Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteer morning 13th April 2013

Report on volunteer morning 13th April 2013

14 volunteers gathered on a bright if breezy morning but it was warmer!

1)      We strimmed the grass tufts in a section of the Orchard although the grass had not grown enough to justify mowing. Hopefully this weekend’s warm and rain will start the Spring.

2)      Brambles behind the fruit hedge were cut back to keep them under control.

3)      The remaining prunings from the fruit hedge were cleared.

4)      Two broken boughs of a willow near the Towneley path were sawn off and cleared to the adjacent brash pile along with several other piles of brash which have accumulated over time.

5) The unwanted growth at the base of the oldest sycamore was removed, to encourage it to concentrate on where it should be growing

6)      Encroaching grass was cleared from the remaining Orchard benches.

7)      Pruning of the apple trees continued along with the consultation of canker (below). The cankered wood was stored separately for burning.

8)      A considerable amount of rubbish from the north end of the Orchard was cleared to black bags and the Sunnyside Close rubbish bin. Two boards were retrieved and stored for possible use as shed shelves, along with some stakes.

9)      The plastic protectors and supporting canes removed by vandalism at the north end of the Pads footpath were replaced. Fortunately it seems that no damage was done to the saplings.

10)      The gathered volunteers were consulted on the following matters for report to FOG and decisions there:

a) Daffodils. It was agreed that it was a good idea to thin out some of our existing groups. It was thought best simply to expand these groups rather than starting new ones.

b) Sycamores in the Pads hedge adjacent to the Orchard. For attention next autumn. Working south from the crossroads:

i.      Remove the first one but replace it with a more appropriate tree such as a bird cherry.

ii.      The three adjacent to the Orchard middle entrance – remove the middle sycamore and radically prune the northerly one to produce a straight main trunk.

iii.      Remove the next sycamore to the south of the middle entrance.

iv.      We were unsure what the next two trees were so will wait and consider again next year.

c) Badly cankered apple trees. Keith Taylor’s advice was to remove these and replace with new specimens. It was noted that a possible cause of the canker was the overhanging sycamores in the Martin’s garden. This underlined the recommendation for 9) b. i. above as that specimen will cast shadow over the fruit trees.