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YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST

IMPROVING CLIFTON BECK’S WATER


FULL EVALUATION REPORT
JUNE 2018

SALLY FORT
WWW.SALLYFORT.COM
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Project Description .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3
Evaluation Methodology ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7
ACHIEVEMENTS ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9
Planned Outputs .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 9
Additional Unplanned Outputs.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 11
Demographics .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 12
Community Outcomes ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 15
Volunteer & Trainee Outcomes......................................................................................................................................................................................... 18
Local Land Manager Outcomes ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 24
Environmental Outcomes .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 29
LESSONS LEARNED ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 33
What Worked Well? .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 33
Recommended Improvements .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 35
Summary of Recommendations ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 37
STORY OF CHANGE ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 39
APPENDIX............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 41
Volunteer Results .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 41

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INTRODUCTION
THIS EVALUATION REPORT IS BASED ON PROJECT ACTIVITY UP TO 31ST MAY 2018. A FEW EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES TOOK PLACE AFTER THIS CUT-OFF DATE SO THOUGH
THE REPORT INCLUDES THE MAJORITY OF INFORMATION, THERE WILL BE MORE LEGACIES AND ACTIVITIES NOT DETAILED IN THESE PAGES.
A SEPARATE SUMMARY REPORT IS ALSO AVAILABLE.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Clifton Beck is a waterway running through rural, urban and industrial land in West
Yorkshire. In recent years, the quality of the beck has declined to a worrying level, negatively
affecting the natural heritage within and around it. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) wanted to
work with local land owners, land managers, volunteers and school children, to make
practical changes to the water and land which could, over time, help turn the situation
around. The Trust applied for funding to recruit a project officer who would plan all the
activity; liaise with land owners and managers; recruit and co-ordinate volunteer activity; set
up, recruit for and manage training workshops; roll out a series of workshops with schools
close to the beck; liaise with partners; and oversee delivery of the work on natural habitats.
The project also created the opportunity for a traineeship to support the project and officer,
while building build the practical skills and professional know-how for someone wanting to
move into long term employment. The project officer and trainee worked from Stirley
Community Farm, where the West Yorkshire YWT team are based, benefitting from the
support available there.

As part of the initial Heritage Lottery Fund application, the team planned that the project would need the following resources to achieve its aims:
CORE
•YWT team: estimated £8000 in kind support - staff time
•HLF funding: c£74,500

PARTNER
•Partner contributions: c£10,000
•Partner in-kind support: estimated c. £6,500

VOLUNTEERS
•Approx 190 volunteer days
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PROJECT SITES
Activity was focused around these three priority sites:

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PROJECT ACTIVITY

The project was set out in YWT’s application to Heritage Lottery Fund in four strands, as follows:

• Strand 1, Inform the community so that they understand the importance of the area.
o Events and volunteer task days to inspire the local community to act, get involved with all aspects of the project, and raise awareness
of the water quality issues in the local area.
o Collaboration with local primary schools to help children learn about sources of water pollution that can affect local rivers, streams,
and ponds. The Environment Agency’s ‘Yellow Fish’ campaign and tools adapted to be specific to Clifton Beck then used to help
children understand where things they put down the drain could end up, and open the door to discussing wider issues.
o New interpretation installed at all three sites to build better understanding for communities using those spaces. Ultimately hoping to
increase access and raise the profile of the beck, changing the way it is viewed and cared for and giving them a greater sense of place.

• Strand 2, Engage local people to be more active in and informed about the beck.
o Recruit and train new volunteers to give time, identify and record some of the area’s natural heritage such as monitoring water quality
and reporting on invasive species of plants along the beck.
o Recruit a local project trainee to develop conservation skills and work towards improved employability after the project.

• Strand 3, Collaborating with Land Managers to change the way land is looked after.
o Work with land managers of the three sites to create a plan for the managing the habitat on a longer-term basis.

• Strand 4, Act to Make a Difference improving habitat along the river.


o Install fencing, planting trees and vegetation along the beck side to prevent livestock access, reduce sedimentation and increase the
potential for biodiversity.
o Remove invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed so a diversity of native species can flourish, therefore
supporting improved conditions for biodiversity.
o Install bat and bird boxes to support increasing populations.

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The overarching long-term impact on natural heritage the project worked towards was to REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT by improving space for
biodiversity and moving water quality from poor to good. The four project strands (described in the previous page) aimed to achieve this as below:

PROGRAMME ACTIVITY OUTPUT OUTCOME

Series of events and task days Heritage will be better interpreted


and explained
1. INFORM THE 'Yellow Fish' school workshops 75 children, 5 schools
COMMUNITY People will have changed attitudes or
New interpretation at key sites behaviours

Volunteer days 10 water monitoring points


People will have developed skills
Training 1 traineeship
2. ENGAGE LOCAL People will have
Facilitate self led citizen science 20 trained water quality monitoring volunteered time
PEOPLE
volunteers
Establish long term group Heritage will be better identified and
8 trained invasive non-native species recorded
Host conservation traineeship management volunteers

3. LOCAL LAND Land management workshop 15 landowners / managers


MANAGER Heritage will be better managed
COLLABORATION Long term land management planning 66 acres improved

Farmland: 24 hectares improved;


1.3km riparian buffer zone developed

Improving beckside farmland, ancient Woodland: 33 hectares improved


4. ACT TO MAKE A beckside woodland and public Heritage will be in better condition
DIFFERENCE beckside parkland Parkland: 6 hectares improved

16km beckside banks improved

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EVALUATION METHODOLOGY

EVALUATION BRIEF
The brief was to evaluate the project according to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s requirements. The evaluation strategy summary includes:

Demographic / quantitative monitoring Qualitative outcomes evaluation through In-depth interviews with Process monitoring
• Volunteering questionnaires, interviews and observation of • The project trainee • Bi-monthly (average)
• Training • Workshop / training learning and skills • Members of the project updates with the Clifton
• Community events • Public and community events partner board Beck team
• School workshops • Volunteer learning, skills and social outcomes • The project officer • Ongoing administration
• The resources invested in the project • Landowner and sector / regional partner learning, • Landowners of the relevant and liaison
• Outputs achieved through project skills and social outcomes Clifton Beck sites • Data management

DATA ANALYSED
The final set of data available for analysis comprises:
• 33 volunteer surveys • 2 staff interviews: 1 project officer / 1 project • 1 volunteer blog x 13 posts on Facebook
• 21 training workshop feedback forms trainee gardening page with photos and comments
• Observation of 1 volunteer task day • 2 land manager / partner in-depth interviews • 9 news updates / 1 project page on Friends of
• 3 vox pops from volunteer events • 2 school feedback forms Judy Woods website with photos
• 40 geocaching online visitor logs
• 5 volunteer in-depth interviews
DATA LIMITATIONS
• Schools: The Trust used their established schools workshop feedback forms. Only two schools completed these, so data was limited, and not tailored
to the intended outcomes of the project. School holidays and delays to the booking of school workshops prevented the in-depth teacher interviews.
• Land Managers: It was not possible to interview the farmer for Bobby Green Farm because interviewing timeframes clashed with a very busy farming
period and he requested not to be contacted during that time.
• Volunteers: Contact details for one-off volunteers were not collected, so the team were unable to request feedback from them. 33 out 138 volunteers
(i.e. 24%) gave feedback which therefore provides an indication of the project but is not representative of all participants.
• Training: Only land manager workshops were monitored by the Trust. Water quality monitoring and invasive species sessions are only reflected
anecdotally in this evaluation.

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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Balsam Bashing: Manually pulling Himalayan Balsam plants out of the ground by the roots; breaking off the
root and leaving to rot in a dark place or stomping on larger piles of pulled plants to ensure they can’t develop.
Beech Whips: Infant beech trees which are removed so native bio-diversity nurturing plants can grow.
Brush Cutter: A large electrical strimming type tool for removing larger plants and high-volume foliage.
Coppicing: Cutting trees down to just above ground level, to help healthy new shoots grow.
Friends of Judy Woods (FOJW): A voluntary organisation caring for the land and trees in Judy Woods, in
partnership with Bradford Council.
Geo-caching: A treasure hunt using mobile phone maps / other devices with GPS satellite technology. Online
directions give information about a location where geocachers can find a register to sign, hidden in a small
weatherproof box. Finders log the find online and add feedback for others.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF): Distributors of national lottery money into projects which protect and share
heritage for the benefit of the British public.
Invasive non-native species: Animals / plants introduced to the UK from elsewhere which now live wild and
threaten the health of other species.
Leaky Dams: Dams made from natural materials (usually) which slow but do not block the flow of water, by
letting small amounts through – for instance through gaps deliberately built into piles of branches and leaves.
Revetment: Sloping structures built onto the riverbanks to protect the ground beneath from erosion during
excessively fast flowing flood water.
Riparian Buffer Zone / Buffer Zone: A specially planted strip which acts as a barrier between a river and the
adjacent land, protecting the water from livestock, chemicals, litter and other dangers to water quality,
movement, and natural biodiversity.
River fly Water Monitoring / Water Quality Monitoring: A system of consistent and regular studies of water
at specific points along the river where the number and volume of species living in the water will be
documented. From this, a score is calculated identifying the health levels of the water.
Spiling / Willow Spiling: Live willow plants are woven together to create revetments (see above). By
embedding the ends of the willow back into the ground, the plants re-root and become increasingly stable /
effective over time.
Yellow Fish: An Environment Agency scheme encouraging people to remember that any waste entering drains
may go directly to the nearest stream, river, lake, canal, beach or bathing water - causing pollution and killing
wildlife1.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT): A charity protecting and conserve Yorkshire's wild places and wildlife for all to
enjoy by looking after nature reserves, running projects, recording and defending wildlife, and carrying out
marine conservation. NEW TREES AT BOBBY GREEN FARM

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/339531/Yellow_Fish_Guidance_Manual__Education_and_Community_groups_.pdf

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ACHIEVEMENTS
PLANNED OUTPUTS
This table shows the planned outputs of the project strands, with the actual totals on the right2.

75 children, 5 schools 146 children and young people engaged to date in 5 schools + 2 youth groups.

10 water monitoring points 9 locations identified. Monitoring occurred and will continue after this project (with Calder Rivers Trust).

Succesfully recruited, trained and retained. Added 797 planned hours capacity over 11 months, plus
1 traineeship
additional voluntary hours. Now in full time employment as an Ecology Assistant.
20 trained water quality monitoring
22 trained, and now registered on a long term basis for future monitoring with Calder Rivers Trust.
volunteers
10 volunteers trained to identify invasive
13 people trained.
non-native plant species
8 volunteers trained to manage invasive
10 people trained.
non-native plant species

15 landowners / managers 34 land owners and managers attended one of two land management workshops.

In addition to 33 at Judy Woods, 24 at Bobby Green Farm and 9 at Wellholme Park; the project also
66 Hectares improved
improved 7 at Whinney Hill Park and 1 along Blackshaw Beck Lane also being improved, totaling 74 acres
Farmland: 24 hectares improved; 1.3km
24 hectares improved and 1.3 km buffer zone created.
riparian buffer zone developed
Woodland: 33 hectares improved 33 hectares improved.

Parkland: 6 hectares improved 9 hectares improved.

3.6km has been worked on directly to benefit the longer 16km. Early signs from monitoring are positive,
16km beckside banks improved
however all partners are keen to emphasise the real results will take much longer to see.

2
Final as of May 31st 2018, however the final total could be larger since some activity continued for weeks afterwards.

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Other plans were also described out throughout the original funding application and project plan. These are reported below.
AREA
STAFF TARGET DELIVERY

1 project officer recruited (3 1 project officer recruited and retained throughout the project. Early successes of the project enabled the
days / week) for 18 months trust to draw down additional funding and make the post full-time in latter stages.

3 land managers (min) in 6 - Bradford Council, Calderdale Council, Private landowners of Bobby Green Farm and two adjacent farms,
partnership and Friends of Judy Woods.
Native trees planted 2356 trees planted across three sites over 14 tree planting days.
LAND MANAGEMENT

Bat and bird boxes installed 7 bat boxes / 2 bird boxes made then installed at Judy Woods
Habitat management plans Plans are currently in development in partnership with the land owners and managers, as part of the final
created stages of the project.
Beech tree whips removed 6 beech whip clearing days held.
Including 8 volunteer task
days for Himalayan balsam 11 balsam pulling days held.
pulling
Fencing installed 790m fencing installed at Bobby Green Farm.
120 people at launch / final 25 people engaged at an informal launch day; 50 at the final celebration event. Approximately 50 also
celebration events engaged through casual conversation during volunteer task days.
50 volunteers to take part in
139 volunteers. 58 attended more than once and are now on YWT’s ongoing volunteer register.
task days
190 volunteer days invested 308 volunteer days recorded (approx. 1200 hours).
COMMUNITIES

Interpretation boards were installed, however after vandalism, the strategy was changed to longer term
engagement methods. This included 5 geo-caches across the 3 sites (volunteer managed with a 3-year
agreement in place); a standing banner used to inform passers-by of what was happening with the work;
3 interpretation boards three 10-point plans (for urban users, horse riders, and rural land managers) to prompt conversations
created (1 per site) about improving land usage; credit-card sized fold-out guides are being produced to be given out by
volunteers, invasive species surveyors, water monitors and at future events; and support for the
continuation of a QR code trail and connected website hosted by Friends of Judy Woods, extending access
to it for a further three years.
Production of promotional
100 postcards about the project printed and distributed.
materials

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ADDITIONAL UNPLANNED OUTPUTS

Other achievements added further value to the project, as described below:


Additional £25,000 funding was secured through EA Partnership grants to allow further work in the catchment, this covered the works on
Blackshaw Beck Lane as well as further work in Judy Woods and Bobby Green Farm.
Additional work at Whinney Hill. Being upstream from Wellholme Park, the benefits will filter down to the important habitats in the park.

Additional upstream highway improvements with installation of silt traps and gulleys to alleviate sedimentation, upstream from the 3 main sites.

Additional landowner engaged, and land improved on one of the farms to address high levels of sediment input at a cattle crossing point.

Additional events: bat walk, led by project officer; archaeology walk through Judy Woods led by Friends of Judy Woods.

Leaky dams installed at Judy Woods and Friends of Judy Woods trained in installation of Leaky Dams, to help control flooding.

Wildflower planting added to improvement measures at Judy Woods, for visual and pollinating benefits.

4 days of step installation at Wellholme Park to steer visitors (and dogs) towards more manageable, less damaging parts of the beck.

Willow spiling at Bobby Green Farm and Wellholme Park to reinforce riverbanks and provide habitat for native wildlife.

Revetments at Judy Woods.

Litter picking across the sites on 8 occasions.

180 hours additional volunteering by project officer to Calder Rivers Trust for Clifton Beck and surrounding areas due to this project.

New 10-point plan resource for improved land management methods created specifically for urban users, land managers and horse riders.
Over 40 site visits to 5 new geo-caches created hidden along the project locations, and a 3-year voluntary commitment from a local geo-cacher to
maintain them.
Identification of previously unconfirmed species – (Invasive) Signal Crayfish, and a native population of trout in a small contained stretch. Both at
Wellholme Park.
One volunteer has already now led a further 5 task days with other volunteers in her local community.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

This data identifies who the project attracted and who it isn’t yet reaching, so barriers to taking part can be addressed. The project aimed to engage
people around Clifton Beck. The percentages below represent just those who gave responses, not the project in full (due to limitations with data
collection).

Age Gender
35% 70%
32%
52%
24% 24% 45%
16% 16% 30%
12% 10% 10% 10%
6% 6%
0% 3%
0% 0%

19-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80+ FEMALE MALE NON-BINARY

TRAINING VOLUNTEERS TRAINING VOLUNTEERS

Do you have a physical, mental or


Ethnicity (in own words) developmental disability, condition, illness
40%
or impairment that affects daily life?
33%
30% 96%
25% 25% 86%
20%

5% 5% 5% 7% 5%
14%
4%
British Chinese English Kashmiri Mixed White White White
British other Yes No
TRAINING VOLUNTEERS TRAINING VOLUNTEERS

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Data here also shows where participants live and the wider socio-economic background of those places, to help understand how the project adds social
and economic value to the partner areas, through business growth, employment and wellbeing – themes explored further in the outcomes section.

Home Address Occupation


(by Local Authority)
Other
Bradford 25% 17% Stay at home spouse / partner
Calderdale 19% 13% Carer

Harrogate 6% Retired 25% 25%

Kirklees 25% 52% Student 29%


Volunteer 20% 18%
Leeds 6% 17%
Self-employed 30%
Sheffield 13%
Employed 25% 29%
Stockport 6%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
TRAINING VOLUNTEERS
TRAINING VOLUNTEERS

The chart to the right shows the spread of Indices of Multiple Deprivation
% of participants living in area

participants (training and volunteering) across 45%


the areas of deprivation (identified by Ministry of 40%
Housing, Communities & Local Government, 35%
2015). 30%
25%
1st-10th areas are the ten most deprived in the
20%
country. 91-100th are the ten least deprived. 15%
For example, the point circled shows that 25% of 10%
volunteers live in the 11-20th most deprived areas 5%
in the country. 0%
1st-10th 11th-20th 21st-30th 31st-40th 41st-50th 51-60th 61-70th 71-80th 81-90th 91-100th
Overall the spread is fairly even, though for
volunteers the balance is tipped slightly more Deprivation Ranking: From Most (left) to Least (right)
towards more deprived areas.
TRAINING VOLUNTEERS

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SUMMARY: DEMOGRAPHICS

1. Diversity of volunteers is strong, though participation by people with disabilities and limiting conditions is low. Much of the diversity achieved was
due to targeted partnership recruitment and support to encourage one-off volunteering, such as working with Huddersfield University students. Diversity
is generally good according to the data available of around a third of volunteers; i.e. a varied range of representation across ethnicities, ages, genders and
socio-economic backgrounds took part; most of whom are repeat volunteers. Data capturing the diversity of one-off volunteers would really help see the
full picture more clearly. The ages of volunteers are well spread, perhaps more than might be expected given that traditionally volunteering tends to
happen mostly in post-retirement ages. The balance of genders also looks strong, as does the diversity of ethnicities, with around 10% minority ethnicities
taking part – which matches the percentage of ethnic minority people living in Calderdale3 and is just slightly below Kirklees minority populations (though
exceeds the diversity of Kirklees’ more rural areas4). The project also achieved success in attracting people from a wide range of areas and economic
backgrounds.
People with limiting conditions and disabilities are less well represented. Given the ages of those volunteering, around 15-25% would be expected to
report a disability or limiting condition according to Calderdale5 and Kirklees6 populations. Some volunteer comments emphasise the physical challenges
of volunteering on this project which will be likely to limit the numbers of those who think they can take part.

2. Success in attracting a diversity of training participants is mixed. Data is very limited, covering only two workshops, with much more data from one
than the other. A tactical change to reach a new audience in the second workshop was very successful.
The first land owners workshop had low attendance and even lower evaluation survey returns. The second was more successful all round. This means
though, that data is skewed and represents workshop two more accurately. None the less some patterns are clearly visible – notably an older age group -
ages 50+; almost entirely white and British; and with more self-employed people taking part than any other area of occupation. Success was achieved in
attracting a gender balance. Workshop two attracted mainly women, because the content and promotion were targeted towards the equestrian
community (typically 60-85% female, depending on the data source). Workshop two was also the only documented area of participation where people
travelled from outside of West Yorkshire to take part.

VOLUNTEERS WITH OFFICER AND TRAINEE


3
https://calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/health-and-social-care/joint-strategic-needs-assessment/calderdale-demographic-information#expandable-7
4
https://observatory.kirklees.gov.uk/jsna/population
5
https://calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/health-and-social-care/joint-strategic-needs-assessment/calderdale-demographic-information#expandable-11
6
https://observatory.kirklees.gov.uk/jsna/population

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COMMUNITY OUTCOMES

Series of events and task days Heritage will be better interpreted and explained
INFORM THE 75 children, 5 schools
COMMUNITY
New interpretation at key sites
People will have changed attitudes or behaviours

SCHOOLS
Although feedback from schools is limited, it does show that using the locally “They kept asking question afterwards”
adapted version Yellow Fish resource with schools has helped achieve the two “They understood why our rivers are important to the local area, how
main outcomes above of natural heritage being better explained; and people they can look after their river and why this is needed. They also learnt
changing attitudes or behaviours, according to teachers who said: about the water cycle and how this impacts upon rivers.”

COMMUNITY
Much of the evidence about community responses comes anecdotally from staff and volunteers (who are also part of the community of course).

1. Volunteers have explained the project to local passers-by


Several volunteers reported that as they worked on site, regular walkers and users of Judy Woods and Wellholme Park joined in frequent chats with the
team who gave updates on the work that is happening and why. An estimated 50 passers-by have become regularly / repeatedly known to the team, so
the local walking (especially dog walking) community has become more informed.

2. Local residents learned about the project to the extent they had a strong emotional response and took action in negative times
An upsetting incident deflated the team part way through, but also demonstrated the strength of feeling about the project from the local community.
Volunteer Paul, who posted regular Facebook updates about the project described it to his followers:

“A good part of the day has been spent rectifying the damage that was caused in Wellholme Park and Whinney Hill. The tree planting that took place at these
locations last Wednesday was badly vandalised, particularly the Whinney Hill site and this morning it was a case of re-planting those trees that had been pulled out,
re-staking where necessary and bagging up the broken tree guards. Given the outcry on social media sites I hope that it doesn’t occur again, and I will of course be
checking both sites on a regular basis. Can I say thank you to the users of Wellholme Park who helped to re-plant and tidy up, I know some of the Park Run fraternity
did their bit yesterday, as did one or two dog walkers today. Thanks also to grand-son, Tommy, who was as proud as punch at being able to help, he can’t wait to
tell his teacher tomorrow.”

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Further awareness was spread as Paul’s post to his 238 subscribers attracted 35 likes, 12 comments and 5 shares so would have been seen by a much
wider audience. Additionally, calls came from the public to inform YWT when newly planted trees were uprooted as an act of vandalism, showing that a)
they knew enough about the work to know who to call and b) the work has become meaningful enough in their lives that they feel motivated to pro-
actively support it.

3. Local People Have Helped and Will Continue to Help Interpret the Work. Other Locals Are Already Understanding More and Changing Perceptions.
Trialed interpretation boards and unexpected changes to plans led to some of the most successful information and changes in attitude with local
communities. Some new interpretation plans were developed in response to the vandalism of newly installed interpretation boards. One such measure
was to develop a geo-caching trail encouraging digital engagement long after the project ends. Geo-caching is new to the YWT team, and their capacity is
limited, so they worked with a well-established local geo-cacher to create the caches and accompanying information about the beck. The local woman
has agreed to maintain the caches and online log over the next three years. (The geocaching community tend to self-manage on a long-term basis, so the
results should continue indefinitely). These are already proving effective. The two caches7 already up and running in Wellholme Park have attracted
almost 40 visits in less than three weeks. Comments from finders show fast results including new knowledge of the area and the natural heritage,
engagement with new and hyper-local audiences, and regular maintenance already being reported and acted on.

“A nice quick find. We have never heard of Willow Spiling before so were very interested to have a look for it. It was much shorter than we expected but obviously
effective. Fascinating what you learn whilst geocaching.”
“Saw these new offerings pop up and being only a mile from home decided once tea was sorted & dog walked to pop down and have a go.”
“Think I had the right tree and tried a couple of nearby ones just in case. was interested to see the willow spilling, as they do a similar thing along parts of canals only
with plastic mesh woven in between posts instead of willow.”
“I am out for the day with ‘Firefox.3’ who is on a maintenance visit to her caches in the area. Maintenance has been carried out.”
“I noticed this cache get published very close to work. Patrick paddled in the stream while me and Naomi watched the brown trout swimming around, there were at
least 6 reasonable sized ones. Patrick found the cache after a brief search. Log signed, and cache replaced as found”
“Thanks for the fascinating info on this one, something I knew nothing about.”
“Surprisingly my wife didn't know this area behind the park existed, so this was all new to her.”
“As it was not school half term it was very quiet here as opposed to our last visit. Robert volunteered to go paddling so who was I to say no. Cache took a minute or
two to find but was spotted and log signed and replaced where found. We too spotted a trout on this visit.”
“We were delighted to spot brown trout in the stream at this location, a first for me at least. Full points for fun factor, location and fact we actually saw the trout.”
“Saw several good-sized trout swimming, which surprised me. A nice placement, just lying there for a cacher's eye to find. Thank you very glad!”

7
See https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC7Q7KN_willow-spiling-in-wellholme and https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC7Q7JX_brighouse-brown-trout

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Volunteers also benefitted from the experience of the natural heritage being better explained and were more informed as a result. When asked to give
scores out of 10 for how much heritage learning they had gained, the results were as follows8.
• 64% gave a score of 7 or above out of 10 for gaining new knowledge about natural heritage (i.e. links with the past shown through nature and
the environment).
• 44% scored 7 or above for new knowledge about social or industrial heritage (e.g. buildings, people and manufacturing from the past).
• 39% scored 7 or above for agricultural heritage (such as farming, crops or landscape design of the past).
This also shows though, many did not register the fact that the environmental and conservation work they were taking part in was part of the area’s
heritage. A dilemma of the project is that the impact on the natural heritage environment has been obvious; however, participant and public’s awareness
of the work being of heritage importance (not just environmental importance) is low. Whether awareness is important, or whether impact is enough, is
for partners and funders to decide.

SUMMARY: COMMUNITY OUTCOMES

1. Early signs are positive that the project has led to heritage being better interpreted and explained, and people changing behaviours and attitudes,
though more time and evidence are needed.

2. Where there were challenges, notably vandalism to trees and interpretation boards, project staff and volunteers acted resiliently and creatively to
ensure outcomes could still be met.

3. Anecdotally the school workshops appear to have been effective though feedback from pupils directly would help verify this.

4. The biggest surprise is the success of innovative interpretation brought about in response to vandalism, in the form of geo-caching.
Changes in interpretation and its impact, because of the vandalism, led to an innovative new solution in the form of geo-caching. The fast results this
generated in terms of number of visits, new audiences, depth of engagement, learning and changes in attitude have been dramatic, and a big surprise to
the YWT team who have not worked with geocaching before.

5. Community generated and shared interpretation has been especially effective.


Evidence of outcomes from having informed the community tend to be mostly found in community documentation (e.g. Facebook, geocaching), based on
information shared by the community, especially volunteers (though with expert input). This shows an excellent model of engagement and ensures long
term ownership beyond that which YWT have capacity to maintain. Other styles of temporary and pop-up interpretation which focus on two-way
engagement rather than static information are also being developed to help build relationships not just knowledge. The variety of methods will help
ensure resources and opportunities are accessible for a variety of audiences.

8
See Appendix Table 8 for full details

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VOLUNTEER & TRAINEE OUTCOMES

Volunteer days 10 water monitoring points


People will have developed skills
Training 1 traineeship
ENGAGE LOCAL People will have
Facilitate self led citizen science 20 trained water quality monitoring volunteered time
PEOPLE
volunteers
Establish long term group Heritage will be better identified and
8 trained invasive non-native species recorded
Host conservation traineeship management volunteers

PEOPLE WILL HAVE VOLUNTEERED TIME


• 139 volunteers gave over 1200 hours to the project.
• 19% had never volunteered before9.
• 34% had never volunteered with natural heritage, conservation or
environmental activity before.
• 58% volunteered more than once.
• Almost 10% volunteered more than 15 times.
• The project trainee volunteered over 800 hours (additional to the 1200
above), including some hours outside of his formal role.
• The project officer was inspired to volunteer with a partner company, adding
180 hours to their capacity.
• Many volunteers attended in a one-off or ‘micro-volunteering’ capacity.
Defined by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Institute for
Volunteer Research and NESTA in 2013 as “Micro-volunteering is bite-size
volunteering with no commitment to repeat and with minimum formality,
involving short and specific actions that are quick to start and complete”
https://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/kristen-
stephenson/ncvo_guidance_giving_a_little_time_micro-volunteering.pdf

VOLUNTEERS TREE PLANTING AT BOBBY GREEN FARM

9
The sample surveyed was skewed towards repeat volunteers because the team were keen not to overwhelm visitor at their first event so only captured registration details of people on
their second visit. 70% of survey responses are from repeat volunteers. 30% are from micro-volunteers.

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PEOPLE WILL HAVE DEVELOPED SKILLS

1. Skills were successfully gained across all the areas monitored.


When asked to give a score out of 10 for how much they had gained different types of skills the results were as follows:
Average Score

7.96

7.10
6.58 6.59
6.08

New practical skills for managing / New practical skills for managing / New practical skills for managing / New practical skills for managing / New or increased skills you will
conserving natural land conserving woodland conserving water quality conserving river banks apply to other sites

2. Around 40% of volunteers attended the formal training workshops


Volunteers were invited to attend a range of training, such as removal of invasive species; water quality monitoring; identification of invasive species; and
leading volunteer balsam bashing task days.
• The water quality monitoring training was the best attended, attracting 20% of volunteers.
• Around 7% attended sessions learning how to identify invasive species, and how to manage invasive species.
• A small number (c3%) also attended the land management workshops (detailed later in the report).

“Three of us went for training in River Fly Monitoring and can now tell our
olives from our caddis and our mayfly from our stone flies.”

“The course was about learning how to survey river banks for invasive non-
native species that are severely damaging our natural eco systems. Plants like
Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are causing major
problems, particularly on our river systems, so we will be heavily involved in the
fight to eradicate these plants. Large areas of Yorkshire have still not been
surveyed but hopefully we can soon get out there and make a start. The course
was fantastic, highly informative and certainly eye opening.”

RIVERFLY MONITORING TRAINING

www.sallyfort.com 19
3. Skills, knowledge and understanding were well developed informally during task days
Over 20 different types of hands-on tasks were undertaken by volunteers10. The top five activities volunteers most contributed to were:
1. Balsam Pulling – 63% of volunteers
2. Tree planting – 59%
3. Woodland management – 48%
4. Leaky dams – 41%
5. Beech Whip Clearing / Litter Picking – both 37% each “They guided us so clearly and carefully.”
“They provided the equipment and gave us clear guidance.”
Almost 60% of volunteers didn’t attend any formal training. However, volunteers “They gave easy to follow instructions and friendly guidance.”
consistently reported on the care and attention given on task days to ensure they “They provided clear information.”
knew what to do, how to do it and importantly, why it was being done. So, they not “They explained tasks – both the reason, and how to carry them
only learned skills, but also developed the knowledge and understanding behind out.”
the skills. Volunteers highlighted this when asked what YWT had done especially “They were very good at letting volunteers do / learn new tasks
well… and trusting us to do it.”
“They explained the benefit of the tasks I underwent.”

HERITAGE WILL BE BETTER IDENTIFIED AND RECORDED


Volunteers and the trainee worked across all the project sites, with Judy Woods
being reported on by volunteers as the most attended site (though bearing in
mind mostly repeat volunteers provided data, and that many were also Friends
of Judy Woods, this perhaps isn’t surprising).
86% volunteered at Judy Woods
• 45% at Wellholme Park
• 34% at Bobby Green Farm
• 27% at the other extended sites of the project
Heritage is already being better identified and recorded, with full details given in
the Environmental Outcomes section on page 30.

TROUT POPULATION CONFIRMED AT WELLHOLME PARK

10
See Appendix Table 3

www.sallyfort.com 20
ADDITIONAL OUTCOMES
1. Everyone achieved what they wanted to get out of the volunteering experience from a personal perspective.
As well as the differences made to the environment and
people’s skillset, there were several other reasons people
wanted to take part, and several other benefits achieved by
doing so. Their motivations for taking part are summarised in
the word cloud shown (the larger the word, the more
frequently it appeared in volunteer comments)11. These
ranged from wanting to help and protect the environment, as
might be expected, to getting outdoors, spending time
meaningfully, gaining work experience, meeting new people,
getting out of the house, keeping fit, getting to know the area
and gaining volunteering hours and experience to help work
towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.
• 48% completely achieved their own personal aims
• 45% mostly achieved these
2. Social outcomes like increased employability, community,
health and wellbeing showed the strongest increases of all.
Borrowing from experiences of other volunteering projects, some other possible benefits were enquired about as part of the evaluation. Interestingly
these outcomes occurred more strongly than any other area of development such as learning about heritage and learning new skills.
• 93% of volunteers scored 7 or more out of 10 for how much they gained in increased time outdoors
• 93% scored 7 or more for increased physical activity
• 76% scored 7 or more for increased social activity
• 76%scored 7 or more for increased confidence in applying for jobs or for career progression
• 63% scored 7 or more for increased feeling of belonging to the area
This shows the importance of getting to understand volunteer’s personal aims and the strength of benefit that a tailored set of opportunities can enable.
This way of working was a factor volunteers drew attention to in their responses12.

11
See Appendix 10 for full details
12
See Finding out about Volunteer Interests / Motivations and working with them towards achieving goals on page 34

www.sallyfort.com 21
VOLUNTEER CASE STUDIES

“I was staggered how much life there is. I’m generally aware of what can survive in the water, but it really took me aback!”
Paul is a semi-retired professional gardener with a lifelong passion for woodlands and becks. He wanted to give back to the local area. Partner Angela
likes to volunteer on the project with him when possible, as an antidote to a high-pressured job. Paul is a strong believer in organic land management so
has enjoyed learning about leaky dams. He has attended the invasive non-native species monitoring training and is looking forward to training as a task
day group leader for other volunteers. The personal impact on Paul is an important one, making him feel more connected to the area and the
community. Angela’s father was a civil engineer responsible for building a bridge over the beck within the park. She spent a lot of time in the park as a
child, so the project has a special resonance for the couple. The pride in taking care of the locality now passes down to Paul’s grandson, who joins him to
see what’s new in the project. Paul’s commitment to the work was highlighted by the project officer when a batch of newly planted trees were pulled up
by vandals. Paul spent two extra days, unprompted, clearing the mess and replanting as many of the trees as possible. The spirit of his care and
commitment for the area is now being spread via his grandson who proudly tells his friends in school that Grandad is planting the trees in the park.

“I know a lot more about conservation and feel more involved. I’ve met some new friends and kept active. It’s been good physically and mentally.”
Melanie is retired and found the project by searching online for conservation volunteering opportunities. She wanted to volunteer to keep fit, feel useful
and help care for wildlife. During the project Melanie joined in with step-building, willow spiling, leaky dam work, fence installation, and tree planting;
across all the three main project sites. Living close to Wellholme Park she has a personal interest in the results in her local area. Although she finds the
physical aspects of the work a challenge due to her own limitations on strength, she says the project officer always helped make sure the arrangements
were accessible. Despite her limitations, Melanie felt huge satisfaction working hands-on on a big scale; tree planting and step-construction have been
particularly satisfying for her. Feeling valued and being part of a team were also important highlights. This has been her first post-retirement volunteering
experience which has inspired her to do more. She’s now trained to lead other task groups, is looking forward to river fly training so she can carry out
ongoing water quality monitoring in the area, and now volunteers on other YWT projects, and with the RSPB.

“It’s been enjoyable, practical, you can see instant results, it’s a good challenge and you’re learning new skills and techniques. I’ve met so many interesting
and like-minded people, had good conversations, and I’m getting lots of ideas.”
Birgitte was a strategic environmental professional in the past. Looking for ways to change her work life, she hopes to move into employment at a more
hands-on outdoor level. She tackled a range of task day activities including litter picking; tree planting; step-building; non-native tree removal; willow
coppicing; leaky dam installation; making and installation of bat boxes; and helping develop the buffer zone between river and agricultural land at Bobby
Green Farm. The project has also been important to her in terms of meeting new people and getting out in the open air. Most of all volunteering on this
project has consolidated her ambitions by seeing first-hand the immediate impact individuals can make on conservation of natural heritage and the
environment; giving the practice to what she knew in theory; and seeing the types of roles that might be available to her going forward. She is now
actively applying for jobs in the field, with YWT references supporting her, and has been invited for several interviews. Meanwhile, her work is having
wider impact as she applies and shares the learning as part of a community group taking responsibility for the care of a wildlife garden (in an asset
transfer arrangement from the local authority). A core priority for her involvement there is to help increase biodiversity and remove invasive non-native
species.

www.sallyfort.com 22
Jeff was made redundant two years ago. Having begun volunteering at his local nature reserve, he rediscovered a love of the outdoors and decided to
build a new career. He says volunteering on this project helped him make sure he was in the right place at the right time to hear of any other
opportunities, allowed him to gain training and certification for formal pesticides training, build up a body of experience and show commitment. He
joined in with balsam bashing, tree planting, tree felling talking to people about the project during the launch event, and leading other volunteer task
days including take care of health and safety. Having unsuccessfully applied for the traineeship on this project, the contacts, skills and experience he
gained volunteering with the project changed the outcome when he applied again a few months later. He is now volunteering three days a week as a
trainee with one of the trust’s nature reserves.

TRAINEE CASE STUDY

Joe, a local man with a background in geology, hoped to forge a career in conservation and successfully applied for the project trainee role. His work grew
slowly as the project officer discovered his strengths, ambitions and the gaps in his experience. An early responsibility was leading the schools
programme, having previously worked in a voluntary capacity with schools. Finding it difficult to reach teachers at first, a colleague advised him and
having clarified aspects of the offer (such as curriculum links and free workshop), bookings for the following term started to take shape.
At times Joe experienced steep learning curves, needing more initiative and autonomy than he was ready for, as colleagues moved round temporarily to
cover the work of other team members. When staff moved back to their planned posts, momentum picked up and Joe understood better how he could
be pro-active. Working hands-on in the outdoors, Joe felt at his most natural and productive. With this, and more time in the role, his confidence grew,
he became more independent in his work and felt he was trusted to do well without constant supervision or instruction. The faith placed in him by
colleagues boosted his confidence significantly and he began leading volunteer task days. Colleagues recognised his growing confidence and ability and
worked with him to identify a project he could take sole responsibility for. He managed the internal arrangements of one of the spaces on the farm
where the team are based, which developed his experience in consultation, planning, logistics, budget management and sourcing materials. The project
was completed within two months and has helped the team work more effectively across their many different projects thanks to a more efficient system.
Highlights of the traineeship for Joe include turning around the challenges of getting the school programme up and running successfully; recognition from
colleagues and external experts for the efficiency created in his independent project management work; being able to other volunteer / task groups;
gaining the confidence to make phone calls to people he hasn’t met or spoken to before; gaining qualifications through training in brush cutting and the
use of pesticides; and the support of his line manager in helping him become more work-ready when the apprenticeship ended.
Towards the end of the traineeship Joe and his line manager looked at example job adverts for the kind of employment he hoped to secure. They
identified skills missing from his repertoire and arranged training and experience to address this, such as brush cutter13 training and bat surveying. Within
8 weeks of completing his traineeship, Joe secured a full-time position with an ecology training company. He feels the practical experience out ‘in the
field’ and leadership of group work helped him stand out over other candidates; whilst the hours he had already built up surveying bats enabled the
company to quickly top this up to gain a full license. Now Joe can lead groups to carry out more surveys, his employers can take on more of this kind of
work, so the knock-on environmental and economic impact spreads further still.

13
See

Glossary of Terms on page 8

www.sallyfort.com 23
SUMMARY: TRAINEE & VOLUNTEER OUTCOMES

1. The project attracted 139 volunteers who gave over 1200 hours.

2. The project generated new interest in volunteering. Around a fifth of volunteers had never volunteered before; and a third were new to
environmental volunteering.

3. Commitment levels were good, with over half repeat volunteering, and around 10% volunteering more than 15 times.

4. Volunteers developed a range of conservation skills, with managing and conserving natural land being the strongest. Balsam bashing and tree
planting were the most prolifically attended task days with around 60% of volunteers having developed these skills.

5. Around 20% of volunteers attended training workshops.

6. Skills development was very well enabled informally on task days, and this was highlighted as one of the things YWT do best.

7. Nature was not the only reason people wanted to volunteer. They were also looking for – and gained – greater employability, more physical
activity, more social activity, and a greater sense of connectivity to people, community and place.
These outcomes were the strongest of all developments on an individual level. The efforts made to tailor their personal volunteering experiences were
recognised and contribute greatly to this success.

8. Through the traineeship, Joe developed many new skills, from improved communication, to project management and administration experience.
He now has a full-time job thanks to the project.
His natural heritage skills have developed such as bat surveying, leading group conservation work, brush cutting, and tackling invasive non-native
specifies with pesticides. In his traineeship he has provided 797 voluntary trainee hours and given a further 12 hours of his own time. Because of his
involvement, bat populations are better identified and recorded, and this will continue to grow through the new permanent full-time employment he
secured thanks to this project. In time Joe would like to focus on conservation work, continuing the impact of this traineeship.

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LOCAL LAND MANAGER OUTCOMES

LOCAL LAND Land management workshop 15 landowners / managers


MANAGER Heritage will be better managed
COLLABORATION Long term land management planning 66 acres improved

1. LAND MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS


Land management training aimed to ensure heritage will be better managed. Charts below summarise the quality and impact of this training; one
workshop for land managers from farms, local authorities and environment agencies; one for horse riders and owners.

Quality of Training
Average score out of 10

10
9.5
9
8.5
8
7.5
7
Venue Engaging session Relevance to you Importance to local Importance to local Information, booking Pitched at correct Making new contacts
area (land) community (people) and confirmation level / friends

Overall Land Managers Rivers & Horses

% Increase in learning
150%
155%
138%
100% 118%
107% 103%
88% 85% 93%
73% 81%
50% 63%
60% 59% 55%
23% 13% 14% 7% 14% 10% 23%
0%
Knowledge of water Practical skills to Confidence in being Commitment to Knowing where you Knowledge about the General undertsanding
quality assess water quality able to "do the right carrying out this can do more of this heritage of this area in of how to help look
issues thing" activity in the future activity or where to general after land and water in
find out more this kind of
Land management workshop Rivers & Horses Overall environment

www.sallyfort.com 25
“Highly informative, really improved my knowledge of water quality, invasive species, natural heritage and the environment.”
Workshop Two Participant

Workshop One: The first general land management workshop was targeted towards local farmers and professionals at agencies, local authorities and
other interested organisations. Attendees felt relatively knowledgeable and confident about workshop themes at the start, and though all did increase a
little in most of the outcomes asked about, the increase was small, with between 7% and 23% increases in learning. The strongest learning was in general
understanding of how to look after the land, and knowledge of water quality. The lowest scoring outcome was in commitment to carrying out this activity
in future though low confidence scores suggest apprehension or skepticism could be issues too. When asked about how people would use or apply the
training in the future, there were no responses.

Workshop Two: The second workshop took a very different approach having learned from the experiences of the first. A new target market was
identified, one which the trust had not worked with in this way before; and the content was specifically adapted to suit. The workshop appealed to horse
riders and owners. It outlined ways they could reduce environmental impact and look after the land and water through their riding style. A prestigious
horse woman co-led the session with environmental experts, helping translate the environmental speak into terms the riders and horse industry
professionals could make more sense of. The impact of this sessions was much stronger. This type of knowledge is not common in the horse-riding sector,
in part because horse land users do not receive the same kinds of government subsidies with the associated conditions and requirements as keepers of
other livestock do, so the knowledge and practice aren’t part of their industry in the same way. As a result, attendees came from a much lower starting
position in terms of relevant knowledge and made much larger gains in understanding by the end.
Their learning increased by between 55% and 159%. All outcomes showed higher learning than any of the attendees of workshop one achieved; and the
strongest learning was knowledge of where to do more or find out more about the subject; and knowledge about the heritage of the area in general. As
with workshop one, confidence in being able to do the right thing did show some progress, but at a lower level than other outcomes.
Commitment from workshop two was strong with average scores increasing from 4.35 to 8.06. This was further evidenced in comments participants gave
when asked how they would apply this training:

“Daily when spending time with my horses.”


“On my own land - drainage and muck heap.”
“Whenever I am volunteering on a waterbody or farmland.”
“Day to day surveys, particularly when engaging with horse owners.”
“To my local yard & I'll pass this knowledge on to my friends.”
“Talks to riding clubs, bridleways and fishing clubs.”

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2. LONG TERM MANAGEMENT PLANNING
The information below was given by staff across the partnership during in-depth interviews. In addition to the results below, YWT are currently working
with all the land management partners to create or update long term management plans to continue the new areas of work and embed activity alongside
other priorities.
YWT
The team at YWT have made new contacts in local authority environment and planning teams, helping strengthen local relationships and continue
contributing to the local environment and infrastructure. The Clifton Beck project has acted as a pilot project for them, exploring the effectiveness of this
way of working, with a view to developing more work of this sort across the borough. As well as generating additional funds to extend the work during
this project, the team hope to build more ambitious funding application plans with local councils to extend and expand the work.
BRADFORD COUNCIL

“Having real dams on site will have more impact and help people understand better than they could just in a meeting or presentation. It’s more real and appeals
to the different ways people have of learning. So, it will be really useful to be able to have that example to share across the council and wider initiatives.”
Andrew Cutts, Assistant Tree & Woodland Planning, Bradford Council

Bradford council has some new staff in place who now have relationships with YWT and have connected YWT with colleagues in other departments, so
the impact of the relationship has started to spread. One example is the additional work arranged with the highways team looking at roadside silt in the
upper reaches of the beck around Blackshaw Lane. YWT was able to lever match funding from an external source to double the council’s own investment.
The project has also raised awareness among council staff about the range of activities that can be effective. The evidence of the water quality
monitoring is useful and being able to take colleagues to site visits seeing leaky dams first hand at Judy Woods will help make advocacy, fundraising and
activity more compelling than explanations on paper and in meetings can achieve.
CALDERDALE COUNCIL
The professionalism and reliability of the project officer helped elevate the trust the council have in YWT. They look forward to continuing this deeper
partnership working. Council staff commented on the value brought to the area with a ‘just in time’ intervention at Wellholme Park. The bankside erosion
support work came immediately after the installation of a new footpath in the park. Addressing routes down to the water came just in time to respond to
higher footfall through the area, doubling the impact of the work compared to what would have otherwise been the case. Likewise tackling the spread of
Himalayan Balsam was carried out much quicker and earlier than the council would have been able to schedule for themselves (by which time the
problem would be much more widespread). Council partners feel an increased motivation to continuing activity of this kind now the results and
momentum are established. They have a keen interest in working on a larger funding bid and partnership going forward. On a practical level colleagues at
Calderdale Council gained new knowledge about techniques such as the installation of fascines to help structure the flow and crossing of the beck.

www.sallyfort.com 27
CALDER RIVERS TRUST
Calder Rivers Trust were the main partner for Riverfly Monitoring. Now that YWT has recruited and trained a new pool of 22 new volunteers able to carry
out this work, the Calder Rivers Trust will co-ordinate these as part of their wider volunteer support to carry out ongoing water monitoring as part of the
borough wide River Health Project14. Through the partnership, the project officer discovered the work Calder Rivers Trust do and became a volunteer
herself, and a trustee on their board of directors; adding approximately 180 hours extra capacity to the organisation during this period.
BOBBY GREEN FARM
The farmer at Bobby Green Farm has been unable to give an interview because of the busyness of the farming season during the data collection period,
so information is only available anecdotally / indirectly via project staff and volunteers. However, he did recommend the adjoining farm also get involved
with the project which demonstrates his satisfaction with the partnership and its results, as well as spreading the impact of the project on how well
natural heritage will be managed in that area of the beck beyond the end of the work. As detailed earlier, 24 hectares of farmland have been improved,
including a 1.3km riparian buffer zone protecting the beck’s banks and water. In addition, new fencing has been installed, beech whip trees removed and
replaced with native species, and willow spiling has been put in place along the banks of the beck.
FRIENDS OF JUDY WOODS
“Seonaidh [project officer] brought care of the waterside to us. We focus more on the land and woods ourselves. We didn’t know about leaky dams, that’s been
positive, and revetments, we’ll be doing more of that.”
Ian, Friends of Judy Woods Task Group
“The project has made me more aware of the complete picture of the beck, which I mainly thought of as the Judy Woods beck. The work done at Bobby Green
and Wellholme Park has put into perspective for me.” Volunteer
Friends of Judy Woods occupy places in the project both as volunteers and a partner. Originally contacted as part of volunteer recruitment, the group
became integral to the project’s success, not just in carrying out activity on task days, but as a partner with Bradford Council in the care of the Judy
Woods site. They commit to being on site, actively managing the woods weekly. The Friends say the learning about water conservation methods like
leaky dams and revetments are new to them and they are keen to do more in the future, having previously focused on the land and trees. The project
officer has been keen to offset any negative impact (to bees in particular) of the balsam removal by planting other more sympathetic and native flowers
in their place. As a result, another project the Friends are working on has also benefitted, by having a formerly unsuccessful wildflower garden at their
archaeological site newly rejuvenated. Now the flowers are more successfully and abundantly established, maintaining their presence and impact should
be easier for the Friends to manage. As volunteers, the skills Friends developed during task days and training will continue to influence the management
of the beck through the woods into the future. As with the flowers, whilst the Friends did carry out some beech whip pulling previously, they clarified
that replacement of trees wasn’t something that had happened before. The project raised their awareness of the potential for replacing pulled trees with
native species like birch and hawthorn.

14
http://www.calderandcolneriverstrust.org/web/projects/riverhealthproject/

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SUMMARY: LAND MANAGER OUTCOMES

1. Quality of land management training was high. A new niche audience of horse riders / owners was successfully engaged with especially high impact
results. More traditional land managers have been harder to get on board.
All aspects of the training were thought to be of high quality. All agreed the workshop information and venue were particularly strong, and the sessions
were very engaging. New knowledge and understanding was achieved across the board. The impacts were much stronger on horse owners than land
managers. Because commitment and confidence were lower than other outcomes for land managers, the potential to achieve change is far less certain.
Perhaps because there is a culture to be shifted amongst this audience, whereas the topic is completely new for the horse owners who therefore do not
have to unlearn other ways to be able to absorb new thinking.

2. Land will be better managed thanks to new and deeper relationships, immediate results, additional capacity, and structured future development.
All land managers found the project to be beneficial and a positive experience. It was noticed that the project delivered, on time, and triggered additional
resources and investment. Added value, the potential for easier advocacy due to effective examples in situ, and early evidence of impact have all led the
partners to explore more ambitious fundraising and implementation for the future, hoping to expand similar work across other areas of the region.

THE DOMINANCE OF MATURE BEECH TREES AND LACK OF GREEN GROUND COVER,
JUDY WOODS
www.sallyfort.com 29
ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES

Farmland: 24 hectares improved; 1.3km


riparian buffer zone developed

ACT TO MAKE A Improving beckside farmland, ancient Woodland: 33 hectares improved


DIFFERENCE beckside woodland and public Heritage will be in better condition
beckside parkland
Parkland: 6 hectares improved

16km beckside banks improved


LEGACY

“We enjoyed donning our waders and braving the cold waters of the Clifton Beck at Bailiff Bridge. Once we get “our” patch of beck to test once each month we’ll
be reporting on the health of the water via a count of each species on our recording sheets. Thanks to the Clifton Beck Project for making this possible.”
Friends of Judy Woods

Clifton Beck’s water from source to River Calder has an overall classification of ‘moderate’ according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2016). It is
failing because it does not get the correct support of plant, micro-organism and chemical levels needed15. Much of this project has been aiming to reduce
sediment input into the water which, will help improve the chemical levels in the beck, getting the waterbody closer to a ‘good’ classification. The
legacies listed below help move the beck closer to the ‘good’ classification YWT and their partners hope to reach in due course.

All partners and many volunteers have been keen to emphasise the importance of understanding that work of this kind can take many years to really
come to fruition, and it will never be completed. For example, the Judy Woods Management plan covers a 35-year period. Similarly, the buffer strips
installed at Bobby Green Farm will take time to re-grow tussock grasses and for the trees to establish large roots. While there is already a visible
difference on site, the underground changes in the soils that increase infiltration will still be in the early stages. All partners want to identify funding to
continue and extend the work this project has started. Volunteers do what they can to continue its legacy but make the accurate and important comment
that much of the work is group activity which relies on someone co-ordinating all the individuals and driving the direction and momentum forward. That
said, there are some immediate signs of longer term legacy which suggest the natural heritage is, and will increasingly be, in better condition because of
this work.

15
Macrophytes, phytobenthos and phosphate.

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Potential legacies identified so far include:
• Improved water quality in the beck, particularly near Wellholme Park where the volume and number of species have doubled since 2016.
• New species / populations confirmed at Wellholme Park which need support to continue thriving. The Trout Advisory Trust has assessed the site and
given advice on how to help manage the stretch where a trout population lives more effectively. Signal Crayfish, previously unconfirmed in this
location have also been identified. As a non-native invasive threat to other species, these also need further work.
• YWT’s map of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) on Clifton Beck has begun being updated with new documentation of Himalayan Balsam and
Japanese Knotweed. This allows a clearer picture of the distribution of INNS within the catchment and helps target where infections need treating. A
previously unknown patch of Japanese Knotweed has already been identified. The surveying will also identify where to continue with balsam bashing
on an annual basis to reduce its presence, spread, and negative impact on other wildlife.
• At Bobby Green Farm, the new buffer zone strip means more vegetation will grow between farm land and beck which will reduce sedimentation and
chemical levels in the water, in turn improving its quality and the biodiversity benefitting from it.
• The interest in and success of the project attracted wider interest, so the work was able to cover a wider area than originally planned. The farm
adjoining Bobby Green Farm also got involved, leading to additional hectarage benefitting.
• At Judy Woods the removal of non-native species, especially Himalayan Balsam, and replacing them with ancient native species and alternative
pollinating flowers will enable more native species to thrive, improving the biodiversity of the area.
• Testing out the inclusion of leaky dams in a focused area of Judy Woods provided vital awareness and understanding of how it can be achieved and
work in practice. As a result, YWT hope to build on this work locally and include more leaky dam activity in other initiatives including the Brighouse
Flood Alleviation Scheme, working in the Whinney Hill Park area, upstream from Wellholme Park. Being upstream, all improvements will lead to
benefits further down the beck. So, the work will have wider and longer-term impact.
• The project officer brought community engagement and volunteering expertise, and strong people skills, not specialist knowledge of the
conservation needed for the area nor of working with rivers. She learned a huge amount about looking after the area which has impacted more
widely including additional volunteering and now governance with Calder Rivers Trust. Further bids are in the pipeline and it is hoped these will
enable the officer to continue working in the area.
• Seeing the energy and impact of the work along a strategic, concentrated route has created a momentum which partners are keen to keep going
along other sections of Clifton Beck and as part of other work across the region.
• The project has identified further need, leading to Environment Agency investment of £25,000 for work around other parts of Clifton Beck. Other
funding bids on more ambitious scales are now being created, using this as a pilot project to identify the need for, and evidence potential results of
more work of this kind. For example, it has identified potential further work which would help mitigate the impact of flooding, prevalent throughout
this catchment area. Working with Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency, YWT aims to develop more interventions along the beck to
further increase its biodiversity

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SUMMARY: ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES

1. Much work is still to be done. Partners and volunteers are all keen to
keep going, if resources can be found.

2. Legacies will take many years to really come to fruition but many signs
of the natural heritage already being in better condition already exist.

3. Water quality at one monitoring point has significantly improved.

4. New species/ populations have been confirmed in the beck; both


positive and negative, meaning the water quality is good but still at risk
from invasive species.

5. New areas of invasive plant species have been identified and will be
part of plans to tackle this issue.

6. The beck is better protected against sediment input from livestock use
through the water and shielded from threats from surrounding farmlands.

7. Woodlands are better able to nurture biodiversity by replacing invasive


species with sympathetic native alternatives.

8. Leaky dams have already been seen slowing the water course, helping
stabilize banks and reduce sedimentation entering the water.

9. Added value means a wider hectarage has been improved, particularly


upstream where the benefits will flow down through all the main sites.

BEFORE AND AFTER WILLOW SPILING AT BOBBY GREEN FARM

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LESSONS LEARNED
WHAT WORKED WELL?

“She’s great at getting people involved. She makes you feel valued, she always gets back to you quickly to answer questions, she always says thank you. She
genuinely values you.” Volunteer
“Groups like this can be cliquey but here it’s free and easy, nothing’s written in stone. If you can be there great, if not – no problem, you don’t have to be there
every time. The model works, it’s not too structured. Turn up when you can, get stuck in, and it’s easy to fit it round your life.” Volunteer

A POSITIVE, ENERGETIC, WELL LIKED AND WELL-RESPECTED PROJECT OFFICER


Without fail, every person interviewed in depth about the project drew attention to the positivity of the project officer as one of the main reasons for the
successes of the project. The qualities they repeatedly and consistently drew attention to as the vital characteristics impacting on the project were:
enthusiasm and the ability to generate / increase enthusiasm in others; getting people on board with the project (both in terms of numbers of people,
and inspiring commitment); a spirit of encouraging sharing and learning from one-another rather than top-down instruction; explaining and showing
people the benefits of their activity – being clear about why it was important; clear explanations of what to do and getting hands-on herself; showing that
every individual’s help makes a big difference and being authentic about valuing that; making an effort to be inclusive and ensure the project was
accessible for a wide range of people; raising awareness of the work across a range of local people and partners; and being efficient with quick responses
and delivering what was agreed, on time, without needing reminders or supervision.

A SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING TRAINEE


The project trainee was also recognised as being a great balance of skills and approaches to the officer. Volunteers describe the trainee as easy to get on
with, positive, encouraging, in love with the work, and happy to learn from everyone. The officer valued his different practical expertise and openness for
discussing and sharing ideas together.

FLEXIBILITY TO ADAPT PLANS


YWT were able and quick to respond and adapt as necessary. As one partner said, “You have the plan on paper, but then the project starts, and things
come up.” The examples of change in approaches to interpretation following the vandalism has led to YWT discovering new ways to interpret sites and
their work, showing the power of their resilience.

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ADDED VALUE
The unplanned outputs shown at the start of the report, additional volunteer outcomes, and long list of legacies illustrate the incredible amount of added
value the project has generated; without risking any of what it originally set out to achieve. Doing so whilst also keeping momentum and relationships
ever increasing and improving is a rare achievement.

ALLOWING 18 MONTHS MINIMUM


The project officer, and several partners, observed the value of working across 18 months rather than a more usual 12. They acknowledged that it can
take at least 6 months to set things up, talk to local partners, build local relationships, recruit volunteers and plan with schools to fit the way their terms
and curricula are scheduled. The seasons also have an impact on timescales. For example, woodlands have to be worked on over winter, and farming has
its own timetables. The project must fit with natural cycles not just administrative periods.

CREATING BESPOKE WORKSHOP CONTENT AND RECRUITMENT


In another example of innovative thinking, when the first land management workshop was disappointingly attended, a new plan to attract a new market
led to successful promotion through specialist association and word of mouth recommendations. Ultimately, this generated a much higher level of impact
and engagement than the first workshop. By adapting the content and language to be specific to horse owners and riders, and involving the British Horse
Society as well as personal contacts in social media, members e-bulletins, and personal word of mouth recommendations, the second workshop was
more successful than the first in all ways.

GOING WHERE THE INTEREST IS


The project officer took the approach of meeting many different people and groups at the outset, and eventually focusing on those who demonstrated
the greatest interest. Friends of Judy Woods and University of Huddersfield being two such examples. Working where the energy is generated a lot of
commitment, capacity, impact and added value – growing resources rather than draining them.

FINDING OUT ABOUT VOLUNTEER INTERESTS / MOTIVATIONS AND WORKING WITH THEM TOWARDS ACHIEVING GOALS
The project officer felt she had underestimated what the volunteers were capable of at the outset. However, by learning about them and developing the
work accordingly, feedback showed that valuing their individual strengths, and adapting their experiences according to what they wanted to get from it,
was one of the reasons volunteers felt particularly valued and committed to the work. Although it took time to develop, the personalised experience was
a key marker of the project’s success from a volunteer perspective and is partly responsible for several of the regular volunteers successfully applying for
traineeships or securing employment.

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RECOMMENDED IMPROVEMENTS

CONTINUE NEW WAYS TO INTERPRET SITES


Context: Interpretation boards are subject to vandalism, as this project demonstrated. Similar work in the future needs to keep this in mind and channel
resources in more effective and sustainable ways. The project demonstrated a range of other possibilities for two-way engagement such as conversation
starters like pop-up sandwich boards, temporary portable signage / posters, pocket sized fold-out guides; as well as digital interpretation like geo-
caching.

BE PREPARED FOR STAFF CHANGEOVERS AND THE IMPACT THAT HAS ON WORKLOAD / CAPACITY
Context: Inevitably during most projects, unforeseen staff changes occur as people leave, retire, start as new employees, go on maternity leave etc. This
always creates a period of unscheduled disruption to project delivery. In this project, staff changes at a partner organisation created a hole in the planned
programme which delayed water monitoring activity. In turn this left newly trained volunteers a little confused or frustrated as to why they had not
heard anything further after the training. It also caused complications in trying to get data about the training and monitoring, and created a significant
amount of extra, unscheduled workload for the project officer as she tried to follow up and fill this gap. There is little that can be done to avoid this, but
just being aware that staff changes almost always occur during any project delivery, with the lead organisation or a key partner, can help keep
contingency / succession plans in mind as work develops.

SYSTEMATICALLY RECOGNISE THE VALUE AND POTENTIAL OF MICRO-VOLUNTEERING


Context: Current systems only capture and recognise those who volunteer on a repeat basis. There is a valued place for those who can develop long term
sustainable relationships and involvement, but by focusing solely on those people, many more are accidentally excluded. Doing more to recognise and
appeal to those who can only commit one-off or very occasional contributions would help create a much more diverse and inclusive body of support.
Basic monitoring of all volunteers, regardless of their capacity to commit should take place as standard. Ongoing appeals to attract more micro-
volunteers would yield much greater resources for the trust and its partners.

INCREASE AWARENESS OF VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND LIMITING CONDITIONS / ILLNESSES
Context: Disability / health conditions were the one project area not showing signs of representing local populations. There is good potential for health
and wellbeing benefits for all, including people with limiting conditions or disabilities, and many activities are much more accessible that people might
assume. Indeed, those who did have challenges commented on the efforts made to ensure they could join in and be of equal value to everyone else. YWT
could build more capacity and increase its social value by promoting more information about not only what activities are available and accessible, but
also how they are accessible. Information on the website and social media can explain how adaptations could be made, which activities work well for
different conditions, and building relationships with specialist support agencies would spread the word further. Not all disabilities and conditions are
visible so photographs showing people with physical disabilities is one way to be more inclusive, though quotes from people with invisible conditions are
equally important.

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ENSURE ACTIVITY CONCENTRATES ON LOCATIONS THAT CAN HAVE THE HIGHEST IMPACT
Context: By understanding more about the routes and movement of the beck, some practical lessons were learned about where to carry out particular
activities. Additional work on extra sites upstream from the planned sites was developed so that knock-on impact was possible all the way downstream.
Some planting in the beck’s basin in Wellholme left plants open to being washed away during rainy and flood seasons. All of which is part of the steep
learning curve the project officer openly acknowledged. Any negative impact was very minor in this instance, and far outweighed by the high levels of
added value. Future projects could maximise resources all the more by looking at the beck’s flow strategically with the help of colleagues who have
expertise in this field.

ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE PARTICIPANTS TO APPLY NEW SKILLS IN THEIR DAILY LIVES


Context: Volunteers were asked in surveys and interviews if the skills they’d learned would be applied to any other sites. Where they could give
examples, this was limited to more YWT volunteering activity formally co-ordinated by someone else. Only one talked about applying them informally
such as when out on walks or in their own garden. Because the skills are developed in specific locations and formally led, there seems to be a missed
opportunity help spread this impact further. Actively encouraging volunteers and trainees to ‘take their skills home’ would increase the benefit of the
work. Of course, this only applies to skills which are appropriate to be carried out informally and unsupervised.

CONSIDER THE MESSAGES PROJECTS LIKE THIS HOPE TO CONVEY


Context: As shown in the Community Outcomes, much is learned and understood through this project about conservation, the local area, and the
environment. However less awareness develops about the connections with heritage. There is no doubt the impact on natural environment is good,
though increased awareness of the heritage characteristics of the work would help outcomes be more strongly achieved and commitment more strongly
retained for future work.

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SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

STAFFING
1. Recruit skills not knowledge for community engagement roles: The officer’s people skills were exceptional and a vital ingredient for the success
of the project. The specialist conservation expertise could be learned from colleagues.
2. Pair complementary skills and personalities when recruiting trainees: The trainee and officer balanced one another well with differing areas of
expertise and different styles of encouraging others, enabling them to learn from each other, and nurture different types of personalities in the
volunteer pool.
3. Be mindful that staff turnover is inevitable: There is no way of avoiding this, and it will impact on the work of others. It almost always happens
during the lifetime of any project. However just being aware of this will help plans develop in ways which can adapt where necessary. This,
combined recommendations below will help project officers feel more able to adapt when needed.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
4. Be flexible, adapt plans where something isn’t working: It can be tempting to stick rigidly to a project plan and fear a funder’s response to
changes. However, funders invest in outcomes – activities are just the way these are achieved. Changing activities so that outcomes can be met
successfully shows resilience and good use of resources. All the changes made in this project had a positive effect and added value to original
agreements. If funders know what is happening, they usually understand the need for things to change.
5. Take the opportunities to add value if resources allow: So many opportunities were recognised and taken in this project, often with new ways of
working being implemented. Be aware though, this usually needs extra capacity or resources, so always weigh priorities and resources when
deciding what additional work to commit to. In this project extra volunteer hours and additional funding provided the extra resources needed.
6. Innovation isn’t a risk when there’s nothing to lose: Two of the most innovative approaches were taken as a response to an original plan not
working – i.e. changes to interpretation and the land management workshop. Not everyone was convinced the new approaches would work,
though the fact that tried and tested models had already failed meant people were willing to keep an open mind. At the same time this meant
quick, low cost solutions were needed, which generated further creativity and resourcefulness. In both cases, the new ideas were far more
successful than the originals and brought new practice, ideas, enthusiasm and audiences to YWT.
7. Invest resources where they can grow: Working with people or groups who show enthusiasm and commitment help achieve more than the sum
of their parts. For others, it may not be the right thing at the right time and trying to keep them engaged can drain rather than multiply resources.
It isn’t always easy, but it can be wise to stop, walk away from, or change something that isn’t working so that more effort can be rediverted into
the things that are.
8. Plan activity at strategic locations to have the highest possible impact: Activity is mostly very carefully planned to have a strong effect.
Occasionally opportunities are lost through errors like planting in areas that will quickly wash away. Ensure the right team and mix of skills are
involved in advising what activity takes place where. Local knowledge can often spot issues that don’t appear on paper.

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VOLUNTEERING
9. Tailor volunteer experiences: This is really only possible with volunteers who come back time and time again, and is more time consuming than a
simpler administrative approach. However, they have earned the right to have the time invested in understanding their strengths and needs, and
where possible, using this to tailor experiences and opportunities. This helps them feel genuinely valued; keeps commitment, enthusiasm and
advocacy for the project high; and can help them achieve life changing results such as getting back into work or securing new employment.
10. Embrace Micro-Volunteering: Long term relationships have been the focus of YWT’s volunteer monitoring, understandably so since retention is a
sign of things going well. Changing lifestyles, competition for leisure time, and a drive to diversify volunteer populations mean that understanding,
attracting and monitoring the micro-volunteering market of one-off helpers is equally valuable. It is also a more accessible and inclusive model.
Micro-volunteers may only get involved once, but this still builds a habit of volunteering which spreads and as other organisations benefit from
YWT volunteers, so YWT will benefit from organisations who have supported micro-volunteering habits elsewhere.
11. Empower volunteers to apply their skills in other areas of life: Volunteers are excited about applying their new skills, and keen to use them in
other organised work, but overlook the potential they could have by also applying the skills in a personal context such as whilst out walking. They
need explicit reminders and guidance about what, where and how to take the skills and impact home with them (including what NOT to attempt
without supervision).

ENGAGEMENT
12. Offer a range of interpretation. Geo-caching is a perfect partner for this type of project: Using two-way interpretation which engages people in
conversations or social interactivity can have a more lasting impact than interpretation boards. Geo-caching is especially appropriate to YWT’s
work given its capacity to bring new audiences to specific sites, convey information, and nurture community response and conversations online.
Pop-up information on site while task days take place also worked well. Even just these two formats alone cover a very wide range of people and
remove many potential barriers to access.
13. Raise Awareness of the Accessibility of Volunteering: More needs to be done to make sure the volunteer pool better represents its local
community in terms of disability and health conditions. Working with specialist agencies and including more feedback from people with
disabilities and health conditions on promotional material is essential. The work is very accessible, staff work hard to remove barriers, and the
work brings health, wellbeing and social rewards. This could and should be on the radar of more people who could benefit.
14. Raise Awareness of the Work’s Contribution To / Relationship with Heritage: The impact of the work on the environment is clear, and
participant’s understanding of this increases well. However, too many people don’t make a connection between this work and the value of
heritage. Increasing awareness about this would nurture stronger benefits and commitment because they would feel even more closely
connected to and caring about the area.

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STORY OF CHANGE
The project is summarised using a logic model format of inputs – activities – outputs – outcomes – impact below.
* Items marked with an asterisk are Heritage Lottery Fund commissioned outcomes and outputs.

INPUT ACTIVITY OUTPUT OUTCOME IMPACT


Act to Make A
*1200+ volunteer hours contributed
Difference
• £110k financial *66+ hectares improved.
investment (HLF; Land Manager *3.6km beck directly improved. *People have volunteered time
Environment Agency; Collaboration *16km beck benefitting. *Heritage is better managed.
Yorkshire Wildlife 2356 trees planted. *Heritage is better interpreted
Engage Local People
Trust; Bradford 11 Himalayan balsam bashing days and explained.
Council) completed. *Heritage is better identified and
• Volunteer Task
• YWT time and 9 water quality points monitored. recorded *NATURAL
Days
expertise 9 bird / bat boxes made and installed. Reduced flood risk. HERITAGE IS
• Officer / trainee
• Partner time and 6 locations improved. Reduced sedimentation. IN BETTER
recruitment
expertise 6 tree clearing + planting days completed. Improved water quality. CONDITION
• Project
• Volunteer time Fencing, revetments, willow spiling, steps and More stable riverbanks.
management
• Natural environment leaky dams made and installed; litter picked; Reduced invasive species threat.
• Partner liaison
(6 locations) native flowers and trees planted. Improved habitats for wildlife.
• Volunteer
• Machinery / New patches of invasive non-native species Better managed public access.
management
equipment/ identified. New natural heritage volunteers.
• Water quality
materials Unconfirmed water species / populations
monitoring
now verified.

Continued…

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INPUT ACTIVITY OUTPUT OUTCOME IMPACT

Partners
*6 land manager partners engaged. New and stronger partnerships.
Bradford Council
*3 land management plans updated (in progress). *New interpretation skills.
Calderdale Council Land Manager
3 ten-point plans created for horse riders; urban *New natural flood management skills.
Calder Rivers Trust Collaboration
land users; and rural land managers. Increased confidence / commitment to
Environment Agency STRONGER LOCAL
*1 project officer + 1 project trainee recruited. conserving natural heritage.
Farm owners Partner meetings INFRASTRUCTURE
Additional 180 volunteer hours to Calder Rivers Increased motivation / momentum.
Friends of Judy Site visits / tours
Trust for governance and water monitoring. Further funding applications in process
Woods Training workshops
*22 volunteers registered for regular water Increased opportunity, examples and
Yorkshire Wildlife
monitoring. evidence for fundraising and advocacy.
Trust

*People have volunteered time.


• Education
*146 children and young people engaged at 5 *People have changed attitudes or
resources Inform the Community
schools + 2 youth groups. behaviour (new volunteers).
• Print /
*125 members of public engaged at informal *People have developed skills (land,
interpretation / • Volunteer recruitment
events. woodland, water quality and riverbank
events budget • Training workshops
100 information postcards printed / distributed. management / conservation skills).
• Specialist • Launch and celebration STRONGER
*79 people attended training workshops. New curiosity, knowledge, awareness
knowledge events COMMUNITY
53 geocachers visited the beck. and understanding in children, young
• Stirley Community • School lesson plans and
5 geo-caches created. people and local public: including
Farm, training workshops
*2 interpretation boards installed. natural, social and agricultural heritage
venue • Install interpretation
1 pop-up sandwich-board created. Increased passion for and connection to
• Workshop leaders
natural surroundings and locality.
/ trainers
Increased employment + employability.

Engage Local People


Increased feeling of value.
• Project officer Volunteer recruitment INCREASED
*139 volunteers over 60+ task days (average c5 Increased time outdoors.
• Project trainee Task days HEALTH &
days each). Increased physical activity.
• Volunteers Engagement WELLBEING
Increased social activity.
Interpretation

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APPENDIX
VOLUNTEER RESULTS

TABLE 1 TABLE 2

Heritage Volunteering Experience Training Attended

18.8% None 58.6%


This is the first time I have
volunteered
Horses & Rivers Workshop 3.4%

Land Management 3.4%


I have volunteered before but
46.9% not with natural heritage,
Riverfly Water Quality Monitoring 20.7%
conservation or environmental
work Invasive Species: Surveying for Invasive
6.9%
I have volunteered with natural Species
heritage, conservation or Invasive Species: Balsam Bashing Task
environmental work before 6.9%
Day Leaders.
34.4%
Invasive Species: Using glyphosate
0.0%
(accredited qualification)

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TABLE 3

Which volunteering activities did you take part in ?

Surveying invasive non-native species 4%


Coppicing 7%
River rescue - Wellholme 7%
Water monitoring 7%
Other? 11%
Revetments 11%
Willow planting 11%
Bird / bat box make & install 11%
Step construction 11%
Fencing 15%
Willow Spiling 22%
Coir matting 33%
Plug planting (plants other than trees) 33%
Tree planting 26%
Litter picking 37%
Leaky dam creation 41%
Beech whip clearing 37%
Woodland management 48%
Tree planting 59%
Balsam pulling 63%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

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TABLE 4 TABLE 5

How Many Times Did You Volunteer? How much did volunteering fulfill your
personal reasons for getting involved?
43%
48.28%
44.83%
1
2-5
27%
5-9
17% 10-15
16-19
7%
3% 3% 20+
3.45% 0.00% 0.00%

1 2-5 5-9 10-15 16-19 20+ Completely Mostly Somewhat Not much Not at all

TABLE 6 TABLE 7

Which sites did you volunteer at? On a scale of 0-10, to what extent did/didn't you
gain any of these skills? (0 = not at all. 10 = Extremely).
17%
Judy Woods
10%
Wellholme Park
Average Score

7.96

Bobby Green 7.10


34% 86% 6.58 6.59
Park
6.08
Fenay Beck

Other
New practical New practical New practical New practical New or
skills for skills for skills for skills for increased skills
managing / managing / managing / managing / you will apply to
45%
conserving conserving conserving water conserving river other sites
natural land woodland quality banks

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TABLE 8

To what extent did/didn't you gain...


Increased confidence in applying for work / jobs /
8% 28% 16% 20% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4% 4%
career progression

Increased feeling of belonging to the area 17% 17% 29% 4% 8% 8% 4% 8%

Increased social activity 12% 28% 24% 8% 12% 4% 4% 4%

Increased physical activity 31% 31% 15% 8% 4% 4% 4%

Increased time spent outdoors with nature 42% 23% 15% 4% 4% 8%

Score From 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely) 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

TABLE 9

To What Extent Did / Didn't You Gain New Knowledge About The Area's...

Other 50% 50%

Agricultural heritage (such as farming, crops or


5% 10% 14% 10% 5% 29% 10% 5% 14%
landscape design of the past)

Social or industrial heritage (such as buildings, people


10% 10% 5% 19% 5% 19% 10% 10% 14%
and manufacturing from the past)

Natural heritage (i.e. its links with the past as shown


14% 18% 9% 23% 14% 9% 5% 9%
through nature and the environment)

Score From 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely) 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

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TABLE 10 WHAT WERE YOUR OWN PERSONAL REASONS FOR VOLUNTEERING - WHAT DID YOU HOPE TO GET FROM IT?

Exploring and experiencing


Approach the natural land and protect nature
Wider knowledge about environment and nature, develop communication, teamwork skills
Passion for nature
Going outdoors, spending free time meaningfully
Supporting son with Duke of Edinburgh volunteering, member of YWT, interested in conservation
I'm a member of The Friends of Judy Woods. I attended 2 YWT run days but assisted on any occasion that the YWT worked in Judy
Woods on a Wednesday which is our normal work morning.
Satisfaction
Getting different experience
Experience in conservation work
help wildlife. Help keep fit. Meet people.
Maintaining a local amenity
To benefit the community. Outdoor exercise in a team. To learn new and develop existing skills. To gain a sense of achievement.
To learn more about conservation
I wanted to gain experience in different land management/NFM practices, for a hopefully future career in conservation.
Improvement to Wellholme and Judy woods
Help the environment, get to know the area, being outdoors and exercise, meet people
Being a Friend of Judy Woods - to improve our area
I hoped to learn more about conservation and to understand more about what YWT is doing. I also hoped to improve my chances of
getting a job in the Environmental Sector again.
Get out into the great outdoors
I like getting into nature and helping with the environment. Getting exercise, getting hands covered in mud
Work experience and improved knowledge of Wildlife.
Experience and knowledge of habitat conservation
want to improve my local area
Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteering section. Working with nature
work experience
support my son with Duke of Edinburgh volunteering. Have a keen interest in nature

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TABLE 11 IF YOU HAVE / WILL APPLY THIS LEARNING TO OTHER SITES OUTSIDE OF THIS PROJECT, PLEASE SAY MORE ABOUT THE SITE(S) AND WHAT YOU WILL DO?

Probably not
Planting trees to manage water
I'll use it on new projects when they come up
I dont have any sites specifically in mind but the general practices that I have learnt from this experience will help me if I were to get a job
in this field in the future
How do I know what is going to come round the bend?
-
I am a member of Judy Woods (Friends of) any skills acquired will potentially utilised there.
Fenay Beck project, similar to Clifton Beck project
N/A
I have offered to help River Holme Connections with river fly surveys
I may apply this learning in the future when the opportunity arises
Maybe in the future if I own some land
I shall listen attentively where I can and attempt to emulate further skills I have learnt in coming task days.
In my own garden

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TABLE 12 WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT VOLUNTEERING FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

Doing something good


I can make more friends and had a chance to approach nature
Protect environment
I loved the area
Feeling like you've accomplished something
Feeling involved in conservation
To learn the latest ideas on woodland up keep.
A new set of volunteers to get to know
working practically outdoors
Being around like minded people and gaining knowledge from different subjects
Feeling useful.
Working to keep a valuable local asset/beauty spot in good condition for the future
Satisfaction in doing valuable conservation work, and the confidence to do more in the future.
Learnt new skills
Being outdoors and giving back to the environment.
Helping the environment
Meeting Seonaidh and being inspired by her enthusiasm
Learning new conservation skills, getting physical and social activity. Meeting officers from the Trust and other people interested in nature
and the environment.
Very inclusive. Welcoming.
Being outside in Yorkshire
It improved my self-esteem, I'm proud that I have volunteered.
Experience of conservation work
Spending more time in nature
Fresh air, doing something worthwhile
I have so much more knowledge about nature

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TABLE 13 WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES ABOUT VOLUNTEERING, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

Confidence
It was hard to climb higher
More challenging like climbing
I have not enough knowledge about nature
Taking the first step into the unknown
Impact on spare time
None as a FoJW we already do a lot of similar work.
Physical ability
needing an income
If I can’t attend on the days that task days are run on a regular basis.
None really.
No real challenges other than my time
Physical challenges.
None
Having spare time to go out and volunteer.
Couldn’t do Wednesday cos I work and often other things on Saturdays, plus 2 dogs to walk , but wish I’d been more involved . Think it
was a fab scheme and it did great stuff and I’ll continue to guard the saplings in Wellholme and pull out Himalayan balsam
Knowing I am physically able to complete the tasks I have volunteered for
None
Finding out about volunteering opportunities in the area I live.
Getting to some of the locations without a car
I wore the wrong clothes and got really cold
I'm not yet in a position to say.
Losing spare time

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TABLE 14 WHAT DID YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST AND PARTNERS DO ESPECIALLY WELL REGARDING THE VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE?

Communication
They were so good to practice all abilities
Guide clearly and carefully
Gave guidance, provided necessary equipment
Easy to follow instructions and friendly guide
Providing information
Seonaidh and Joe were excellent team leaders and well organised so the task days I attended were well run.
Friendliness and keeping everyone involved
Provided opportunities for me
Made to feel welcome and instantly part of a team
Dunno. Was quite well organised so I felt to be part of a competent organisation.
Worked hard on the project with visible results
Organisation and training.
Made to feel valued
Extremely friendly staff. No matter your physical capabilities, they made tasks doable and adapted them to each individual.
Make you feel welcome, explain the tasks both the reason and how to carry them out.
Provide enthusiasm to complete the project
They were very good at letting volunteers do/learn new tasks and trusting us to do it. Also, Officer and Trainee had a very positive/dynamic
attitude towards the project and about the work done and thanking for the help.
Hands on from day 1
Biscuits
Explaining the benefits of doing the tasks I underwent.
Making me feel like I was learning something
Very welcoming, explaining why we were doing things

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TABLE 15 WHAT COULD YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST AND PARTNERS DONE TO HAVE IMPROVED THE VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE?

No idea
Destroy glass to develop land
Guide clearly
n/a
For myself I cannot think of anything.
Stopped the rain?
I got everything that I expected to get out of my experience out of it, the only thing that I would like would for there to be payed
opportunities, but I understand why this isn’t the case
Do not know
Well, can't think of anything.
I don't really know
Nothing I can think of.
Nothing
They did a great job, if I had more time available I would have been out a lot more.
They could have provided the upcoming tasks by email a bit more in advanced.
Not aware of anything except keep the project going
Difficult to say - the experience was very worthwhile
They could have involved volunteers in the preparation work and educated more about the area and theory behind the project and tasks.
More structure / overview of project
More information beforehand with and a laid-out structure to the day, I only went at the beginning of the project, so this probably did
improve
I cannot comment as of yet.
Not sure

TABLE 16 OTHER COMMENTS – KNOWLEDGE

I have already gained knowledge about Judy Woods.


The low scores I have given only indicate that I have known a lot about the area for many years. I am sure other people will have picked up
a lot of useful and interesting knowledge.
General knowledge of the area
Is this question relevant, or just badly worded? I have known Judy Woods for over 60 years, I didn't expect to learn anything new, and
didn't.
Current local use as park / recreation

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TABLE 17 WHAT ELSE IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE ON THIS PROJECT?

It is easy to understand about mother nature


I understand more about natural heritage
It was great!
What are the long-term benefits and commitments to the local area
For myself I cannot think of anything.
This questionnaire is too long
I was briefly a volunteer with Judy woods but then progressed to being a TNL
Nowt
Seonaidh has kept the FOJW up to date through her presence and organised presentations. Many thanks.
Just keep on doing it.
Enjoyed it
NA
Please continue to do more schemes like this
I have learnt about the area and the need for this type of environmental work . I am now able to explain to friends/family the need to
do this type of work. I feel it is important for it to continue.
I am a long-standing member of YWT and it's good to be able to support the local effort that's being put into this project
I believe the group has made a positive difference to the catchment and river system already during a short period of 1=1.5 years.
But it is important that the project carries on in some form to ensure it doesn't start deteriorating again.
I have thoroughly enjoyed. Life enhancing.
Have sessions at weekends and evenings over summer. I was unable to attend most sessions as I work full time
I'm not sure as of now.
It's my second time

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