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Young Rangers visit Millennium Woods

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Clay started with Dales Young Rangers in April 2018 and his volunteering has contributed towards completing his Duke of Edinburgh Award. He is now working towards achieving the top John Muir Award at Conserver level.

Here, Andrew gives his account of a task day in September: woodland maintenance at Millennium Woods, near Hebden, on the River Wharfe.

Young Rangers discuss where the tree they are about to fell will land.
Discussing which direction to topple the tree

Our task was to cut down dead young ash trees which had succumbed to ash dieback disease.

First, we removed tree guards and stakes in order to tidy the site. Then we cut down the dead trees. 

For the young trees with thin trunks, we could simply cut horizontally through the trunk. For the thicker trees, however, we had to be careful to control where they landed when felled so that they didn’t damage any of the healthy trees.

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A strange black furry fungus clings to the bottom of a tree trunk

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Photo: Rachael Addison

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We found this fungus growing. Apologies for the blurry photo. We think it might be earthtongue, or is it dead man’s fingers? What do you think?

We did this by cutting a V-shape through the trunk, with someone pushing on the tree to help it fall in the right direction. This also took the weight of the tree off the saw so that the saw didn’t jam in the cut. A good bit of teamwork!

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Millennium Woods was teeming with Grasshoppers

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Photo: Rachael Addison

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The group helped to tidy the site by removing empty tree guards and piling the chopped trees to make habitat piles. Whilst doing this they came across a lot of grasshoppers.

I’m looking forward to going back to the wood to plant replacement trees.

Andrew (pictured below) has been a Dales Young Ranger for 3 years.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to come along to any of the Dales Young Rangers sessions, please get in touch via or 07815 970346. You can also follow the Dales Young Rangers on Facebook

The North and West Young Rangers groups are funded by BIG Lottery Fund through the Green Futures partnership programme led by charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. Green Futures aims to empower and support young people in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.

Green Futures is part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today – a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change.

The Young Rangers group based in the South of the National Park is being part-funded through Stories in Stone, an ambitious four-year programme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership. The scheme is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

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