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Millennium Woods near Hebden, also know as Anniversary Woods Photo: Alex Green

Young Rangers visit Millennium Woods

Friday 26 November, 2021, by Alex Green

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Clay started with Dales Young Rangers in April 2018 and his volunteering has contributed towards completing his Duke of Edinburgh Award. He is now working towards achieving the top John Muir Award at Conserver level.

Here, Andrew gives his account of a task day in September: woodland maintenance at Millennium Woods, near Hebden, on the River Wharfe.

Young Rangers discuss where the tree they are about to fell will land.
Discussing which direction to topple the tree

Our task was to cut down dead young ash trees which had succumbed to ash dieback disease.

First, we removed tree guards and stakes in order to tidy the site. Then we cut down the dead trees. 

For the young trees with thin trunks, we could simply cut horizontally through the trunk. For the thicker trees, however, we had to be careful to control where they landed when felled so that they didn’t damage any of the healthy trees.

Black furry fungus on a tree trunk.
We found this fungus growing. Apologies for the blurry photo. We think it might be earthtongue, or is it dead man’s fingers? What do you think?

We did this by cutting a V-shape through the trunk, with someone pushing on the tree to help it fall in the right direction. This also took the weight of the tree off the saw so that the saw didn’t jam in the cut. A good bit of teamwork!

A Young Ranger holds out the palm of their hand, showing the large green grasshopper sat on it.
The group helped to tidy the site by removing empty tree guards and piling the chopped trees to make habitat piles. Whilst doing this they came across a lot of grasshoppers.

I’m looking forward to going back to the wood to plant replacement trees.

Andrew (pictured below) has been a Dales Young Ranger for 3 years.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to come along to any of the Dales Young Rangers sessions, please get in touch via or 07815 970346. You can also follow the Dales Young Rangers on Facebook

Picture of Alex Green

Alex Green

Alex is the Authority's Education and Engagement Support Officer and is responsible for administering the Dales Young Rangers programme.

One Reply to “Young Rangers visit Millennium Woods”

  1. Elaine shaw says:

    Hello, what is the commitment for young people at the young ranger project please. My son is 12yrs old but we live in Harrogate so couldn’t make every weekend

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