Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteering September 14th

I’m rather late with this but here is Jonathan’s call to arms for the record


Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora fields this Saturday, September 14th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm.
Please come along if you can spare any time – all help from all abilities always appreciated.

Activities you might find yourself engaged in include:

Mowing the grass;
Cutting back the long grass / nettles overhanging the Orchard grass paths;
Strimming the Oak Circle and clearing in preparation for ‘Apple day’ ;
Trimming overhanging brambles all along the Long Pads footpath;
Collecting appropriate apples for the Lancashire Environment Fund event on September 20th (see below);
Pruning the hedge between the Fauna footpath and the Grammar School field to 15 cms above last year’s level.

Meanwhile, over at the Other Items desk:

1. On Friday September 20th we have a visit from Lancashire Environment Fund who have generously supported us in the past and may do so again with regard to Flora. Mick and Hilary Short are hosting the day but just in case it’s wet we should have the marquee and a gazebo up in the Orchard. If anyone can lend a hand late morning and / or later in the afternoon for erection / dismantling then let Ian know on or 07811 970595.

2. Over the last two years we have held a Volunteers’ Meal during the autumn to celebrate the end of the ragwort season but also the FA’s volunteering activities. Last year we held this in The Robert Gillow but Ian is not over-impressed with that and suggests The Spaghetti House in Mary Street which serves wholesome food at reasonable prices in a family business atmosphere. Too early to fix a date yet but initial interest should be conveyed to Ian at or 07811970595.

3. Thanks to the 8 volunteers who turned out for haymaking. After some early delays with the baler jamming the job was completed with 135 bales in store for the White Park cattle and the fields harrowed ready for wildflower seed.

4. Beyond the Castle – Group Scythe Workshops.
Thursday 26th September 10.00am – 5.00pm with Steve Tomlin from Scytherspace.
Venue: The Well Tower at Lancaster Castle and Vicarage Field
The ‘Learn to Mow Workshop’ will focus on practical skills development and learning-by-doing as participants will practice the ‘tai-chi’ mowing style on Vicarage Field near the Roman Bath House site.
The Well Tower at Lancaster Castle will serve as an indoor venue where participants will learn how to set up and adjust the scythe. The workshop will also cover theory and practice of sharpening and peening, blade care and maintenance.
During the cause of the day we will explore and discuss landscape management options for the urban green space from Lancaster Castle down to St Georges Quay.
Scythes, whetstones and peening equipment will be provided.
To book a free place please email at Beyond the Castle, Lancashire County Council or call 07887 831154. Please provide us with your height measurements when booking. Minimum age 18 years.
For Beyond the Castle please visit or
Scythe tuition and blog:

And that’s about it for this time,
All the best,



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1 thought on “Volunteering September 14th”

  1. And here’s what we did

    11 volunteers attended the monthly Saturday morning session.
    1. The grass paths were mown
    2. Overhanging nettles etc were cleared from the Orchard grass paths and a considerable area of long grass and nettles slashed back
    3. The whole of the Oak Circle was strimmed and the grass carted away for the cattle
    4. Overhanging brambles and other obstructions were cleared from the Long Pads footpath.
    5. Ripe apples were collected for the Lancashire Environmental Fund visit
    6. Keith continued his pruning regime and showed a new volunteer how to prune the apple trees. Note that fireblight was detected amongst some of the trees. Keith is to investigate. Keith also has ideas about a Flora apple nursery.
    7. Himalayan Balsam was detected near the Paddock. Flowering heads were removed and a message circulated to FOG members with suggestions.

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