Chris Sutcliffe writes, October 2014:
Ogden Water Wildlife WATCH group.
The planned activity of getting out into the woodlands to fell some trees and move some brash fell foul of the weather. So a quick rethink lead to an autumnal arts and craft session. From a massive pile of leaves and seeds, all manner of things were created, including bats, mud drawn birds and beavers, paper plate owls, funny woodland faces and paintings. There then followed the Ogden Water Conker championship, with each of the kids giving themselves a death defying, frightening name - King Conkerer, Orange Conker, Conker Killer and Unicorn. Equipped with the latest in H&S technology for the battles (chainsaw helmets & gloves) they set-to. For a few the concept was completely alien and you could tell the parents & grandparents were itching to get involved and take some shots. But in the end the overall winner was King Conkerer, he had a termendous technique for the swing, but it did result in the cracking of a few conkers. Our next session is on the first Saturday in November when we will be out fungi hunting.
Area Countryside Officer
Chris Sutcliffe writes, October 2014:
We have been asked quite a bit recently about the level of the reservoir and if it is normal for it to be this low.
At present it is approx 4.5 mts below capacity, however it is worth remembering that there is still about 13-15 mts depth of water still in the reservoir, which probably equates to about 180 million gallons of water still behind the dam.
We have had quite a long dry spell, with some nice warm weather, so the evaporation of the water from the surface will be larger.
The reservoir was built to supply Halifax with water and it continues to do so, hence as the weather warms up and the reservoir is on supply then the level drops.
We also top up Mixenden Reservoir, at present this is near capacity and so there is still plenty of water around.
The last 2 summers have been quite nice and warm, but the summers before that were wet. In these summers the level did not drop that much and so visitors got used to seeing a full, blue coloured reservoir, surrounded by green trees - quite picturesque, so seeing the level drop is coming as a bit of a shock, but there is no need to panic and begin stock piling bottled water.
In normal years the level is on its way back up, if not full by the end of October, but saying that we would need approx 40 million gallons to fill us to capacity and I don't think anyone wants that much rain in a month!
No more required until Christmas!
Also see Whats On
Also see notices on site.
The Permanent Orienteering Course maps are available
at the Visitor Centre. £1.50 each. They are proving very popular,
particularly with school groups.
Do you have any anecdotes, pictures, or short stories
of trips to Ogden in the past, ie. donkeys years ago! If you have, please
get in touch with Ranger Chris.
If you are planning to bring a party of people on a
visit to Ogden Water, you could contact the Ranger to make sure the facilities
will be available when you come.
Ogden Water has once again gained the Green Flag Award 2013/14
Chris Sutcliffe writes, end Oct 2014: Practical Group.
A slightly breezy day with the odd bit of water coming horizontal towards us. But undeterred the Ogden practical session took place. Beginning in the edges of the woodland it was a task of sorting out the hedgerow that runs down from the car parks to the reservoir side. This was planted a few years ago but has not really been looked at since. There is the issue of some dog walkers taking the tree shelters off to throw for their dogs. Not good when each shelter costs just less than £1 each and we have to fork out to replace them. Luckily we had some spares. We set out to find out which trees were growing, which were dead and which needed a shelter on them. It seems that the hazel was the most successful tree in the hedgerow, but we still need to replace about 25% as they were dead or missing. Not a bad uptake for a hedgerow under trees.
Following this it was a case of cutting out the footpath that runs through the woodlands, alongside the wall towards the dipping pond. We needed it opening up for the upcoming tree ID walk (November). But the weather eventually got the better of us with wind, rain and hail driving us back to the classroom for an early lunch.
As the sun came out after lunch it was onto the far end of the reservoir and into the woodlands to continue with the beech tree removal. These were cleared in a certain area to allow other trees to develop (namely rowan and oak). Once felled the trees were taken to the reservoir side to add to the brash layer and prevent people accessing the reservoir.
The day finished putting lots of trees into the brash layer and a walk back in glorious sunshine with the changing leaves providing an autumnal background second to none. Our next session is in November and will continue with the woodland management and drainage work.
Chris Sutcliffe writes, end Sept 2014:
We were joined by 6 staff from Lloyds Banking Group for their Make a Difference Day here at Ogden Water Nature Reserve?. The group met up at the classroom and following the estate introduction and a health & safety talk, set out onto the reservoir side to tackle some woody issues.
First job was a spot of hedge cutting and trimming at the dipping pond, with shears ready they cracked on with some clearing to take this years growth off the hedge and give it a more formal and cared for look. All the trimmings were then put into the brash layer, thankfully no-one stepped backwards that could have resulted in falling in the pond.
Then it was onto the clearing of some tree branches and thinning in a small section of woodland just after George's View. Using bowsaws the group quickly took off the dead branches up to head height and then felled a number of small trees to allow more light into the area and hopefully increase the ground flora next year. All the resulting brash was used to thicken the hedging layer around the side of the reservoir.
A quick coffee and it was off over to the other side of the reservoir to clear up some cut off branches and timbers that our Countryside Estate Team had cleared during the morning. Again this was put into strengthen the hedging around the reservoir.
A great bit of work from the group, lots of laughs, some sweat on a few brows and a really good day. They helped magnificantly with the ongoing management of the reserve, and we hope to see them again in the future.
Chris Sutcliffe writes, end Sept 2014:
September's Commnuty Day
A misty, murky start to the day, with the promise of brighter things to come. We were joined by 3 members of Lloyds Banking Group who were on their Make A Difference Day.
Initially we had planned for a bit of walling, some painting and some vegetation removal, but the walling and the painting has had to take a back seat at the moment. So it was on with the vegetation removal.
The edge of the wheelchair path at the far end of the reservoir was suffering from thistles and grasses drooping over it so we set-to with spades and brushes to clean it and give it a very sharp look. Much better I am sure you will agree. Next it was on to the turnbys that divert the water off the Withens Road and into the stream then the reservoir. A bit of cutting back followed by some shovelling got them clear and ready should the heavens decide to open up.
A recent visit from the fire brigade highlighted the issue of getting a fire appliance up the Withens Road should the need arrive. The problem being overhanging trees and regeneration saplings alongside the concrete path. The group soon set to with the removal of some over hanging rosebay willowherb and nettles and then began opening up the pathway to the first bench.
Following lunch we set about removing as much over-hanging branches and regenertation trees as possible. Soon sawdust was flying in the air and the crack of trucks could be heard and trees came down. These were all self seeded and some will begin to grow again next year. Others were getting way too big and causing issues not only with getting large vehicles up there but restricting views for people, bikes and horses coming up and down the road.
The felled brash was carried down to the beginning of the track and piled up, while other parts were carried across the dam to the visitor centre. These will be used to strengthen the brash layer around the reservoir side in the coming days.
A great day and really good to see some new faces along the way. Thanks also to the Lloyds group who really did themselves proud by getting stuck in and having a go. Hope they enjoyed it too. Our next session is in October if you can find half a day to lend a hand....