Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteering Saturday 111th June 2016

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

Three items for your attention.
Firstly, news of this Saturday’s volunteer session. Thirdly, some words
about the ragwort working parties. And sandwiched discreetly between them,
an appeal for apple and pear tree thinners.

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday morning, June 11th, starting at 10.00am and finishing in the
general vicinity of 1.00pm.

On the agenda for this occasion…

1. Repair fencing down the track from the Shed and in the corner of West

2. Strim around a couple of areas in the Orchard where we are getting
ground back to grass. Also strim the overhanging grass along the Fauna

3. Make up three wired bundles of barley straw for  Anna’s Pond and barrow
them across to the pond.

4. Dig out bramble encroaching within the stock fence in the Hay Meadow
and Carr House Meadow.

5. There are self seeded saplings in the marsh between the Hay Meadow and
the Cromwell Road entrance which should be removed before they start
getting ideas. Crush their dreams.

6. Now things are drying out we should strengthen the bund near the Alder
Pond drain which leaked last year.

7. Clear encroaching vegetation around all the benches.

8. Split and propagate marsh marigolds.

Jobs 3, 5 and 6 definitely need wellingtons so if you fancy these jobs
please come suitably shod.

We are also looking for a volunteer or two to thin out the fruit on the
apple and pear trees. This is required to optimise the crop. Full training
will be given. Work in your own time and at your own pace.

We are now running two Ragwort Working Parties, or RWPs, if TLAs* are your
Ragwort I meets on Wednesday mornings at 9.30 at the shed. We work until
about 1 but working
times are flexible within the morning.
Ragwort II will be led by Mick Short and meet on Tuesday evenings from 6
to around 8, or a shorter time if that suits you. Again, the meeting point
is at the shed. All are very much welcome – gloves, tools and training
are provided.

And that’s your lot for this time,

Best wishes,

(*Three-Letter Acronyms)


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1 thought on “Volunteering Saturday 111th June 2016”

  1. Here’s what we did:
    Before reporting the Saturday session it should be noted that in the previous day or two, two of our volunteers had ‘got ahead’ with two jobs on the list namely:
    • Finishing off the fencing work in the south west corner of West Field so that neighbouring sheep can’t get into our hedge line.
    • Pulling out self seeded saplings from the marsh between the Hay meadow and Cromwell Road.
    On the Saturday 19 volunteers assembled and braved one or two heavy downpours to tackle the following:
    • Erecting a fence across a gap down the track from the Shed to the Orchard.
    • Strimming around the Shed area and a part of the Orchard we are getting back from ivy and nettle to grass.
    • Cutting back and digging our bramble encroaching over the stock fence and into the Hay Meadow. A start was also made with similar invasion in Carr House Meadow but more to do there.
    • The new wildflower plus i the Hay Meadow were weeded once more and the too short sticks marking their presence replaced with longer ones.
    • Sweet cicely and Common valerian plants, locally sourced, were added to the wet area wildflower collection.
    • A marsh marigold was split and propagated. Unfortunately we could not find the other, quite big one, now that it has finished flowering.
    • Whilst we were working in the hay meadows the obsessives amongst us (a growing band) dug out any ragwort which was spotted. Actually not a great deal. More encouragement on that front.
    • Work was started to strength the Alder Pond bud by digging out turf and mud to increase the height. Very heavy and dirty work this. Commendations to the guys who tackled it.
    • The trimming team cut back vegetation creeping up around all our benches, around the notice boards and nettles overhanging grass paths in the Orchard.
    • Further work done pruning and thinning the apple and pear crop. Keith appealed to the volunteers to spend a few minutes whilst passing through the Orchard thinning bunches of apples and pears to just the strongest specimen.

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