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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.
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.
Photograph 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.
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.
Participate to the rescue
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
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.
The wood turners from Eldwick gave us a demonstration.
Some lace makers show us how their work is done.
The hand bell players put on a performance.
A big thank you to Bradford Urban Wild Life Group who have put a new display up in our visitor centre.
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
Odds and Ends
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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