Spreading the joy with Tiffin Sandwiches

Today I had a meeting at Tiffin Sandwiches LTD Low Moor who have just bought the large pond and surrounding area adjacent to their premises and Toad Holes Beck a LWS (Local Wildlife Site)

Following the meeting I have nothing but praise for this forward thinking sustainable company.

I can confirm the land will be used only for nature in fact the company want to increase the bio-diversity even further with an additional planting scheme which I will be helping them with. They also want to work along side our conservation group the Low Moor & Oakenshaw Conservation Group which looks after TH Beck and Raw Nook LNR which is great news.

There was even further good news as the Bradford borne company want to embrace the local community as the site will eventually be open to the public with additional paths and litter/dog poo bins.

I have also put the company in touch with Bradford council’s bio-diversity officer and Natural England for their additional guidance and expert advice.


Visited Low Moor Banks yesterday in the rain but it was worth it as the Southern Marsh orchids were showing off!. I counted a total of 114 flowering orchids which is slightly down on last years count of 146.

Received a welcome email from Nicola who stated she had seen 2 Lesser whitethroat ( not a common bird in the Bradford area) on the Greenway on the 5/6. There has also been a male LW in Toad Holes Beck since early May singing from the same location. Both these sighting suggest possible breeding. It will be interesting to see if any juveniles appear later in the year.


Land at Toad Holes Beck is SAVED!


Remember the local press story of ”A GREEN oasis in the middle of a Bradford industrial estate has been sold at auction.”

The green space off Commondale Way, just off the Euroway Industrial Estate, sold for the guide price of £75,000 at a property auction on Wednesday to an unnamed buyer.

Well I received an email today from Tiffin Sandwiches at Commondale Way who I have been working with on a new wildlife garden at their factory, that they have bought the land for £75,000.

And the brilliant news is and I quote from their letter:

” I’m not sure if you have seen in the local news but the land behind our factory (woodland) came up for sale at auction. Luckily, we were successful and managed to purchase the land.

I would love your input in next steps with this land. I cannot stress this enough and feel I need to make our intent clear. We have no intention of building on this land. We want to clean the area up and have a proper green oasis attached to our business ensuring wildlife, greenery and the local ecosystem is protected for the future.

Top marks to the company for their green ethos and forward thinking!

Possible major threat to Toad Holes Beck…

We, the Low Moor & Oakenshaw Conservation group has been aware that this privately owned area which is directly adjacent to Toad Holes Beck was to be sold. Well the sale has been completed.

Until any information or proposals come forward from the new owners there is little we can do at this stage so this blog is to keep everyone in the loop.

Thankfully we have many important biological records for the Toad Holes Beck area however, the site is vulnerable and we must protect our bio-diversity.

The concern is the comment below: “The site may be suitable for a variety of uses subject to planning permission.”

Please see below (Taken from the T&A newspaper)

The lake in the centre of the green site off Commondale Way <i>(Image: T&A)</i>
The lake in the centre of the green site off Commondale Way (Image: T&A)

A GREEN oasis in the middle of a Bradford industrial estate has been sold at auction.

The green space off Commondale Way, just off the Euroway Industrial Estate, sold for the guide price of £75,000 at a property auction on Wednesday.

The eight-acre privately-owned site, which includes a bridleway and pond, went under the hammer at the Pugh online auction. The new owner of the site has not been disclosed.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The site off Commondale Way

The site off Commondale Way (Image: Newsquest)

The listing said: “A public bridleway runs along the eastern boundary to the site and a footpath skirts the western boundary. The land is currently accessible via two public footpaths from Commondale Way and Transperience Way.

“The site may be suitable for a variety of uses subject to planning permission.”

Exciting times at Low Moor Banks

I visited Low Moor Banks on Saturday mainly to look for any Lesser Whitethroats at the site, which sadly they weren’t.

However, as I was walking on one of the paths in the lovely sunshine I stopped as small dull butterfly landed on the path in front of me, my heart raced as I first thought it maybe a Grizzled Skipper!

On closer inspection I was wrong it was a Dingy Skipper still an excellent find and a site first! In fact I have never recorded the species anywhere in Bradford before.

The Status of this butterfly in Yorkshire is: Localised , increasingly rare!

It is far too early (Without more data) to suggest that there maybe a colony at the site but if anyone sees and photographs one please let me know.

The Southern Marsh Orchids are now starting to show at the usual spot at the site.

It will be interesting to see how many appear this year!

Trying to inspire others!

I have heard about planning applications that threaten a large well known wildlife site and all the conservation groups and the public rally round to protect the site.

This is brilliant…But what happens if it’s that small woodland or pond that you and a few other watch!

Well I have brought out a video of my experiences to help inspire others to RECORD THEIR WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS. should that day appear!

Good News from THB..

A bit of good news from Toad Holes Beck in the form of a Lesser Whitethroat a fairly uncommon bird in the Bradford area.

A male has been in full song at the site since the 5/5. This is interesting as usually a male in spring tends to spend only a couple of days trying to attract a mate before moving on.

The species bred at THB annually about twenty years ago but nothing since. Fingers crossed!

Some more good news came from the site today when I found a Brown Silver-line moth ( A fairly common moth) which is a new species for the site

Great News from Raw Nook LNR..

Can now confirm that a pair of Tree Creepers have bred at Raw Nook LNR.

On the 1/5 I saw an adult collecting food as it climbed up a nearby tree.

When it had a beak full it flew off to an area which is really suitable for the species breeding requirements.

This is the first time to my knowledge that the species as bred at the reserve, which is great news.

Migrants have been slow to come in. However, Lesser Whitethroats have been passing through with a single on the 1/5 at Caldene fields, 1 was at Toad Holes Beck on the 2/5 and another single sang there on the 5/5. A Sedge Warble sang briefly at the very bottom of Toad Holes Beck on the 6/5.

Two Common Whitethroats were at Low Moor Banks on the 28/4

Future Conservationist !

On Saturday we had our groups workday.

Readers may be aware that at Toad Holes Beck there is a wonderful large bank of Primroses. However, in Raw Nook LNR there is just a small patch of these valuable spring plants which are a good source of nectar for early pollinators.

So we carefully collected plants from TH Beck and brought them to R Nook so we could establish them in different areas of the site.

However, when arrived at RN armed with 3 buckets full of plants we bumped into a father and his little son Noah. Now young Noah loves nature and was looking for Tadpoles and bees. I explained to Noah and his dad what we were doing and asked if Noah would be interested in planting some plants to help the Bees.

He jumped into action and must have planted about 10 plants!

The good thing is Noah and his dad live nearby and now really want to get involved in helping THEIR wonderful environment !

Free Accommodation!

You may recall we had to cut some saplings and young trees down in Raw Nook LNR to allow more light into the undergrowth.

Well I had some time this week and with the logs that were left I recut some and formed a log pile, with a some EXTRA”S! at the site.

The pile which faces S/E will be warm in summer and is a metre high so I have drilled a number of different sized holes to TRY..and attract Solitary bees to nest..fingers crossed.

Also I created a void underneath the log pile (below) so amphibians can hibernate in the winter.

At the end of the day the wood has been recycled into …Free Accommodation for our wildlife!


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