Volunteer session 28th August 2013

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this Wednesday evening, August 28th, starting at 6.00 and finishing at 8.00pm. Or thereabouts. We meet at the new toolshed.

On this week’s Opportunity List of Delights we have…

* mow the grass

* go round the orchard with shears cutting back the various vegetation which is overhanging the paths

* trim down the Pads / Orchard hedge at the points where there are viewing breaks from the benches

* cut back an elder which is overhanging a garden near Towneley Close

* continue / complete the trimming back of Fauna path

* post the ‘Don’t Pick Yet’ signs on the fruit trees.

My people tell me there will be excellent weather conditions throughout and I think by now we all know better than to doubt them.
So please come if you possibly can, regardless of agility, ability or how much time you can spend with us – all help is appreciated and we aim to find something for everybody.

In other news, the Fairfield Association’s public consultation on the future of the new FLORA fields takes places in the Friends Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster on Friday 6th (1pm – 7pm) and Saturday 7th (10am – 4pm) September.
Everyone is welcome to see and discuss the plans.

And that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with the words of 1980s poet and philosopher Rick Astley who put it so pithily when he said “Hard work is its own reward.”

Hope to see you on Wednesday,

Volunteering 10th August 2013

Here is Jonathan’s message to the Orchardeers

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this Saturday, August 10th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm or thereabouts.
It’d be splendid if you could make it for some or all of that time as there’s plenty to be getting on with. Namely…

1 Mowing the grass.
2 Digging out flowering ragwort from the Fauna fields.
3 Clearing the path around the fruit hedge.
4 Continuing cutting back the edges of the Fauna path.
5 Slashing back nettles in the orchard.

Let’s not beat about the bush – a pun! I made a pun! Sort of! – that’s a substantial amount of work needs doing so do please come along and muck in if you can possibly spare the time. All help is sought and very much appreciated.
I’ve placed an order with my people in Weather and have been assured that perfect volunteering conditions will persist throughout.

And finally, this just in from the “Oh, and another thing” Desk…
The sack trolley we use for transporting our big tent frame has a slow puncture. Has anyone a spare foot pump they could semi-permanently load the FA?
Contact Ian on sysaf123-volunteer@yahoo.co.uk or 07811 970595

And that’s all for now.

See you Saturday,



Whilst ragworting we have noted: water figwort and meadowsweet in Sowerholme along with deadly nightshade and St Johns wort (and loads of insects but not my area). Most the the Flora fields are a desert for wild flowers due to the intensive fertilisation of the grass. But underneath the wall along Aldcliffe Road there are red clover, hawkbit and lots of birds foot trefoil, with ivy leaved toadflax growing in the wall.

Volunteer session 31st August

Sorry this is late – I have been on holiday: here is Jonathan’s message to the Orchardeers

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this Wednesday evening (July 31st) from 6.30 to 8.30.
The session will be led by Ken while Ian is away sunning himself in Yorkshire.

Please come along for as long or short a time as you can manage. Help from all abilities is always appreciated and needed, and we will always to try to find tasks you’ll be comfortable performing.

The agenda is as follows…
1. Mow the grass
2. Slash the long grass around trees / shrubs in the Orchard
3. Trim back the Fauna path edges
4. Trim round the bottom (south) notice board in the Orchard
5. Clear the fallen willow in the Orchard to Fraser’s bonfire site
6. Clear around the quince bush currently being overwhelmed.

And that’s it!
We meet at the new shed. But if you’re not able to join us at 6.30, just approach anybody who looks like they might be a fellow volunteer (wielding a slasher or possibly an axe) and they’ll point you in the direction of Ken who will task you up.
We occasionally round off the summer evening sessions with a drink in the pub, so if that sounds like your kind of thing, bring a little pocket money and let that be your added incentive to come join us.

Hoping to see you there,



And the report on the evening:

31st July 2013

In a period of lovely summer weather our Wednesday evening volunteer session was blighted by heavy rain and only 5 brave souls reported for duty, led by Ken as Ian was on holiday.

Nevertheless a lot was achieved with long grass and nettles cut back in the Orchard, the nettles enveloping the south notice board trimmed back and the overgrown quince shrub cleared to give a better chance of thriving.

As well as thanking Ken for leading this session we should note his return to work in the following days to clear the fallen willow and mow the Orchard grass.