Thursday 29 November 2018

Traditional Oak Swill Baskets on Backsbottom Farm

If you find yourself going across the footbridge from Roeburnscar, just up the steps on the right is a tumble down wooden shed. This used to be  the oak swill basket workshop built by our friend Stella: a multi talented woman who was a builder, basket maker and woodswoman. Here is the video of her making swills in the shed with Jack Singleton from Wray village, who made swills all his life and passed on his skills to Stella. We have decided to keep the shed as one day it will be rebuilt on the same site.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Saturday 8 September 2018

The Fairy Pools

Just a short walk from the cottage, beyond the field , up Hill Kirk and down to the river, brings you to what we have named The Fairy Pools

Monday 20 August 2018

Buzzards above the cottage

                Happy to share the valley with these beautiful birds. Photos courtesy of Anand Prasad.

Friday 18 May 2018

Bluebells in Roeburndale this year

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Justice for Hen Harriers! #justice4henharriers

From Mark Avery:
We've reached our funding target
March 2, 2018
We did it - together!  Over 900 of us have raised the money needed to mount our judicial review against Natural England.
And it took four and a half days.  You are amazing!
The speed with which the total was reached just shows how strongly people feel about this issue. We are doing our bit to get #justice4henharriers.
Thank you - that's all I can say. THANK YOU!
I'm one of a group of like-minded campaigners seeking a better deal for threatened wildlife. We need your support to challenge the government to do more, and do the right things, for a persecuted bird, the Hen Harrier.
Hen Harriers are wonderful birds which are in danger of disappearing from England. The reason is simple: illegal persecution on grouse moors (because they eat Red Grouse that people want to shoot for fun). Cracking down on this wildlife crime is the key to giving the Hen Harrier a better future, but the Westminster government is doing far too little about that.
Instead of tackling the key issue of criminality, Michael Gove's Department for the Environment (DEFRA) has proposed something called 'brood management' which involves removing chicks from nests near grouse moors. That might help grouse moor owners but it won't help Hen Harriers.  See this article in The Guardian, and this blog for more details. It's a bizarre proposal and I believe it is illegal because alternative sensible and effective actions are available.
So I'm initiating a judicial review of Natural England's decision to issue a licence enabling brood management to go ahead.
Persecuted wildlife can't hire lawyers so we must do it for them and I've got some great lawyers together to fight for the Hen Harrier - they are really keen to get justice for this bird (and have been captivated by this video of the male Hen Harrier's skydancing display).  But I need your help to pay the court costs, the costs if we lose (nothing is certain) and at least some of our lawyers' costs (they have kindly agreed to work at heavily discounted rates).  The first stage is to raise £5000 to start the process rolling but we need to raise another £20,000 to see this through to the end.  Please help start things off by donating today - right now please, if you can.
Hen Harriers need justice - you can help them get it.

I'll give regular updates on how things are going - here and on my blog Standing up for Nature. If we raise more money than is needed, the additional funds will be held for up to a year and spent on other legal work to benefit Hen Harriers or other environmental causes.  Thank you.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Forest of Bowland Countryfile Vote

Useful information 1 Voting opens from 19 January until midnight on 5 March. Readers can vote online on the BBC Countryfile Magazine website,, or by post, sending the form in the February issue of the magazine to BBC Countryfile Magazine, 2nd floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3BN. 2 Winners will be announced mid-March in an online ceremony and will appear in the May issue of the magazine, which goes on sale 13 April. 3 Each winner receives a beautiful wooden plaque. 4 Readers are encouraged to vote in every category but multiples entries by the same voter will not be accepted. For more information about the awards, contact