Category Archives: Volunteering

Volunteering session March 9th

Here is Jonathan’s message

Hello All,

The Fairfield Saturday volunteering session on Saturday, March 9th will be
devoted to hedge planting around Pony Wood. As there is a lot to do we
will meet at 9.30am at the Storage Building rather than the usual 10.00.
If 9.30 is a bit early please head straight on to Pony Wood whenever you

The contractors have almost finished their work in the wood so we can now
continue the hedge we started last year.
The Woodlands Trust are kindly supplying 1450 hedge saplings under their
moreHEDGES scheme at very advantageous terms for the FA.

If there is sufficient interest we will have a second session after lunch.
Planting will continue the following Wednesday (13th), with the Work Group
meeting at 9.30am as usual.

Hedge planting is a fairly simple process and full instruction will be
given so there’s no need to be put off by lack of experience. If you have
a favourite spade in your own personal spade collection please bring it
along to avoid the possibility of a shortage.

So please do come along, admire our new path and its glorious views and
make a contribution to the area you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

If you have any queries Ian is waiting to take your call on 07811 970 595
and/or .

Best wishes,

Volunteer Saturday 12th January 2019

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

And a very Happy New Year to you. I trust this finds you in the very
rudest of spirits.

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday, January 12th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm or

On the agenda for this occasion:
* Clear fallen leaves from around the shed.
* Tidy the strip between the apple trees and the Pads footpath hedge.
* In the Old Damson Copse, cut away and dig out bramble and clear around
each of our new saplings.
* Cut off suckers through the Orchard.
* Trim back the hedge between the Pads footpath and Big Meadow to the
south of the Orchard to Lucy Brook.
* Trim the hedge between the Long Pads footpath and Flora Field / Lower

And that’s about it for now, I think.
Best wishes,

Volunteer Saturday 8th December 2018

Here is Jonathan’s email

Greetings All,

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

On the agenda for this occasion:

* Retrieve the hand pump from West Field and store for winter.
* Clear up the last of the leaves down the track from Sunnyside Lane.
* Block with brash the gap between the track and the Orchard ‘wild area’.
* Tidy the fallen crack willow in the Orchard but preserving it as a
second ‘willow whip farm’.
* Replace four broken fencing posts including the two near Cromwell Road
which need wire repair.
* Trim round the standard trees left by the hedge flail.
* Continue hedge trimming between Lower Sowerholme and Flora Field.
* Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la, owing
to it being the season to be jolly (optional).

And that’s about it for this time and for this year.
Very best wishes to you and yours,


Volunteer Saturday 13th October 2018

Here is Jonathan’s message:

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday morning, October 13th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at

This week’s To Do list looks a bit like…

1. The channel and ponds in our Upper Sowerholme reed bed need clearing of
encroaching vegetation to ensure some clear water. This is very much a
wellington boot job, indeed we have two pairs of waders available (size 8
and 9) if anyone wants to really take the plunge. This will also involve
the replanting of any phragmites reeds moved out of the channel into the
surrounding marsh.

2. We have recently opened up an area of Flora Field as a wildflower patch
using a digger to remove the turf. We are now ready to plant out donated
teasel plants and to sow a suitable seed mix.

3. If we complete the above tasks we can  move on to hedge trimming.

And that’s it for now,
Best wishes,

Volunteer session 8th September 2018

Here is my report for Saturday (and Sunday!)

On a thoroughly wet and miserable morning 6 volunteers gathered for the monthly Saturday session. We huddled in the shed for half an hour whilst the rain poured down ever more heavily and ever more persistently. We then cancelled the session as the main jobs would have led to the ruining of plants in a mud bath and unsafe working with barbed wire.

However, four of the six met the following day, 9th September, to get the plants donated by local residents into the Fauna wildflower bed. The latter was lightly forked over and grass and creeping buttercup removed before planting: red campion, hemp agrimony, yarrow, self heal, ox eye daisy and teasel. All strong plants so we are hopeful of success. Yellow rattle seed was then spread in the gaps.

Volunteer session Saturday 11th August 2018

Here is Jonathan’s message

Hello All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday morning, August 11th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm
or something very much like it.

On the agenda for this session – or as one of my managers at work recently
said, “This is the ask”…

*Trimming back the hedges all along the track down from Sunnyside Lane,
past the shed.

* Rolling and stacking the hay bales in position in the Gun Range.

* Cutting back the trees growing out of and alongside our Aldcliife Road

And that’s about it for this time,
Best wishes,

Volunteering session 14th July 2018

Once again I forgot to post Jonathan’s message to advertise this session but for the record, here is what we did:

Ten volunteers attended the monthly Saturday volunteering session on a hot, sunny morning.

  • The final Orchard bench vista was cleared by lowering the hedge levels on either side of the Pads footpath.
  • Ragwort was dug out from the Paddock, the northern section of Big Meadow, the Big Meadow marsh and from the hay meadows.
  • Vegetation enveloping the apple trees alongside the Pads footpath was cut out and carted away.
  • Dock flowering heads in the Orchard were cut off to prevent seeding.
  • Invasive vegetation around the new saplings in the Old Damson Copse was cut out and cleared away.
  • Bramble growing in the Big Meadow marsh was cut back. I think this is more a job for the scything group as it is difficult to disentangle the bramble from the rush.
  • Bulrushes dug out of Cromwell Pond.


Volunteer session 9th June 2018

Once again I forgot to post this prior to the session but here is the record of what we did.

The warm and sunny weather continued and attracted 14 volunteers to the Saturday volunteering session. Ian continued the collection of signed consent forms under the GDPR, tedious but legal.

  • We cleared round the base of new saplings:
    • Along the Pads footpath
    • In the new Pony Wood hedge
    • In the ‘Rotary Club’ extension to Pony Wood.
    • Around the meadowsweet in the wild flower margin.
  • Further work was done servicing the nosepump and preparing for a better pump system using the existing pipe.
  • At Keith’s suggestion we all assisted thinning the fruit trees of multiples.
  • A start was made on clearing the vistas in front of the Orchard benches


Volunteering Saturday 12th May 2018

Sorry I forgot to post Jonathan’s announcement of our proposed tasks for the Saturday session but here is what we actually did:

Fifteen volunteers attended the monthly Saturday volunteering session on a lovely spring morning.

  • The shed roof was weeded, particularly of sycamore saplings
  • Benches were trimmed of invasive vegetation in the Orchard, down the Pads footpath and along the Fauna path.
  • Keith began the summer pruning of the fruit trees, assisted byStuart.
  • The new saplings we planted this winter were trimmed round to increase their light and prevent envelopment:
    • Along the Pads footpath
    • Up the new hedge in Pony Wood
    • In the new extension on the East side of Pony Wood.
    • Along the southern hedge boundary of the Flora Field
  • The new gorse in Pony Wood was also trimmed although it’s not looking too strong at the moment.
  • We made a valiant effort to identify the patches of Spanish Bluebells which the wildflower surveyor had informed us of but without success. We need greater expertise to identify them for removal.