End of Year Haycop Update 2018

The past 6 months on the Haycop Nature Reserve have been a very busy and productive time.

On Saturday 1stJuly, we held our annual open day, which despite clashing with England’s quarter final World Cup game, was very well attended.  Activities included, pond dipping, Tarot card reading, traction engine rides, backwoods cooking and as always live music. Thank you to everyone who came along and helped to make this important fund raising event such a success.


Also, in early July the Wrekin Forest Volunteers visited The Haycop and have written a fantastic review on their website. They had particular praise for the hard work of our own volunteers:

“A lot of work is done by volunteers maintaining it and I am pleased to say that they maintain it for the wildlife rather than to make it look nice. Long may this continue.”…/itll-be-that-o…

At the end of September, a large group of volunteers helped with the annual meadow cut.  This is a very important part of the management of reserve and is essential for encouraging the growth of wild flowers. The cut vegetation has to be removed, so that it does not rot down, putting nutrients back into the soil.  Wild flowers thrive on nutrient poor soil.  Following the meadow cut we planted Yellow Rattle seed in some of the disturbed ground. Yellow Rattle is a food plant for a number of butterfly species, including the Common Blue, Orange Tip and Brimstone. As a hemi-parasitic plant, it also helps to keep unwanted grasses under control.


On Saturday 29thSeptember the Group held our second fundraising quiz of the year at the Broseley Social Club. This quiz was very well attended and not only manged to raise much need funds for managing the Haycop but also raised £148 for Zac Oliver’s fund

The winning team donate their prize to Zac Oliver’s fund

In October we had a visit from the reception class at Broseley CE School.  The children and their teachers helped volunteers to pick crab apples, which will be used to make Haycop crab apple jelly. They also had the opportunity to sit around a fire in the forest school area and enjoy fried apple and warm apple juice.

October closed with another working party, this time aimed at clearing the path to the bird hide in preparation for some renovation and repair work to both the hide and the pond. The final working party of the year will take place on Saturday 1stDecember when we will clear saplings and young trees from the Ant Hill Glade.

Quiz Night Helps to Boost Haycop Funds

The annual Haycop Quiz Night, held at Willey Village Hall on Saturday 14th April was huge success.  The event attended by over well over one hundred people helped to raise £700 for the charity.  The money raised will help to pay for the work carried out on the Reserve following the damage caused by the bad weather over the winter.

Quiz teams deep in thought at the 2018 Haycop fund raising event at Willey Village Hall

The Haycop Gets New Signs and Information Boards

Using money from the ‘Everybody Active’ grant, the Haycop Conservation Group have now installed two new signpost, one at the entrance to the Reserve on Dark Lane and one at the entrance on Ironbridge Road.  In addition, two new information boards have also been installed one at the Pond and one on the Heathland Area.


The Haycop Recovers After a Winter Battering

While the snow we had over the winter period turned the Haycop into a winter wonderland, it also did considerable damage to a significant number of trees.  In fact, almost 200 trees were affected and many have had to be removed as they had become unsafe.

Work on restoring the damage caused by the snow has been undertaken by a wide range of people including professional tree surgeons, our hard-working band of regular volunteers, the local Scout Troop and children from Broseley CE Primary School.  We are also grateful for the support of lronbridge Rotary Club who donated 80 saplings to the Haycop.  These have recently been planted on the Reserve and will go some way to replacing the trees that were lost.

Since the start of 2018 we have had three full volunteers’ days plus additional visits from individual volunteers, two school visits and one session each from the Scouts and Rotarians. As well as the planting of new trees, much of the brash and fallen timber has been cleared away to open up new rides through sections of the woodland.  We hope this will encourage butterflies to move through the site during the spring, summer and autumn.

Thank you very much to everyone who has helped with the clear up and replanting operation since January.


A Winter Wonderland on the Haycop

Wrekin Volunteers Conduct an Insect Survey on the Haycop

A big thank you to the Wrekin Volunteer Group, who recently paid a visit to the Haycop to carry out a survey of insect life on the Nature Reserve. A number of Haycop volunteers joined into help and everyone involved had a throughly enjoyable and successful time.  The survey identified a number of species not previously recorded on the site.  The full results of the survey and more information of what was discovered will appear in the News and Wildlife sections of this Website very soon.  For more information on the follow the link to the Wrekin Volunteers own blog.

Year 2 Visit to Haycop a Great Success Despite the Rain

On the 11th July the Year 2 class from Broseley C of E School came down to the Haycop as part of their work on habitats.  The visit was partly spoilt by some very inclement weather, however, despite the rain the children had a very enjoyable time.  When pond dipping they found pond skaters, dragonfly nymphs and water beetles.  On the heathland they found slowworms, spiders, yellow wood ants and a lizard (see below).  Unfortunately, they had less luck looking for butterflies of the South Bank, although, there were a few small day flying moths.  The class had a very positive experience and they each wrote a letter of thanks to the Haycop volunteers.  One of the letters is shown below.  For more information on this visit follow the link to the Education page.


Open Day goes with a Bang!

The Haycop Conservation Group in Broseley recently celebrated their 10th anniversary as a local nature reserve at their annual open day.  They were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day which was the ideal weather to encourage the butterflies out, flying over the meadow and into and out of the gazebos.  This was an extra bonus as the site was set up as a nature reserve primarily to protect the habitats for these insects.

This year the Haycop played host to an English Civil War Re-enactment group, Col. Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment of Foote, led on the day by Ian Barrett from Broseley.  The group set up camp in the woods, then marched to the drums around the site, finishing with musket displays off the hill.

Throughout the afternoon and into the evening local musicians played live music on stage.  Amongst these was Maddy Chassar-Hesketh (aged 11) and her brother Sam (aged 9) from the Welsh Borders, who played the harp and keyboards and recited poetry, all inspired by nature.  Another youngster, David Beddows (aged 9), joined his musical family on the mandolin for a set of Irish folk tunes.

Birds and their owners from Chelmarsh Owl Sanctuary made a welcome return for the second year running.  The owls on display had a continuous stream of visitors, who were able to view and learn about the birds from their knowledgeable and entertaining owners.

The whole nature reserve was buzzing with people listening to music, watching the re-enactment, pond dipping, browsing the craft stalls, eating, drinking and enjoying the event well into the evening.  The successful open day raised around £1,000 which will support the continued maintenance of the nature reserve.

The Haycop Conservation Group would like to thank everyone who came and gave their time for free to support the organisation as well as the many volunteers who work so hard throughout the year to enable the nature reserve to continue

Year 1 Pupils Help with Wildlife Survey

As part of Broseley CE Primary School’s volunteering programme children from Year 1 (aged 5 & 6) have recently carried out a wildlife survey on the Haycop. The survey was conducted at four different locations within the Haycop Nature Reserve.  The results from the survey can be seen on our Education Page.


Everybody Active Project Gets Underway

Since the beginning of 2017 members of the Haycop Conservation Group have made significant progress implementing the footpath improvement project, funded by the Everybody Active initiative.  A total of 4 adult working parties and two school visits have seen over 40 adults and 60 children helping out over the past few months.  For some of the people helping this was their first involvement in the physical work associated with nature conservation and thus is very much in keeping with the spirit of Everybody Active.  Work has included refurbishing and extending the path from the Down Well to the pond.  This has involved putting down a base layer of hard core and then finishing off with top layer of limestone chippings.  At the bottom of the site fresh wood chippings have been added to some of existing woodland paths.  Further working parties will be taking place throughout the year.  If you would like to get involved look out for posters around the town and keep an eye on the Events page on this website or on our Facebook page.

New Tools

A big thank you to the Blakemore Foundation (Broseley Spar & Post Office) for a donation to buy further tools and equipment to help us maintain the nature reserve.  The money was used to purchase 4 rakes, 2 large forks, 3 pairs of pruners, a First Aid kit and three pairs of diving gloves.  Most of the equipment was provided by James Hurdley of Edwin Davis & Son. We were pleased to support this local business, which also provided us with a donation towards the cost of tools.

Adrian Miles, Chair of the Haycop Conservation Group, takes delivery of a new set of tools from James Hurdley of Edwin Davis & Son

Haycop Successful in Everybody Active Vote!

A big thank you to everyone who voted for the Haycop in the recent Everybody Active poll.  The Haycop came second and as a consequence will benefit from a £5000 grant which will be used to refurbish and improve signage and footpaths around the reserve.  To make these improvements we will be organising a series of working parties over the coming few months. Look out on the events page of the website and for posters around the town advertising these sessions.  We will be looking to recruit new volunteers to join our regular helpers, in order to get more people from Broseley actively engaged in physical activities and thus achieve the goal of the Everybody Active initiative to improve the general health of the local community.

Reception Class Visit the Haycop

During the last few weeks of November 2016 two classes of reception children from Broseley CE School came down to the Haycop to help collect crabapples and carry out a nature walk around the pond and the Forest School area.  At the end of the visit they sat around a camp fire and drank hot apple juice with crabapple jelly and oatcakes.  Some of the children are pictured below with Mrs Passey the Headteacher




More News Stories – archive from 2016 

More News Stories – archive from 2015