dangerous climate change there is an urgent need to eliminate our emission of greenhouse gases from the use of fossil fuels and embrace renewable forms of energy.

We asked the question “are we doing our bit in Addingham?”  The clear answer is not really.  For example, only 2% of houses in the village have installed solar panels.  To understand more we decided to ask those householders who had installed solar panels about their experience using a questionnaire survey.

Lizzie Hebbert presented our initial findings at the Environment Day in the Memorial Hall on the 13th May.  She explained:

“One of our priorities as a group is to encourage local level action on climate change within our area. Whereas climate change is a complex, global issue, the actions of individuals and communities really do count. The responsibility and capacity to cut carbon emissions doesn’t only lie with governments. And so we hope to enable people to feel empowered that they can do something to take action on climate change themselves.

We started by distributing questionnaires to households in Addingham where solar panels had already been installed, to find out what factors had influenced their decisions to install solar panels, and what attitudes to climate change they held.

One thing that stood out to us was that no households had installed solar panels since the Government last reduced the feed-in tariff paid to households for generating renewable energy. So it is clear that the Government’s decision to reduce the feed-in tariff has cut down the incentive to invest in solar panels, in the face of a growing need to take steps to de-carbonise the economy.

Our hope is that through further steps in our campaign, we can convince residents that it is still worthwhile. From here we plan to carry out a wider survey of households in the village, especially those who have not so far installed solar panels, to determine their attitude towards climate change and issues to do with sustainability. We will then use their responses to identify the barriers that need to be overcome to make Addingham a sustainable community.”  A copy of the questionnaire can be seen here and a summary of responses here.

Litter Pick Report 27-5-2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 20:15, May 27 2017.

The village litter-pick took place on Saturday 29th April.  It involved members of the Environment Group together with 14 Scouts and four Beavers.  On May 8th all the Scouts helped to sort the litter into different kinds (plastic bottles, tin cans, cardboard etc).  The results were presented at the Environment Day in the Memorial Hall on the 13th May.

Scout Alex Squires, who carried out a computer analysis of the findings, used the microphone to explain:

“A few weeks ago, the Addingham Scout Group took part in a community litter pick around Addingham.  We were divided into small groups and dispersed in different directions around the village.  Clad in high-vis vests, oversized gloves and armed with litter pickers, our challenge was to forage and scavenge for all pieces of discarded waste we could find.  We met back at the Memorial Hall after filling around a dozen bags and boxes which last week we emptied onto the floor of the scout hut.  The debris collected ranged from bricks and antique bottles to piles of plastic bags and mountains of cigarette butts.  We found different types of rubbish in different areas; some that were newly deposited and some that had obviously been there for a hundred years.

Although the job was messy, smelly and sometimes a bit dangerous, all the scouts were happy and proud to help the village.”

Neighbourhood Plan Forum - Green Spaces 1-5-2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 15:14, May 1 2017.

As part of the consultations for the Neighbourhood Plan, the Neighbourhood Plan Forum, set up by the Parish Council to assist with the preparation of the plan and the Civic Society Environment Group are seeking resident’s views on Addingham’s green spaces, including how they could be improved for people and wildlife.

You can complete the survey online:

It will just take a few minutes of your time, many thanks.

You can find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan on the Parish Council’s website:

Or from the Civic Society’s Planning Pages and monthly newsletter:…/ Questionaire

Pollinator Friendly ‘Place’ 4-4-2017

Posted by: Don Barrett at 20:16, April 4 2017.

Bradford Council’s InCommunities Environmental Services team, in conjunction with the Garden Friends, are planting a ‘meandering river’ of pollinator-friendly plants on the green in front of the Cockshott Place bungalows opposite Townhead.

This follows their planting in Ilkley and should be attractive, and good for the environment. Similar mixtures were used in the Olympic Park and were greatly admired.

Fungi and the Brownies

Posted by: Don Barrett at 16:01, November 19 2017.

First Addingham Brownies and the Addingham Environment Group

On Monday 30th October 2017, our resident expert, Peter Miller, engaged 25 enthusiastic Brownies with his introduction to the wonderful and, often surprising world, of “FUNGI”.  He writes:

“The Brownies learnt that fungi are neither plants nor animals but a diverse group of organisms that includes mushrooms, moulds, mildews and yeast with an estimated 1.5 million species in the world. They are both the oldest and the largest living organisms on earth.

The girls then looked at a range of mushrooms collected locally in the village. To demonstrate their life cycle a ball of wool was used to represent a spore and this was gradually unravelled around the hall to show how the threads (mycelium) can grow to great lengths. The Brownies also designed and decorated cards on the theme of mushrooms, showing off their artistic (and biological) talent. Inside all cards, they included the important reminder …..“ALWAYS wash your hands after touching fungi”

The evening finished by tasting some home-made (cultivated!) mushroom soup!”

Thanks to Peter, Pam (mushroom soup maker), Gill M (Brown owl) and Gill B (photographer)


Hedgehogs in Addingham

Posted by: Don Barrett at 14:56, November 2 2017.

Hedgehogs in Addingham

Last Monday Doctor Hedgehog (aka Stephanie Murie) came to talk to the 1st Addingham Brownies at the Methodist Church Hall and she brought along Trixabelle, one of her rescue hoggies. Trixabelle lost a back leg when she was only two weeks old, so she’s grown up with only three legs. She needs to stay in Stephanie’s Hoggie Hospital in Bingley for the rest of her life as she’s not fast enough on her feet to escape predators and, without one of her back legs to scratch with, she would have difficulty keeping clean in the wild.

With the help of Trixabelle, Stephanie gave the Brownies a fascinating insight into hedgehog life from their food preferences, their nocturnal life-style, their defence mechanisms and their need to hibernate safely, all prompted by a series of intelligent and wide-ranging questions by the girls.

But most worryingly Stephanie and the Brownies will now tell you our national hedgehog population has been falling dramatically over recent decades. There were more than 35 million in the 1950s but there are less than one and a half million today. The reasons for this decline are not fully known but habitat loss, road kill and predation by badgers are some of the main ones. Addingham is not immune from the decline. When we asked parents, who came in towards the end of the session, who had seen a hedgehog in their garden this year only six of the twenty or so of them put their hands up.

Our village gardens need to be more hedgehog friendly – holes in fences to allow freedom of passage, definitely no slug pellets, ponds with a get-out ramp, a drinking water supply (in a non-tip bowl!) and maybe some cat or dog food (but definitely NO milk or bread).

We also need to improve our village green spaces and surrounding farmland to cater for our night-time visitors. Better hedgerows and well-vegetated field margins provide feeding corridors and protective cover from predation, and where ideally these corridors link up with our back gardens we can not only enjoy their presence and help their survival but they will help us clean up slugs, snails and caterpillars.

Next year with the help of the Brownies and their parents we plan to carry out a village hedgehog survey, simply recording sightings (where and when they are seen). We know we have populations in the Turner Lane/Moor Lane area, around Burns Hill and in Bark Lane. Where else? By repeating the survey each year we should be able to tell whether they are increasing or decreasing in number. If you want to help please let us know.

Here are our plans for 2018

They are achievable we think, but only with your support.  If you are interested in helping with any

(or all) these ambitions please contact us on

A war on plastic pollution – we want to create a team of volunteer litter-pickers to patrol our side streets, paths and open spaces (helping village lengthsman Richard Mulligan), and start a campaign in the village to encourage less plastic use and more re-cycling.  Plastic pollution is not just in the ocean – it’s everywhere! 

A village hedgehog census – hedgehog populations have declined massively in the UK and hedgehogs are now quite rare in the village.  How many remain? Where do they live? What can be done to help them?  This is a project led by the 1st Addingham Brownies co-ordinated by Gill Moon, but we need everyone’s help.  Please send Rick Battarbee your sightings.  

Eliminate Himalayan balsam from the parish – we did a lot last year but there’s much more to do, especially in Town Beck and Lumb Ghyll Beck.  We will be looking for volunteers in the summer, hopefully working together with farmers and landowners on the Moorside.


Biodiversity recording – following on from the good start we made in 2017, our biodiversity recording group will continue to keep track of our plant and animal life through 2018.  We are fortunate to have experts on a range of different biological groups including flowering plants and butterflies, and our aim as the seasons go by is for this group to provide the necessary taxonomic support for our other projects, especially on wildflowers, pollinators and aquatic life.  Help always appreciated!

Green spaces - many good ideas for improving Addingham’s green spaces came out of the questionnaire consultation we did last summer as part of the background work for the Neighbourhood Plan. This year we hope to work with the Parish Council and the wider community to take some of the ideas forward.  We plan to start with Hoffman Wood Field, to look at how to enhance this space for children’s play and recreation, as well as enhancing its value for wildlife.  Ideas welcome!

Green Belt - Bradford Council will be carrying out a review of Green Belt in the District later this year, and together with the Civic Society’s Planning Group, we will be keeping a close eye on this and continue to compile evidence of the value of the Green Belt around the village.  

Wildflowers and pollinators – we now manage (with the help of Garden Friends) some of our village green spaces (these include Old Station Way, several plots in the Memorial Hall Field and the Skipton Road bank near the bypass) where we aim to encourage wildflowers and attract bees and butterflies.  We’ll be looking for help to sow seeds and rake off grass cuttings but at this moment we’re looking for volunteers to grow wildflowers in pots to be planted out later as plug plants.  

The 4Becks project – we now have an enthusiastic band of beck stewards, co-ordinated by Jessica Penrose.  They are beginning to patrol our becks in the village looking for litter, blocked culverts, and pollution sources as well as recording plant and animal life in and around the water.  Join the group and learn more about the becks, how the water levels change, which creatures live in the water, how good (or bad) the water quality is and how the becks and their banks need to be protected and in some cases restored.  We’re part of a much bigger project co-ordinated by the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT) covering the whole of Wharfedale and YDRT hope to run workshops in the village later in the year. They will be coming to our Environment Weekend (see below) with their SUDS house and mobile classroom.  Don’t miss it! 

Trees and hedgerows – we hope to put more emphasis on trees and hedgerows this year building on the surveys last year by Nicky Vernon and Heather Burrow.  We will identify all trees in the village subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and re-survey them to check on their condition.  We could collect and germinate seed from our own local trees such as acorns from oak trees including the famous Richard Smith tree in the Garth and we could work with e.g. the Woodland Trust to plant small woodlands and fill in hedgerows

Zero carbon/energy – perhaps most importantly of all, what can we do about climate change and our village’s carbon footprint?  How can we reduce carbon emissions in the village, what capacity is there for further energy efficiency measures by householders or organisations, what capacity is there for increasing the use of renewable energy? Can we do things together as a community as well as individually? Volunteers interested in energy matters are urgently needed!

Working with other groups – We’re also looking forward to continue working with others in the village especially with our younger members in the Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Beavers and two Brownie groups.  We want to enthuse them about nature, help them to learn how nature works and teach them how to identify our common plants and animals.  We’re looking for helpers. 

Volunteering and Saturday seminars – As our activities grow we will need to bring some more structure into our volunteering.  Work can be done of course on any day of the week, but we are thinking about establishing Saturday mornings (between 10 am and 1 pm) as our main weekly focus, followed perhaps on some days by a lunchtime soup and sandwich seminar (1-2pm). These could be used to explain what we are doing to the wider village community (including ourselves!) and/or they could be used for volunteer training.  We need to think this idea some more.  Any proposals along these lines you may have would be most welcome.  


Walks – Last year Don Barrett and Jonathan White embarked on a programme of updating old village walks and creating new ones.  This year they have completed the project and published a book of eight new or updated walks around the village - see details HERE


Environment Weekend, June 30th/July 1st 2018 – Our Environment Weekend is our window on the world.  There will be displays and activities on the Saturday morning in the Memorial Hall and a guided environment walk will take place on Sunday July 1st.  Offers of help to prepare for the event and help at it would be gratefully received.  Contact Gill on

Contact Rick Battarbee ( or phone 01943 839792) for further information and offers of help.

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Addingham’s  Environment