Here are a few of the less recent things that have been on our front page as news items:

Woodland story telling

Annie Burington arranged a story telling session with Jenna Drury on 31st October. Stories were told to children about strange happenings. Our pictures show Jenna on the left and one of the visitors, Saskia, with her mother

Jenna Drury Saskia Nutman

Photographs by - Pam Laking

Petition and presentation about car park charges

FOSI comittee at town hall

A group went down to Bradford Town Hall to hand in the public petition, listing some of the people opposed to parking charges on St Ives. A presentation was also given by our chair, Mrs P. Laking on the same subject. As a result the issue was debated by the council who decided to refer it to an executive committee.

Proposed parking charges at St Ives

The Bradford Metropolitan Council are proposing to charge for parking on the St Ives Estate. They will need to put yellow lines down all the roads to make sure that nobody parks without paying and causes an obstruction. Then they will need a person to patrol the estate, to make certain that nobody is parking on a double yellow line. Meters will be installed to issue tickets and collect money. Somebody will be required to check that parking time has not been exceeded and that the tickets are valid. Finally, the money will need to be removed from the meters each night so that it does not get taken.

Given the small number of cars that come to St Ives (on average over a year), they will need to charge a lot just to pay all the wages it will create.

Another question is how would parking charges affect the surrounding areas? Say, for example, someone parks in Harden, then walks into St Ives, thus avoiding payment. Would this result in parking restrictions outside St Ives, an annoyance for local residents, plus the associated costs of enforcement.

The Friends of St Ives are getting a petition together to oppose this venture and would encourage as many people as possible to sign it. The forms are currently located in: the cafe, the visitor center, Harden post office and the ice cream van near the play area. In addition it is hoped that an on line form can be set up.

UKAR clear the courtyard

A group from UKAR have been to weed and clear the cobbled courtyard in front of the coach house. Our pictures show the scene before and after their great efforts.


Photograph by - Pam Laking

Santander work in the herb garden

Another group from Santander (the bank not the place) have been and done a load of work in the herb garden. The pictures show the group and them hard at work.

santander 2 santander 1

What a lot of scaffolding

Cross Gates Farm Scafolding

If you look carefully you might be able to see Cross Gates Farm under the scaffolding. Put up in a bit of a hurry to stop it falling down, Bradford Met has had to build a scaffolding cage around part of the building.

More damage to picnic tables.

Table damage

Once again more damage has been done to the picnic tables by thoughtless people using portable barbecues on them.

Photograph by - Kath Gabitas

In honour of the Queen's birthday

Union flag of flowers

To mark the Queen's 90th birthday, the Friends of St Ives have made a flower bed using red, white and blue flowers; the colours of the Union Flag. The blue flowers have not come out yet but the picture shows the bed as it is now (late May).

Photograph by - Kath Gabitas

Bird walk with Mark Doveston - Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2016

Mark took four other members with him on one of his now well known 'Bird Walks'. We met at the entrance to Coppice pond at 7:00, before setting out past the pond, up to 'Lady Blantyre's Rock' then on round the top before heading down Blind Lane and through the bottom woods to near the Keighley Road. We then headed back to Coppice Pond. On the way we saw or heard the following:-

Tufted duckCanada GooseCrow
Mallard duckGold crestGreat tit
NuthatchChaffinchBlack cap
Wood pigeonCootSwan-mute
Moor henBlack birdBlack headed gull
BullfinchBlue titWillow warbler
Song thrushGold finchWren
RobinGreat spotted woodpeckerCrow
Coal titSiskinChiffchaff
Long tailed titGoosanderMeadow pipit
MagpieLapwingTree creeper
Mistle thrushHeronCuckoo
PheasantStock doveStarling
JackdawHerring gullLesser black back
LinnetSwallowPied wagtail
GreenfinchSand martin

The list cannot be comprehensive as many of the usual birds are not on it such as Jay or Dunnock.

We all had a very interesting walk and would like to thank Mark.

March - Easter 2016

Easter - 2016

Getting out of winter and time for a bit of Easter fun. Kath Gabbitas got into the spirit, welcoming the children in a rabbit suit. A treasure hunt was arranged where the children had to find the answers to clues, hidden in the herb garden, the prizes being chocolate eggs.

Photographs by - Kath Gabitas

January 17th 2016

Once again snow came to the Estate and Kath was out with her camera. Here are some of the views that she took

Snow man on table Coppice pond Snow man near Coppice pond Coppice pond Goose Chain saw made chain in trees Baxter's Pond

Photographs by - Kath Gabitas

Santa visit December 2015

Santa day

On Saturday12th December 2015, Santa called in to see us again. There were lots of members of the Friends of St Ives, members of the West Riding Wood Turners and a local singing group but very few children. This was in part due to the very heavy rain that fell for most of the day. It was disappointing that in all only about three children called in but a jolly time was had by the adults.

Photographs by - Kath Gabitas

Minster Oak

Minster oak

Do you remember, some years ago, there was fire at York minster? When they came to rebuild the damaged part, one of the oak trees used for the reconstruction came from St Ives. Over the years there have been several attempts to mark the spot where the tree came from but each time the plaque was stolen by metal thieves. The latest attempt is a stone marker, made by Kershaw's Hand Carved Stone. With the help of funding from Get Out More – Forest Schools (thanks to Annie Berrington), a stone was placed to mark the spot. The stone was placed on 4th December 2015 by Annie Berrington and Mr Kershaw, with, representing Friends of St Ives, Pam Laking, Kath Gabbitas, Susan Hart and Susan Foskett.

Photographs by - Kath Gabitas

Halloween 2015

Halloween witches

'When shall we three meet again?' Well actually, in the visitor centre at Halloween. Once again we celebrated the Celtic harvest festival American style with real witches. Children went round the herb garden collecting letters from spooky signs, until they spelt out a word like 'ghost'. After that the children went into the visitor centre to claim their prize - sweets. Our picture shows three of the resident witches. The weather was nice with a break from the heavy rain that has soaked us all week. There were about 91 visitors and children called in.

The three witches are Kath, Susan and Frances. By the way Frances. Do like the hat.

It's a wash out!

On 28th October 2015, Get Out More Forest Schools were planning to have activities on St Ives. For the first time within memory they were washed out. The Friends of St Ives were please to let them dry out in the visitor centre.

Forest School 1 Forest School 2

Fungus walk Sunday 27th September 2015

About 30 people met in the bottom car park for a fungus walk lead by Bob Taylor. Bob gave a short talk about fungi stressing what to look for. Our target was to be able to identify ten new fungi by the end of the afternoon. We found that the children were very good at finding samples. Bob says it is due to their eyes being nearer to the ground! A great time was had by all who came on the walk.

News snippets

Annual general meeting (AGM))

Thursday 21st May 2015 was the annual general meeting for the 'Friends of St Ives'. After conclusion of the formal part of the meeting, Susan Hart gave a talk on some of the many properties in the area that were formally owned by the Ferrands of St Ives (also known as Harden Grange up to 1858), plus some of the other associated families who played a significant role in the history of the area.

Walkers are welcome


Photograph by - Pam Laking

11th April 2015 was the big day for Walkers are Welcome for it was the launch of Bingley as a Walkers are Welcome town. There was an exhibition by several interested parties in the Bingley Arts Centre. Kath Gabitas provided some photographs and Susan Hart made a stand showing the various aspects of the Friends of St Ives and its work. The stand was then manned by several members. The whole event was a big success with a large number of visitors to both the event and our stand.

Easter 2015

People round StIves

Photographs by - Kath Gabitas

Easter 2015 was warm, bringing perhaps a record number of people to the estate. Kath took some pictures round the visitor centre and garden; these have been made into a group.

Two three year olds call in at the visitor centre


Photograph by - Pam Laking

Poppy and Ruby call in at the visitor centre to see us at Easter 2015.

Gardening by a team from Santander

Recently a group of volunteers came from Santander to help weed and prepare for planting a new garden area adjacent to our History Garden. They also kindly donated £250 to us to buy plants with. We purchased various fruit bushes such as gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries etc. and the volunteers also planted these, carrying on cheerfully through the rain and drizzle.

gardeners_1 gardeners_2
Photographs by - Pam Laking

Participate to the rescue

Toilet painting

Photograph by - Pam Laking

Here is the photo of the volunteers from the Department of Pensions who kindly came and painted the inside walls of our public toilets at St Ives which FOSI, supported by the public, saved from closure last year. The project was organised by 'Participate' who work with community and charitable groups to find companies willing to send volunteers to help with their projects. We're really grateful to the group who worked very hard all day in a confined space until all the walls were painted a soft cream and looking much brighter.

Bradford council also helped by refurbishing the disabled toilet with a new toilet itself and new fittings.

Two pictures that Kath took inside the visitor centre

Front room at visitor centre Back room at visitor centre

December 7th 2014

December 7th was a big day for us, with events in both the visitor centre and the coach house; next door.

Santa called in to see us.

Wood turners

The wood turners from Eldwick gave us a demonstration.

Lace makers

Some lace makers show us how their work is done.

Hand bell ringers

The hand bell players put on a performance.

New display in visitor centre

A big thank you to Bradford Urban Wild Life Group who have put a new display up in our visitor centre.

Phytophthora Ramorum reaches St. Ives

Infection It is with sadness that we have to announce that phytophthora ramorum, the fungal disease that kills oak trees has reached St. Ives. Our picture shows a group from the Friends of St. Ives discussing the new restrictions.

Photograph by Stuart Gabitas

Fungus walk 28th September

fungus 1 fungus 2

Photographs by - left Sally Handcock, right Kath Gabitas

The Fungus walk that was lead by Bob Taylor wall well up to his usual standard. There had been concern that the dry weather in September would have ruined the fungi. That proved to be not the case with many surviving. A fine walk was had by all and our warm thanks to Bob.

Remembering the first great war


Photograph by Kath Gabitas

The Friends of St Ives decided earlier this year to plant a field of Poppies to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1.

Initial site clearance was carried out for us by BEES (Bradford Environmental Education Service), who kindly made the garden possible.

Further help was given by the Sport Turf Research Institute (STRI,) who are based at St Ives. They prepared ground, with the creation of a wide grassy path and sweeping earth beds ready for the seeds.

The Co-op memorial group had a memorial stone made with the names of the groups and companies involved. Made of grey marble, black engraved words and scarlet poppies, it hopefully we be a lasting memorial for another hundred years.

The little meadow is situated within the Mansion grounds and permission was kindly given by Elder Homes there, to plants thousands of poppy seeds throughout the field.

The public came along in May including many children and planted the seeds and we all looked forward to ‘a sea of red’ in July.

However weeks went by with no signs of even one poppy plant and eventually we decided to hold the commemorative ceremony and the memorial stone dedication anyhow.

The ceremony was attended by about 60 people. The Rev Bob Evans from Harden led us in prayers and blessed the stone. Kath Gabbitas from FOSI read the story of Stafford Ferrand, the only Ferrand we know of who fought on WW1. A brave man, it would seem, who won the Military Cross, but would never talk of his experiences of the war. The Ferrand family were the owners of St Ives during this period.

Mark Potts , the head manager of the Co-operative Funeral services, came up from the South and read the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’

Eve Haskins, clerk to Harden Parish Council, read the names of all the Harden men who fought in WW1 and then the names of those who’d sadly died. She then read the two famous lines from the poem ‘For the Fallen’, ending ‘ We will remember them’.

Judith Hayles from Harden movingly played the last post on a bugle whilst the Standard was lowered followed by a minutes silence and the Standard was then raised.

Pam Laking, Chair of FOSI, introduced the readers and told the story of our poppy field with ‘no’ poppies. She said that the seeds could still germinate at any time within the next 50 years. So we must all keep watching and hoping.

Elder Homes was represented by Heather Craven.

The Bingley British Legion provided a giant poppy shape covered in small fabric poppies and also fabric poppies on wires which Kath and her husband planted in the field and some crosses to place around the stone.

Everyone said it was a beautiful ceremony, not celebrating War, but acknowledging the suffering and death that occurred and is still occurring around the world today.