Addingham COVID-19 Support Group
13th July 2020
13th July 2020
13th July 2020
The response to our decision to hold a wildlife photo competition during the lockdown has been splendid with over 150 pictures being submitted by the 31st of May deadline.
The competition was designed to help our members through a very difficult period and at the same time take advantage of everyone’s enforced free time to start building a photo archive of village wildlife. The theme was “Spring” and entries were invited under seven categories: Birds, Bees, Butterflies, Other animals, Wildflowers, Landscape and Photos from Children (aged 11 and under).
The winning picture of the “butterfly” category chosen by judge Diane Morris was taken by Mel Taylor and this picture went on to become the overall winner, judged by John Fontana and Harry Jevons. Diane commented “the photo shows the butterfly’s mottled green underwings with a hint of orange on the upper wing to identify it as a male, and captures it taking nectar from ladies smock, it’s main foodplant”. A delighted Mel said “I’m grinning from ear to ear – not something that has happened much in recent months”
The “birds” category was won by Anne Hodgson with a picture of a grey heron on the River Wharfe above High Mill. Judge Chris Acomb liked its composition, particularly the diagonal of the ‘log perch’ against the upright position of the heron. The winning “bees” photo of a tree bumblebee was taken by Ian Benson. Judge Maurice White admired its balance of colour and shade with the tones of the bee in clear natural light.
The “other animals” category attracted a diverse range of entries including roe deer, frogs and mating hedgehogs. The winner was Mary Jenner’s picture of a frog in a garden pond. The category was judged by Jan Hindle who commented “the viewer’s attention is drawn immediately to the eye of the frog at the centre of the photograph and the close image allows us to appreciate the textures, particularly of the frog’s skin”
There were over thirty pictures submitted in the “wildflower” category. Choosing a winner was consequently difficult, but judges Nicky Vernon and Heather Burrow picked out a photo of a wood avens flower by Don Barrett as the winner. They remarked “the photo is beautifully crisp, nicely lit and interesting. You can even see the shadows of the stamens on two of the petals. It repays study, and tells you all you need to know about a Geum flower”.
The “children’s” category was also well-subscribed with pictures of wildflowers, butterflies, and landscapes, but the winning entry, by seven-year old Evelyn Klatt, was of a “little brown mouse” captured close to the Saw Mill Pond footpath. Head judges John Fontana and Harry Jevons also judged the children’s category. John said that with children as young as five in the competition, rather than technical skills, they were looking for photos that most portrayed wild life in its natural environment, and where images were composed in a way that made the subject stand out.
“Landscape” was the most popular category, such that judge Geraldine Thompson opted to declare three joint winners. The rules for this category required pictures to be taken of landscapes within the parish boundaries or seen from within parish boundaries. Mike Valiant’s picture of the moon indeed followed the rules! Geraldine commented “an unusual and striking image of tremendous contrast between the cool crisp clarity of the moon’s surface and the deep impenetrable indigo blue of the mysteries of limitless space beyond”. On Debs Griffiths’ picture she remarked “a rare and serendipitous opportunity to capture the extraordinary dramatic colourful light at early dawn during a narrow timeline in the short life of the cherry blossom” and on the third joint winner by John Fontana she said “this is a quintessentially Addingham spring scene familiar to local walkers”.
In addition to the eight winning entries there were 40 pictures highly commended by the judges. These can be seen on the Environment Group’s website: https://
13th July 2020
We have well established groups for monitoring our village birds, butterflies and bees. We now have a bat group and a swift group.
Co-ordinator for the Bat Group Pam Wells writes:
“The Bat Group is a new departure for Addingham, my partner Malcolm and myself. We have lived in the village for some time and each year during the summer months, have seen bats flitting amongst the trees in the dusk. Our greater interest began after meeting Maggie Brown from the West Yorkshire Bat Group at the AEG’s annual environment weekend in the Memorial Hall last year.
During the last few months Malcolm has been involved in local wildlife surveys, and it was during a conversation with Rick that Malcolm and I agreed to form a local bat group on the clear understanding that we are not experts – far from it – but we are learning as much as we can with a great deal of welcome advice from Maggie, a real bat expert in Otley.
We have been delighted by the response to the group and it is encouraging to discover the amount of interest and potential involvement of so many people. Hopefully, before too long, we will be able to meet together and discuss how we would like the group to progress.
Meanwhile, Malcolm has put together an interactive map on which we’re recording our sightings, just click on this link https://www.google.com/
I am learning as much as I can about bats in general. In July we will be getting our bat detector and aim to visit various bat haunts as indicated by the map and discover the different species we have in the locality. We’d love to hear from you if you would like to join the group, just drop an email to email@example.com and we’ll be in touch”
“Our wonderful bat photograph is from” http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/?
We also have a new Swift Group co-ordinated by Jessica Penrose.
Every spring we look forward to the return of our swifts. They were back from Africa on schedule this year at the beginning of May. Hopefully they are now having a successful breeding season here in the village. Nationally swifts have declined by about 50% since 1995 so we need to do all we can to take care of our Addingham populations for the relatively short time they are with us.
One of the most important things is to make sure their regular nesting sites are available when they return and are then not disturbed during the nesting season. But where are the sites? We know there are some nests in the eaves in Victoria Terrace but we’d like to identify all the others. If you’re interested in swifts and would like to help please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with Jess.
13th July 2020
I have been cycling both on-road and off-road around Addingham, and have come across many wonderful rides with incredible views. Doing some of these rides during the lockdown I began to wonder how many people, both from Addingham and outside of the village, were aware of them. I thought why not put some of these rides on a web site to share with anyone who is interested. Hence http://www.
7th June 2020
Thanks to one of our members Malcolm Secrett for putting together this walk. It’s a tough one and the stretch up Turner Lane will certainly get your heart pumping ! Malcolm reckons around 2 hours.
For those of you with a smart phone then don’t forget to download this map and take it with you as you can ‘tap’ on one of the hot spots and it will show you where they are on Google maps ! Now, with ‘location’ enabled Google maps will also show you where you are too ! I don’t suppose you will get lost on this walk but it’s a bit of fun !
These ‘Hotspots’ work on a mobile phone but you are unlikely to get them to work on your laptop or tablet but this doesn’t detract from an excellent walk !
13th May 2020
We have created a short video of our very own Hilary Thomas (Addingham Vocal Days and much more !) singing ‘Spread a little Happiness’…..just to cheer us all up a little, during these difficult times.
There is much going on in this wonderful Village of ours and a real Community spirit and Hilary just wanted to make a small contribution herself.
Well done Hilary.
Click on this link below for a charming 2 minute video on YouTube and sing along (and it’s only available via this link) : https://youtu.be/SLZ5gaLyTzo
13th May 2020
Hello Civic Society Members, are you making use of the support that is on offer for you?
If you, your family, friends or neighbours need any support just ring either of these numbers 01943 831758 or 07470 537421 . Don’t worry if no one answers just leave a message.
Alternatively, if you use email, you could send a message to us at email@example.com.
This isn’t just for those who are termed medically “vulnerable”, it’s support for anyone who needs it, or even for some who don’t think they need it! It’s a way to avoid everyday things that we normally take for granted like popping to the supermarket or calling in for a newspaper, things that in the current pandemic are risky for a lot of us. We all know we can cope by ourselves but at the moment that might not be the best thing to do.
For the last month well over a hundred fantastic Addingham volunteers have been shopping, delivering prescriptions, walking dogs, cutting lawns, collecting newspapers and much more.
It works like this:
It’s as easy as that!
We can also set up someone just to ring you for a chat if you like and if you run out of cash we can handle that too, it’s not a problem.
Here are some of the lovely comments we’ve had so far:
“What an operation you are running – it’s brilliant!”
“My volunteer brought me an Easter Egg on Easter Sunday!”
“It’s very reassuring to know that there is someone local she can call on while we are so far away.”
“Our volunteer has made a brilliant start.”
“The system works like a dream.”
“Our volunteer has already proved worth more than her weight in gold! We are very pleased.”
“As well as shopping I’ll check with her at least once a week if I don’t hear from her as she’s all alone.”
“I mowed her grass on Wednesday and have arranged to go back in a couple of weeks.”
“She lives down the road but I had never spoken to her before – she has been so helpful.”
We have lots of volunteers who are waiting for a call so Do Get In Touch with us.
In addition a couple of weeks ago we sent out an email about the current crisis and the support that is available in the Village and this has been reproduced below for those of you without access to email:
If you are 70+ there are volunteers from the Addingham COVID-19 Support Group waiting to help you.
If you are 70+ we are encouraging you to stay safe by requesting a volunteer who will do your shopping for you.
The research clearly shows that shopping is one of the riskiest things we can do at the moment. However well organised the shop or supermarket is, the risk is high.
The research also shows how vulnerable the older generation is to this virus.
Lots of us who are over 70 are fit and able, feel quite confident to go the shops and don’t want to put on anyone, and some of us are even shopping for others, but we really are the people who should be asking for a volunteer and encouraging others to do the same.
Many folk have family members, neighbours and friends who are helping out with shopping. However if those generous people are themselves over 70 they are putting themselves at risk. Please do ask for a volunteer.
In Addingham we have a fantastic group of volunteers who are ready and able to do our shopping and errands for us. Don’t hesitate to ask. The number to contact is at the end of this article.
So where did all these volunteers come from?
In the middle of March representatives from the Parish Council, Good Neighbours and the Civic Society met to discuss how they could work together to support Addingham residents through the COVID-19 crisis. Within a week an email address and telephone number were made available for requests for help or offers of help, a leaflet was prepared, and a volunteer system set up.
Since then the Support Group has had a fantastic response and now has 150 + volunteers, many of whom are supporting residents with shopping, errands, prescriptions, dog walking, telephone calls and much more. With huge thanks to the Clarke Foley Trust we can even help with purchases if your cash supply runs out.
We have the capacity to help many more residents so we seriously encourage you to take advantage of this local support scheme by giving us a call on:
01943 831758 or 07470 537421 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13th May 2020
Just to confirm that all Society events and Meetings have been cancelled until further notice. We will of course notify you of the new date for the rearranged AGM as soon as we can. We had to cancel our Wharfedale Male Voice Choir Concert scheduled to take place at Mount Hermon in March and there is still a ticket holder who has not come forward for a refund ! Please contact our Secretary Gill on 01943 839792 and she will sort it out. Thanks.
13th May 2020
Whilst the Society’s Annual General Meeting scheduled to take place on the 21st of this month has been postponed, we have of course still produced our Annual Finance Report as at the 31st of March. This report has been audited and signed off by the Society’s Trustees and will be distributed along with the other meeting papers when the AGM is rearranged.
13th May 2020
You may have seen that “hospital scrubs” have been hitting the headlines over the last couple of weeks and they’ve certainly hit the headlines in Addingham. The COVID-19 Support Group was asked to help by putting out requests for fabric.
We had a huge response with material arriving daily. The plan was to pass the fabric along to the sewing groups in Ilkley and Menston. However, within the first 48 hours of making the request for fabric we’d had another request – from our own Health Centre who were also in need of scrubs. So, before passing the fabric along we decided to make sure our health centre was supplied with their own sets of scrubs.
The first challenge was to print the “official” NHS scrubs pattern. It looked quite easy until we realised it was printed on 50 A4 pages, 45 of which had to be stuck together like a jigsaw to make the paper pattern. After using much paper and numerous rolls of Sellotape we had three patterns printed and stuck together.
A few phone calls later and we had a sewing team in place, sewing machines were brought out of retirement and dusted off. Discussions resolved that, depending what was in the cupboard, the colour of cotton thread might have to change half way through a pair of trousers or a top and that the waist tie might be of a completely different and random colour. We all made use of the online tutorial for putting in a bag pocket, not something most of us do on a daily basis. So, our team of four ‘sewers’ made eights sets of scrubs, two each for four of the health professionals at the Health Centre.
We have also been able to give fabric to the Menston, Ilkley and Bradford Scrubs Sewing Groups.
Huge thanks to all the people who donated fabric, Richard Hunter Rowe for transport and pattern making, and the sewing team Jayne Hood, Pam Morgan, Fiona Walton and Gill Battarbee.
Photo courtesy of Pam Morgan
12th May 2020
It’s been a terrible spring for people but not bad at all for wildlife judging by the pictures and emails we’ve been receiving. Here’s a round-up of some of the highlights for the latter part of April.
Frogs and newts. The tank of tadpoles in our front garden (9 Main St) has attracted a lot of attention. We’ve had a steady stream of visitors checking out their progress. Although not always easy to spot there’s a common newt in there as well. He (it is a he) will be feeding on the tadpoles but given the sheer quantity of them he’ll be unlikely to make much of a dent in the population. Things are different in our back garden pond where tadpoles are much less numerous as they are enjoyed especially by newts and dragonfly nymphs which we have in abundance. The taddies in the tank, however, should make it all the way – back legs will be next! Do take a look!
Trout in the becks. I was worried we’d lost our trout populations in the becks after the extreme weather we had in February. But we have now had two independent reports of very young fish (parr) in Church Field, three sightings of small trout in Town Beck at Burnside and two sizeable trout (15 cm), probably from last year’s cohort, in Back Beck behind Burns Hill. We only have a small trout population in our becks compared to years gone by, so it’s a relief we’re hanging on to them!
Birds. Woodpeckers have been both heard and seen, one heard down Low Mill Lane and another seen (great spotted) near Winebeck. We’ve had sighting of linnets (see David Austin’s great photo) and Chris Acomb alerted us to the presence of a hen harrier circling over Main St on 15th April. Given the persecution that hen harriers have received over recent decades on local moors we’d like to think this is a reflection of the ban imposed on shooting on Ilkley Moor last year by Bradford Council. It could on the other hand be a random, rare one-off event! We’ll see…
Arnold Pacey has continued his recording of returning migrants listening for distinctive songs at his early morning observation station in Low Mill Lane. He reports a chiffchaff from 22nd March, about a week earlier than normal, blackcap on the 11th April, willow warbler on the 14th April and sand martins (in the banks across the river) on the 19th April. Anne Hodgson reports house martins busy nest building in Southfield Road. Please send your bird records to Chris at email@example.com.
Wildflowers: Cowslips are now in full bloom on the Skipton Road verge (see picture by Diane Morris) and in the Daniel Palmer Nature Reserve, and cuckoo flower/milkmaid/lady’s smock, whatever you prefer to call it, is also in flower. It’s an important food plant for orange-tip butterflies (see below). We have reasonable milkmaid populations in the village although sadly the ones that grow on our roadside verges are usually cut back in their prime by Bradford Council in spring. I was hoping this year that our road verge wildflowers would be given a stay of execution but not to be! The example pictured here is from the Silsden Road verge near the entrance to Big Meadow Drive. It survived the blades because it was shielded by the daffodils…
Bees and butterflies: Despite the lockdown our bees and butterflies observers, co-ordinated by Malcolm Secrett, have been out and about walking along their transects as part of their daily exercise. This year we’ve added three more walking routes, one that takes in the Street beyond the bypass, one that takes in our Skipton Road wildflower bank and Bracken Ghyll Golf Course and one that covers the Garden Friends’ pocket gardens along Main St. This is the season when bumblebee queens are active looking for nesting sites. Especially prominent so far have been buff-tailed queens, but we’ve also had red-tailed, white-tailed and tree bee queens along with many solitary bees (see picture of mining bee) reported. Maurice White (Skipton) provides expert advice on bees through our WhatsApp group. Thanks to him!
The warm sunny weather has also been good for butterflies. We had lots of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells early on and more recently Orange Tips have been especially common. It’s the male that has the very distinctive orange tips. The female is mainly white and could be confused with the small-white butterfly, but at this time of year the small white is probably a female orange tip!
Diane Morris is our butterfly advisor. She not only provides guidance on identification but also collates our village records and passes them on to Butterfly Conservation UK so they can be added to the national database. Thanks to her! And please send your butterfly sightings to Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include date and location!
Hedgehogs: are now very active especially down at Low Mill and in Burns Hill where they are well-looked after! The males will be roaming quite widely now looking for a mate. Please continue to send in your sightings to Rick.
Roe Deer: have been seen near the Street independently by both Anne Clarke and Anne Hodgson. There seems to be a family group of three there.
Bats: are also now very active, foraging after dusk. We have some records, but no detailed understanding yet of distribution or species composition in the village. So we’re starting up a bat group. Once we’ve escaped the lockdown we’ll organise things properly but in the meantime we’d like to hear from anyone who can provide us with sightings as well as anyone who would like to join the group. We have electronic bat echo meters we can use for identification.
And now a Competition !
At our Environment Group steering committee meeting recently we decided to organise a village wildlife photo competition. It’s intended to help everyone through this very difficult period and, at the same time, help us build a photographic record of our local wildlife.
We want the competition to be as informal as possible. But we do need a few rules. All pictures must be taken within the parish and include:
Except for cropping, digital adjustments should not be made. We don’t want misrepresentations of nature as the pictures will be kept and held in our village archive to be used for future reference.
The deadline for submission is 31st May 2020 and the theme is “Spring”.
There will be categories for:
We also invite as many children as possible to take part. There will be a separate competition for children aged 11 or under. And there will be prizes for the overall winners (best in show!) to be judged by a couple of our resident photography experts, Harry Jevons and John Fontana.
Please send your photographs to email@example.com
12th May 2020
‘Most of you will be aware of the great number of walks we have in the village, of varying length and difficulty. We are fortunate that going in any direction will provide excellent opportunities.
During these austere days and weeks of likely lockdown and self-isolation (I am penning this piece on 9 April – hopefully by the time of reading there may possibly be glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel) we remain in the stormy seas of uncharted waters but I would like to try and lift spirits by recommending several specific walking possibilities. There are sufficient variables, and spaces, to maintain self-distancing, exercise efficiently and improve our emotional well-being all at the same time.
The village itself, though not entirely flat and easy to get about, offers purposeful walks to the Co-op, paper shop, medical centre and pharmacy, and it is not difficult to devise a circular route in the process. This may include the church field, the old sawmill path between the Co-op and Bolton Road, the Garth, so central to the village and yet such an important public greenspace. To the west the lower section of Turner Lane and the nature reserve on the other side of Silsden Road are equally full of the joys of spring.
Public footpaths remain open and are well signposted for the greater part. Yellow waymarkers (arrows on discs) will help too. We have a good relationship with the Countryside Service, maintained by Bradford Council, and regularly keep in touch about footpath issues in Addingham. Where they can they are always willing to oblige.
The Dales Way footpath arrives in Addingham from Sandbeds on the old Ilkley Road, then heads through Low Mill towards the church field. From the end of Bark Lane a delightful stretch follows a much improved path high above the river (take care!) before dropping down to High Mill. Crossing the suspension bridge from the east end of Bark Lane into North Yorkshire will afford additional walking possibilities, if only to the quiet road from Bolton Abbey to Ilkley via Nesfield, then returning by the same route.
High Mill may also be approached from Bolton Road and High Mill Lane. Passing Hamiltons and the caravan park, the Dales Way follows the river through fields, where lambs are gambolling and from where kingfisher, heron, dipper and other bird species can frequently be spotted. (We see them often!).
Back Beck Lane is accessible from several routes off Main Street. Sugar Hill is a delight to walk along, new growth evident and birdsong especially pleasurable in the absence of human noise and interference. The path around the school field has been opened up to provide a wonderful wildlife habitat, thanks to the sterling efforts of the village’s Environment Group, and a further well-signed detour can be made into the Winebeck fields to the north, or east through a narrow snicket into Springfield Mount.
To the south and west of the village the walking terrain can be somewhat steeper if none the less pleasurable. Take your time! Crossing the bypass should not present quite the same hazards as in normal circumstances, with less traffic – but still take care! If the moor tops are not the intended target, and let’s face it, for many they are too arduous to reach on foot, there are several routes that can be devised. The Street is a good turning point and Cocking (Cocken) Lane is a little further south but achievable without venturing further uphill. Straight or Moorside Lane is always pleasant to walk along if you can make it that far!
To help with any walking you may propose, the internet, as ever these days, will be a source of inspiration. Google maps may be a starting point and there are lots of other online possibilities if you care to search them. Locally, our own Civic Society website has a section on Books and Publications and I recommend the following:
(some 30 years since first published but still of interest)
Other publications of a more historical or photographic nature are also on the list. Why not follow the Blue Plaques Trail, also by Don Barrett? For more information please contact Don on 830776, Steve Lloyd, who looks after our books, on 830853, or myself on 07752 421341.
If you prefer then by all means drop one of us an email:
Or talk to any of the Society Trustees (see Membership Card).
One of the few blessings at this time is the arrival of spring with its new life and growth, improving weather and warmth, and the prospect, however distant, of better times to come. Let’s rejoice where we can!
I sincerely hope I’ve not been ‘teaching grandmothers to suck eggs’ in these deliberations and stating the obvious for all of you! Whatever outcomes lie ahead of us in this coronavirus crisis, please stay safe and enjoy your daily walking!’
12th May 2020
You really must take a look at Addingham’s new Photo Archive via the Village website and for your information here is the introduction to the archive from the website:
‘Welcome to the archive of pictures and other media showing Addingham across the years.
These items have been collected over many years with the earliest by local photographer and historian Hilda Holmes followed by Kate Mason and others. Many of the more recent items are by Don Barrett.
If you have any comments or suggestions on a particular image please use the ‘Feedback’ tab on the image page (not forgetting to include your email address so that we may contact you). If you have any photos that you would be willing to be added to the archive please email Don at : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Photo archive is run by volunteers of the Heritage Group of the Society’.
Click on this link to access an amazing library of photographs:
12th May 2020
You are all very familiar with the two large wooden framed Village sketch maps located outside the Old School House and on Bark Lane, near the steps leading down to the suspension bridge. Well, we are pleased to report that we have just taken delivery of two new maps to replace the two existing old ones. The preparation work on the frame on Bark Lane is complete and we will be installing the new map in the next few days. Unfortunately, the frame outside the Old School House needs quite a bit of tlc (!) but we will get round to it as soon as we can….
12th May 2020
You will all be familiar with the old BT Telephone Kiosk situated on Church Street, which the Society converted a couple of years ago. In the light of the current COVID-19 crisis we have decided to temporarily close the kiosk. The books will be stored and the kiosk has been given a thorough Spring Clean ! We know it is a popular ‘book swap’ facility and a Village Information Point and we will certainly reopen it as soon as we can. In the meantime a quick thank-you to Carole and Malcolm Armitage and Jacquie Teasdale the ‘kiosks neighbours’ for their help and support.