The Latest News, Photos and Movies from the BCV


Photo Galleries


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Norman the Newt's News

MINUTES: Minutes of our APRIL indoor meeting.

APRIL/MAY: This Month's Old NewsMoses Gate reed beds 2009

UPDATED: 22/05/19 Task Gallery 10/05/19: BCV  Movies  06/05/19 School Gallery

GREEN UMBRELLA news from other groups across Bolton

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


NEW 22nd May - Smythe and the World Smythes with You

The Golden Age of BCV is a time remembered by few, a time when giants walked the Earth, giants with names like Foy, Stenhouse, Wheeler and Richard Smythe. Smythy was a BCV stalwart for many years, doing tasks and sometimes writing articles for the BCV newsletter, but Richard upped and left for a better life somewhere else and was greatly missed. However, he did not forget us, and he has kindly donated some cash that we have used to buy some trees which we will plant in a place of honour. Thanks Richard.


6th May - 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.



18th April - Rick FM
BCV Chairman/Co-ordinator, Rick Parker, has taken to the air-waves again on Bolton FM. Rick, the group's leader for over 30 years, and recipient of a Points of Light Award, talked about our up-coming Wildfest at Moses Gate Country Park in August. Rick is no stranger to various forms media and has been interviewed on other shows in previous years, he has also written a chapter for a book on wildlife and given countless talks on newt and dragonfly conservation to conservation groups and members of the public. Rick's day job currently sees him visiting schools for nature and wildlife education sessions, educating a whole new generation of nature lovers. Keep on Ricking.



17th March - The Ace of Spades

Many thanks to Barb and Green Umbrella for the generous donation that was used to buy these spades, they rock.  Their first outing was at the BCV Garden at Moses Gate Country Park where we laid hedges, managed overgrown vegetation in a pond, extended a dead hedge and re-planted snowdrops. 

We have been managing this site since 2016 and last year it was the location for our first ever Wildfest , an event we hope to repeat in 2019. Today's volunteers included Duke of Edinburgh Award students, and other teenagers, who as usual did an excellent job.  Those about to dig, we salute you. More photos on the Task Gallery



27th February - Doff Your Cap to a Bittern Good News


Many years ago BCV started a reed bed at Doffcocker Lodge LNR, Bolton. Over the years the beds have spread and reed warbler and reed bunting have have taken up residence,

but the holy grail of reed species has always eluded us. This February, BCV bird man, Paul Thompson has managed to film a bittern warming itself in the winter sun. The Friends of Doffcocker say that the bittern was present last year, however, Paul's movie has created a lot of interest and dozens of bird lovers flocked to Doffcocker to catch a glimpse of this red listed species. The presence of bittern for two years running more than justifies our reed bed creation work at Doffcocker, well done BCV and very well done Paul, click the reed bed photo to launch the video. Video is hosted by The Wildlife Trust. Also, reed bunting photo has been added to the Wildlife Gallery.



31st January - The News Hedge Lines


This year the competition, held in memory of Dr John Leather who passed away in 2003, was held at Moses Gate Country Park in our patch of heaven where we had our Wilfest last September.

The winners of the Legendary Silver Bill Hook were Neil Birtles and Elliott George, second place went to Ben Barratt and Mick Kenny. Click the photo to go to the Competiton Gallery. Well done teams.



25th September - Wildfest 2018

Nature loves conservationists and to prove it the sun shone on our first ever Wildfest on Sunday 23rd September 2018 at Moses Gate Country Park. Wildfest was dreamt up by BCV Chairman/Co-ordinator Rick Parker to celebrate Bolton's wildlife and the work that has been done by Bolton Conservation Volunteers, the Gravel Pits Action Group and their volunteers over the years. Work on the event began in June when the idea was first discussed at our indoor meeting at The Sweet Green Tavern, over a few short months, and with Tesco grant funding, it developed from a rough sketch to a fully formed grand design.

The event was opened by our honoured guest Kath Martin who has been a supporter of BCV's activities since the group's early days in the and 1970's '80s when her son Philip was a member. Kath gave a moving speech and then cut our official ribbon and launched the day and another piece of BCV history.

The day's activities included dog obedience training, bird watching, pond dipping, hurdle making, den building, and leafy crown making. For each activity visitors got a sticker to stick on a map of the site and when they have a full set they can claim a cup of popcorn and a handful of pancakes.

When we began this journey we had no idea where it would lead, but the comments from visitors on the day and the extensive write up in the Bolton News marks Wildfest as being the most stunningly successful project we have ever conceived. Thanks to everyone involved for making it a day to remember. Photos can be found on the Wildfest Gallery.



12th August - Making A Difference

"After two members of the public found out that Rick Parker and the Bolton Conservation Volunteers have been working in and around Rivington, Bolton, for 22 years they decided to make a donation of £200 as a contribution towards their long term efforts."


These words taken from a letter sent to Rick by Kath Martin and her son Phillip in appreciation of all of the work BCV has done around Bolton over the years. Kath and Phillip have been following the group's activities for many years and even invited Rick to be guest of honour at Philip's birthday party.

BCV would like to thank Kath and Phillip for their generous donation which we are putting towards our Moses Gate project. In appreciation Rick has asked Kath to open our up coming Wildfest even at Moses Gate Country Park in September. A big thank you to Kath and Phillip from all BCV's volunteers. 


19th July - Rock and Roll Heroes


Our annual dry stone walling competiton was held at Entwistle Reservoir this year as our usual walling spot was both inaccessible due to the Winter Hill fire and also a bit rubbish now we've done all the best

bits. Thos year four teams of two competed and half of the them won.

So, who did indeed win our Game of Stones? Who rocked and who rolled? Well in second place, and winning the Rocky Sandal of Wayoh, was Tom "The Bruce" Bruce and Evelyn "The Edge" Egan. In first place, winning the Great Stone Welly of Entwistle, was Ben "Rock God" Barratt and Jane "When Will I be Famous" Arkwright.
Congratulations to all. Photos by Colin "Phake Fotos" Mather are on the Competition Page.