Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteering session Saturday February 8th 2020

Here is Jonathan’s message

Hello All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday, February 8th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm or

The To Do list for this occasion reads a little like this:

* In Flora Field mark out the beetle bank and margin boundaries with stakes.

* Renew the protective fences around the Flora Field manholes.
These jobs are in preparation for the ploughing of Flora Field so that the
tractor driver has clear boundaries. Some margins (the birdseed ones) are
ploughed and re-seeded each year, the bee-friendly margins have perennial
wildflowers and seed themselves; the beetle banks have to be clear; and
the three manholes along the water main which crosses the field need
protective fencing using our hazel and willow rods and withies.

* Coppice the elm forming part of the hedge in Little Wood. You may be
surprised to hear that there are three elms in Little Wood. As two of them
are now getting quite big and more susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease we are
advised to coppice the third to increase its vigour and immunity

* Reinforce one or two weak points in the Flora Field hedge using hazel
rods and hazel / willow withies.

* Block the second drain exit from West Field.

*And that’s it.

Best wishes,


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1 thought on “Volunteering session Saturday February 8th 2020”

  1. And here is what we did:
    A calm and sunny day, prior to Storm Ciara, attracted 18 volunteers to the Saturday volunteer session. Unfortunately, they did not all arrive at the set time so that allocation of people to tasks was difficult and too much time was spent hanging about. I shall add a request for punctuality to the next of Jonathan’s emails.
    • The Flora Field margins were marked out with stakes so that clear instructions can be given to the tractor driver before ploughing.
    • Similarly, the beetle banks were staked.
    • The three inspection covers along the Flora Field water pipeline were reinforced with hazel rods and circled with hazel / willow withies so clearly mark them.
    • Three potential gaps in the Pads / Flora Field hedge were blocked by fencing constructed form our hazel rods and hazel / willow withies.
    • Transporting 70 stakes and bundles of withies from the shed to Flora Field was a major logistical effort.
    • A hole was dug in West Field to discover the second field drain exit into Lucy Brook. It was eventually found and the drain blocked.
    • We continued to trim the Fauna path / School Field hedge.
    • Volunteers expressed interest in the elms in Little Wood so we had a look at them and a discussion of the plans for the wood.

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