A GUIDED walk to discover the birds of Ilkley Moor was just one of the many Friends of Ilkley Moor (FoIM) events to take place this spring.

The group were joined by experts from the Wharfedale Naturalist Society informing them about the birds which were heard and seen on the day.

Ilkley Moor forms part of the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) designated under the European Union Bird’s Directive for its internationally important breeding birds and this event was developed to enthuse the local community to help collate past records for bird species on Ilkley Moor and undertake new surveys to collect new ones. The FoIM also want to analyse these records to look at trends in the decline or increase in bird species over time; look at management issues that may help different bird species and recreational activities that may impact on birds.

Birds recorded on the day and recently this year and last year on Ilkley Moor were: curlew, meadow pipit, wood pigeon, grouse, cuckoo, skylark, raven, wren, chaffinch, crow, grey heron and lapwing. Wood warbler, tawny owl, chiffchaff, greater spotted woodpecker, tree creepers and nutacher were also recorded from another location on Ilkley Moor. Other species were recorded but due to the sensitive nature of these records, this information cannot be disclosed to the public but it will be used to inform future management decisions for Ilkley Moor.

Tracy Gray, FoIM Project Officer said: “Everyone had a great time and said they look forward to attending more events from this year’s events and learning program so they can discover more of Ilkley Moors amazing heritage. And helping collect more bird records. Bradford Ornithological group are also very kindly doing a bird survey on Ilkley Moor on behalf of the FoIM.”

The FoIM also organised and delivered a day of volunteering with local community group Christians Against Poverty when 17 people spent a day litter picking in the pine woodlands of Ilkley Moor and at the Cow and Calf Rocks. Tents, barbecues, old wire and bags and bags of litter were collected. Tracy said: “A big thank you to this group for all their hard work on the day.”

Another day of volunteering was organised and delivered for the 3rd Ben Rhydding Scout Group. The scouts helped to do a wildlife survey of the tarn which will help inform future management decisions. After lunch they helped build habitats for invertebrates and also planted wild flower seeds.

FoIM’s regular volunteers have also been out each week this month, weather proofing benches, controlling bracken, clearing out the paddling pool, helping with wildlife surveys and helping to restore eroded footpaths.

The events programme can be downloaded from the FOIM website www.ilkleymoor.org