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Located near Bingley in West Yorkshire, St Ives Estate is a country park of 500 acres belonging to Bradford Metropolitan District Council with Public access to a large part of the area. The Estate is the former country home of the Ferrand family who sold the estate to Bingley Urban district Council in 1928 (see History section). Bingley UDC became part of Bradford in 1974, when the number of local authorities was reduced. The Estate has a large childrens' play area, plenty of scope for walkers and a cafe. The Friends of St Ives (also known as FOSI) is a group promoting activities on the Estate, whilst conserving the traditions. See 'Who are we section'. The Estate is used for a diverse range of activities from golf, archery, bird watching and horse riding to angling on Coppice pond, to name only five.

Want to know who we are? Click Here to find out.

Why not become a member and join in the fun. Click Here to download a membership form.


Change to itinerary

The 'bat walk' for 1 st September has now changed. See 'Forthcoming Events' section.

Visit to St Ives by Leeds University Geography Department
Leeds uni on St Ives Soil samples

Just two of the several photographs of the team from Leeds University's Geography dept; who visited St Ives on Sunday June 4th. The left hand picture shows team demonstrating how to tell the age of a tree. The other picture shows soil samples. One is from grassland, one from moorland and one from deciduous forest. The important thing being the amount of carbon retained by the three samples. (Funded by the British Ecological Society)

Another highly successful bird walk by Mark
Bird pictures taken on bird walk

Photographs by Paul Barrett

On 21stMay 2017, Mark Doveston led another of his highly successful bird walks. We went along by Coppice Pond, then up by Lady Blantyre's rock, to the top of the Estate, before dropping back down again to Betty's Lodge. From there we walked through the woods to look at the Owl nesting box. The weather was good and we all had a most enjoyable and instructive walk.

Two Easter bunnies at the visitor centre 2017
Easter Bunnies - 2017

On Monday, Kath arranged for two of her friends who run 'Just4Paws' at Keighley market to visit us for the morning dressed as giant bunnies. They kindly brought baskets of Easter eggs with them and walked around the Estate waving to the public, giving out eggs and sending them to the visitor centre to join in with our events.

Photograph by Pam Laking

The day that Santa came to town

This year the weather was a lot better and we had a lot of visitors. The event was split between our usual meeting with Santa in the Visitor centre and an event in the Herb Garden, where Annie Berrington held a camp fire with the children. This was part of the 'Get Out More' incentive.

Here are some of the many pictures taken by Kath Gabitas:- Santa day 2016

Here are some of the pictures that Annie took:- Santa day 2016 - Get out more

Was there a pump on the sink?
Pump in York museum Coach house sink

The picture of the sink with a pump was taken in the York City Museum. The Picture of the other stone sink was taken by Kath Gabbitas in the coach house at St Ives. Looking at the coach house picture, there is a big hole at the side of the sink on the right hand side. Did this also have a pump at one time?

Strewing - or how to disguise nasty niffs

In days gone by, aromatic herbs were strewn on floors to help disguise some of the less savoury odours. These days, potpourri gets used in a similar manner and you can even place herbs under a mat, though modern usage is more to set a mood than overcome a pressing problem (unless you own an elderly dog). In the not too distant past much disease was thought to be passed by inhaling powerful smells which were called miasmas. This theory persisted from ancient times and in a lot of different cultures, until work on bacteria in the 19th century and later work, mostly in the 20th century, on viruses.

The new herb garden will have a section devoted to household herbs of the sort that were used for smell control. By placing a few of these home grown herbs in the new visitor centre, it is hoped to give an immediate impression of how rooms felt in former times.

Ferrands History

For centuaries the Ferrand family owned St Ives and much land in the area. The way in which the the Ferrands interacted with the history of Bingley is a fascinating topic and we are pleased to refer you to a new web site by Michael Ferrand.

Any ideas what this is?
Water walk group

Has anyone any ideas as to what this might be? (The walled up hole to the right.) It is in the wall of the building adjacent to the new herb garden. Red marks imply that it has been hot. A bread oven or forge perhaps. Clearly it is old but the relieving lintel above it does not look quite so old. Or was it still in use when the upper part of the wall and lintel were added at a later date as part of new or replacement building.

Why are they pulling up our rhododendrons?

Long a popular feature of St Ives are the rhododendrons. Not a native of the UK but a species imported from the Himalayas. They are none the less a colourful sight when they are in flower. So why are they using horses to pull them out? The answer is 'phytophthora ramorum' a contagious fungal disease that has been found in some of the countries rhododendrons (and a few other types of bush). The disease is called 'sudden oak death' in America and this is the name that explains the problem. In a manner that has parallels with the way in which the outbreak of foot and mouth was tackled some years ago; the rhododendrons are being sacrificed before they bring about the death of our oak trees. DEFRA (Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs) are very worried that without this action, we could loose many of the oaks; trees that have taken many decades to grow.

Even without this crisis, it would have been necessary to clear some of the rhododendrons as they are a fast growing species that inhibits the growth of other plant, bird and animal populations.

For those wondering - the horse is called Nathan

Ponds and Water Gardens
With help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the society has brought out a pamphlet that describes the 'Ponds and Water Gardens', both as they are now and as they were when constructed by the Ferrand family. This pamphlet is now available or you can down load a copy at this link to our download page: Click Here. The file is in '.pdf' format as used by Adobe AcrobatTM.

Bird watching
For birding information look up "Bradford Ornithological Group". To see their WEB site via our links page Click Here

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