The Latest News, Photos and Movies from the BCV


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Norman the Newt's News

MINUTES: Minutes of our December 2019 minutes CLICK HERE

NEW - MAY/JUNE: This Month's Old NewsMoses Gate Reed Beds 2009

UPDATED:  23/03/20 Task Gallery, 16/01/20 Anderton Resi,  29/02/20 Hedge Comp

GREEN UMBRELLA news from other groups across Bolton

Details of our recent activities can be found on the photo galleries and movie page


23/03/20 Where Tomorrow Shines

The shiny happy people at Bolton Conservation Volunteers are having to take steps to protect its members. BCV's members aren't just volunteers, they are family. For most of our family BCV's task days are an important of their lives, providing a chance to restore our natural landscape, help wildlife, and to meet up and socialise.

Covid-19 has changed all of that.

We are having to take the sad decision to disband for the duration of the pandemic. How long this will be we don't know but protecting our family is a priority and we have to take action to ensure its safety.

From 23/03/20 all tasks, indoor meetings, and other events are cancelled, even our flagship Wildfest event is under review. In the group's 44 year history we have never had such a heartbreaking decision to make. The situation will be reviewed on a monthly basis taking into account Government and NHS advice available at the time, decisions will appear on the BCV website task page and will also be sent out by text.

Thank you to everyone- our volunteer family, friends, clients, Bolton Green Umbrella, Bolton Forum for Greenspace - for your support. Hopefully in the not too distant future we will again get to meet you in the crowd, for now keep us in your hearts where tomorrow shines.

Stay safe and well.


Words CM, additional words REM


29th January - Hedge Wars

 This year's Annual Dr John Leather Memorial Hedgelaying Competition was held on 23rd February and saw us return to Blackleach Country Park, the last time we were here was in 2013. The competition is held in memory or Dr. John Leather, a retired Bolton GP and enthusiastic hedgelayer. Before Dr. John passed away in 2003 he was BCV's hedge Jedi master, he taught us the ways of the pleach and billhook and how to be at one with the hedge.

The competition is intended to help pass on these skills to new generations of hedgelayers, to help achieve this teams are usually made up of a novice and experienced hedgelayer, a master and an apprentice. This year we had 5 teams of 2 fighting it out with the dark side, by the end of the day 2 teams triumphed: the runners up were Steve Durbar and Neil Birtles and the winning team was Dave Moore and Anna Cocker. The teams win possession of the 2nd place kukri, similar to the one used by Dr. John, and the Fabled Silver Billhook for first place. Well done teams and may the bow saw be with you.
Click here to see photos


24/09/19 The Big Day

Congratulations to Elaine and Michael on their wedding. Mick's first outing with BCV was at the Anderton Centre in January 2017, Elaine has been in the group for a little bit longer.

They had announced their engagement to BCV on the Northern Forest tree planting task in April 2018, and we have waited for the big day ever since.

The happy couple tied the knot at Brookfield Masonic Hall on Saturday 21st September and the celebrations carried on into the early hours. For some reason neither could make it to task the next day. Best wishes for a bright and happy future from Bolton Conservation Volunteers.



 25th August - Wildfest, I think I Love You

Last year Bolton Conservation Volunteers (BCV) organised Wildfest, a celebration of nature, wildlife and the work BCV has done over the years. Assisted by the Darcy Lever Gravel Pits Action Group (GPAG) the day was a ridiculous success and even had coverage in the Bolton News. Sitting in The Sweet Green Tavern after the day was done we decided that we would do it again and next time it would be even bigger.

 Planning started almost immediately with ideas on how to improve things and who else we could approach to be involved, as it turned out other groups were already lining up to be part of Wildfest 2019. So, we set the date 25th August 2019 bank holiday weekend, the place Moses Gate Country Park, and set the wild thing moving.

After weeks of rain we were blessed with the hottest August bank holiday on record and more stalls than you can shake a withy at. We had:

Jane and Katrina at our welcome tent keeping the visitors moving through; Louise Bentley flying along with swift conservation; the Bolton-Bury Canal Society locked on with the public about their work; Paul and David from the RSPB scoping out the bird hide; Jayne Stott running rings around the dog training; Mike and the GPAG team made a splash with the pond dipping sessions and moth ID; Rick and Colin knocking together hurdles assisted by Barb and Trevor from Bolton Green Umbrella; Jo, Jaxon, Clayton and Floyd the ferret making dens in the woods; Sheena, Gill and Abigail creating flower filled willow crowns; and Caroline and Lynn making popcorn, pancakes and veggie hotdogs. And finally Tom did a great job filling in when people needed a break.

The free event was officially opened by long time BCV supporter Kath Martin, helped by son Phillip, at 11:00 am. The day's format followed last year's with visitors being provided with a map of the site, with each station they visited they got a sticker to put on the map and when the map was full they could claim free food at the food station.Throughout the day we had lots of positive comments from the public, how much they enjoyed it, how much the kids loved it, and what a fantastic job everyone was was doing, comments for which we are very grateful. Raising awareness about Bolton's natural environment and the groups that care for it is what we aimed for and what we achieved.

Days like this don't just happen, a lot of work goes on in the background so a few thank yous: Thanks to Rick for pushing the event along and promoting it on Bolton FM; thanks to all of the voluneers who gave their time to man and woman the stalls; Bolton Council for giving us permission to use Moses Gate Country Park; Tom for obtaining and transporting equipment and finally special thanks to Caroline for filling in the paperwork, finding funding, designing and producing maps and stickers, and countless other things that made the day possible. Thank you.

Sitting in the Sweet Green Tavern afterwards, exhausted and worn out by the day, we had an idea: lets do it again next year... but bigger.

Wildfest 2019 photo gallery



6th May 2019- School for the Future

In June 2018 BCV were asked to help restore the school garden for its special needs pupils. Couch grass, horse-tails, cleavers and nettles were removed and the beds were re-mulched, and after we left the staff and pupils continued the work we started and in May 2019 had planted up the planters with a variety of plants. The beds had originally been designed to allow wheelchair bound pupils access to the garden but lack of management lead to it falling into disrepair. Since last year each area of the garden has been adopted by a different member of staff and with the help of the pupils it is now being properly looked after. Well done to Mrs. Clarke and the rest of the staff for doing such a brilliant job. See the Schools Project Gallery for more photos.