The Latest News, Photos and Movies from the BCV

Photo Galleries

Select the gallery (Task, Walks, Competitions or Wildlife) from the News menu on the left, wait several seconds for the grid to populate (longer if you have a slow connection), and single click the photo you want to view. Use the arrow keys at the top of the lightbox or left/right arrows on your keyboard to see the next/previous photo. Click the 'X' to exit. To scroll through the captions use the scroll bar at the side of the text box.

 Minutes of Indoor Meetings

 Read Colette's minutes of our October 2017 indoor meeting  - click HERE

Norman the Newt's News

NEW - 10th October - Inspired

BCV's own Jane Arkwright has been recognised for her volunteer work at the Wildlife Trust's 2017 Volunteer Conference. At the event she was presented with the award for Most Inspirational Volunteer and a bag of goodies. The award recognises Jane's contribution to the Trust's work (too many to mention) and her positive attitude to volunteering.

As well as volunteering with the Trust Jane is BCV's Social Secretary and a first aider, she also volunteers for the Woodland Trust and the Rivington Heritage Trust as well as mentoring young adults. Two thumbs up and congratulations from BCV.

17th September 2017 - Brandi


Some sad news, Brandi Bruce has passed away after long and happy life. Brandi was everybody's best friend and always a welcome addition to tasks, but over the last year age related problems meant she couldn't join in the fun as she used to. She will very missed by everyone, condolences from all BCV members to Tom and Caroline.

4th September - 150 years Young

Saturday the 2nd September saw a birthday celebration to end all birthday celebrations: Jane, Colin and Andrew celebrated their 40th, 50th and 60th birthdays with around 76 friends from BCV, The Wildlife Trust, plus family members and others at the Astley Bridge Cricket Club. There was music and dancing, food and dancing, drink and dancing, speeches and dancing, and dancing and dancing  all in 1950s, 60s and 70s fancy dress and a fantastic time was had by all. Thanks to all the guests for being there and to everyone who helped and supported the three of us in making the vague beginnings of an idea we had on an Anderton resi in January into magnificent reality. Party on dudes, and be excellent to each other. More photos can be found on the '150th Birthday' gallery.

31st August - Obituary: Len Saunders

Len Saunders, a well-known practical conservationist, has died aged 65, following a senseless and unprovoked attack on him near his home in St Helens Town Centre. Len was a kind, gentle and caring man, a good listener rather than conversationalist, and had a wealth of local knowledge. Nothing was too much trouble for him. When it came to practical work, he was part-man, part-machine. He had a phenomenal workrate that belied his slight stature. He was a key member of the former Groundwork Conservation Volunteers and Wigan CVs, often leading tasks, but had worked with groups from across the North West, including Bolton and Chorley, and was an accomplished hedge-layer and waller: for many years he laid hedges and walled professionally, and would go in his Land-Rover as far north as the Lake District. He also demonstrated charcoal-burning at countryside events.

 I have memories of planting trees adjacent to the Liverpool-Manchester Railway at Bold with Len and Steve Freeman of Operation Groundwork (St Helens) somewhere around 1990. We had two hundred saplings to plant. It was a baking hot, autumn day and the ground seemed to be nothing more than compacted coal waste. Our spades bounced from the surface, so we had to hack at the spoil with the spade edge rather than dig. It was gruelling work. We managed to complete the task, but Len accounted for more trees than Steve and me together. Len didn't groan, gasp or complain, nor did he stop to talk. He cocked back his trademark trilby to wipe his forehead every now and then, but kept going until every last tree was firmly planted.

In his later years he turned a hand to acting, rejoicing in the stage name of Len Banana, and turned a hand to poetry; I had the unexpected pleasure of hearing him read his own humorous verse to an audience only a few weeks before his untimely death. He also became heavily involved in a project establishing a small, specialist cinema, Lucem House, in his home town.
Len was a man of many talents who be missed in conservation and theatre circles alike.

Written by Francis Williams

27th June - Big Fans

Big thank you to Anne and David Welding of Fanpits Cottages for putting a magnificent barbecue for BCV on Saturday. Although Anne and David's site is small it is hugely important for dragon and damselflies, amphibians, butterflies, birds, bats, hedgerows and wild flowers.

Sites like this help to make up the mosaic of smaller habitats that are vitally important to the survival of out native wildlife and fill the gaps between larger habitats that have become fragmented by industrial and urban developments. Big cheer for Anne and David. Photo is from 2015 when we built Anne's pond, today the pond is thriving with life. 

27th May - Smithills Bioblitz

The Woodland Trust held its second Bioblitz event at Barrow Bridge, Smithills, and BCV were one of the groups attending along with Greater Manchester Local Record Centre, Bolton Museum, Lion Learners Animal Handling, Friends of the Earth, North West Badger Group, Bolton and Bury Swifts, Manchester Mammal Group, Discover the Wild and Tiny World Microscopes.

Our part in the event included a hurdle making demonstration and a bug hunt. Our planned pond dipping exercise had to cancelled as the pond had dried up. However, Rick brought some creatures from his pond which visitors found just as fascinating.

10th May - Wonder Walling

Although held slightly sooner in the calendar than in previous the sun still shone on our annual dry stone walling competition. This year the competition was even tougher as our wallers  continue to get better and better.

But there can only be one set of winners and this year the Stone Boot of Rivington was won by Ben Barratt and Francis Williams, runners up were Tom Bruce and Andrew Brownlow. Photos are on the Task Gallery page and shortly BCV Movies.

1st April - Hopping with Joy


In August 2016 we left Bolton to carry out a unique task in London. Andrew wanted a pond outside his house next to Crystal Palace Park. We dug a pond, filled it with water and went home to await the results. Today Andrew sent this brilliant bit of news:

"Andrew is proud to announce that, following a brief gestation period,is beloved pond has had tadpoles, Many thanks to Carol, Colin, Elaine, Francis, Jane, Paul, Sheena, Tom and Trish for excavating the mother, and to timely advice from consultant obstetrician for amphibia, Dr Parker."

Congratulations to Andrew on becoming the proud 'father' of a new generation of bouncing baby frogs.

15th March - The Big Day

This year the BCV annual Dr John Leather Hedge Competition was held at Hollins Local Nature. The event was sponsored by Park Royal Stone and hosted by Hollins Conservation Group and Bury Council Ranger Serve, with tea and biscuits provided Hollins Village Bowling Green.

After a hard fought contest judge Noelle Leather announced the joint winners as team number 5 - Brian Griffiths and Barry Dorrington from Bury and team number 2 - Francis Williams and Steve Dunbar of BCV. Second place went to Ben Barratt and Sheena Flanaghan. Well done to every one.Photos are on the News page Competition Gallery.

Last year Ben narrowly missed a winning place in hedge competition with Paul taking first and second place being taken by Anna Cocker. Ben did win that year's dry stonewalling competition with Anna coming second. Deciding he was on a winning streak this year Ben proposed to Anna and she said yes, proving that walls and hedges are no barrier to romance. Congratulations to both of you from BCV.

12th February - Farewell Ozzy

BCV has lost another of its best loved members - Ozzy the Ferret. Ozzy had not been well for sometime and sadly passed away recently. He will be remembered for stealing the show at the BCV 40th Birthday Party and being the star attraction at any event where he made an appearance whether it was a task, indoor meeting or open days. Inquisitive, beer drinking and finger nibbling Ozzy will be greatly missed by everyone, condolences to Clayton.