Category Archives: Volunteering

Wildlife from the Wednesday Work Group

Swallows were swooping over the Wednesday Work Group as we worked to clear algae from the Alder Pond in Big Meadow. We were careful not to go near the moorhen’s nest and found this newt.

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As we were packing up, a mother mallard emerged from the marsh with her chicks, we think eight, and led them on to the  water, clearly appreciating our clearance.

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Volunteer session Saturday March 10th 2018

Here’s what we did

The forecast was for continuous rain on our volunteer Saturday which perhaps restricted numbers to 8 but it turned out to be dry and remarkably warm.

  • A further seven holly were planted in the Old Damson Copse.
  • Invasive bramble behind the Fauna Stones was dug out and cut back and the area generally tidied to form a habitat pile.
  • A channel was dug at the corner of the Fauna path by the Stones to form a drain into the field.
  • The fastening post of the new gate in the Grammar School Field was moved to prevent the gate catching. Road test of the new auger worked well.
  • A start was made to trimming the Fauna path / Grammar School hedge around the board walk. More work needed.
  • Bramble cut out of the Pads / Orchard hedge.
  • Self seeded saplings and bramble cut out and dug out through the Orchard. Almost finished this.

Reminder, Saturday 3rd March planting day

Here is Jonathan’s reminder

Greetings All,

A quick reminder for you that the Fairfield Association is holding a Tree
Planting Saturday volunteer session on March 3rd meeting at 9.30am (note
the earlier time).
The shed will be the meeting point.
This session begins the work on the ‘Pony Wood project’ by planting the
hedge alongside the existing fencing and beginning to plant additional
trees to extend the wood.

We hope to get 600 saplings planted, so ‘all hands on deck’ if you can
spare them please. A few points to note:
* Please bring your own refreshments on this occasion for a mid morning
break.
* You might want to bring your own spade and / or gloves.
* Full instructions will be given.
* The saplings are supplied by the Woodlands Trust – partly through their
Community Programme via a donation by the local Rotary Club and partly
through their MOREhedges scheme, by which the FA gets saplings at a very
reasonable price.

If you can please come along as we begin this exciting next step in the
development of the Nature Reserve.

Best wishes,
Jonathan.

Wednesday Work Group sightings

Whilst the Wednesday Work Group were working in Big Meadow this morning we observed two buzzards being ‘bombed’ by a group of noisy seagulls.

On the way back I observed an interesting bird very busy adjacent to the larger Fauna path boardwalks. From its dark head and white chin I summised it to be a nuthatch but I’m by no means certain of this. Any thoughts from our birders?

Extra volunteer session for hedge planting, plus dementia friendly training

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

A couple of items for your attention on this occasion.

First, a reminder about the second Dementia Friends induction session
organised by Mick Short who says…

“This next induction workshop will take place between 6 pm and 7 pm on
Thursday 22 February in the Meetings Room of Joseph A. Jones & Co.,
solicitors, 6 Fenton Street (I have booked the room until 7.30, in case we
over-run a little). Gary Rycroft, one of the firm’s partners, will be on
hand to let us in and lock up afterwards. The room is not large and so we
will only be able to take a maximum of 10 prospective Dementia Friends
this time. I will be arranging other Dementia Friends inductions later in
the year, though, so this is not your last chance if you can’t make 22
February.

The Fairfield Association informal Volunteers Buffet is on the same
evening, in the Storey Institute, starting around 7 pm, so people who want
to attend both events can go straight from the induction to the buffet as
the offices of Joseph A. Jones & Co. and the Storey Institute are only
about 100 yards apart.

This will be the first induction I will be involved in running (I became
qualified to do this at a day session in Manchester just before
Christmas). Steve Fairclough (Dukes Playhouse), who ran the November 23
induction to great acclaim, will be supporting me so that I don’t foul
things up!

Just email me to sign up: m.short@lancaster.ac.uk

Second, news of an Extra Bonus volunteering session on Saturday March 3rd…

The Fairfield Association are holding a Tree Planting Saturday volunteer
session on March 3rd meeting at 9.30am (note the earlier time) at the
shed.
This session begins the work on the ‘Pony Wood project’ by planting the
hedge alongside the existing fencing and beginning to plant additional
trees to extend the wood.

We hope to get 600 saplings planted, so ‘all hands on deck’ is the order
of the day please.
A few points to note:
* Please bring your own refreshments on this occasion for a mid morning
break.
* You might want to bring your own spade and / or gloves.
* Full instructions will be given.
* The saplings are supplied by the Woodlands Trust, partly through their
Community Programme via a donation by the local Rotary Club and partly
through their MOREhedges scheme, by which the FA gets saplings at a very
reasonable price.

Please come along if you possibly can as we begin this exciting next step
in the development of the Nature Reserve.

Best wishes,
Jonathan.

Saturday volunteering February 10th 2018

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

Three notices for your attention on this occasion.

First, there’ll be a volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and
Flora this Saturday, February 10th, starting at 10.00am and finishing
around 1.00pm.
If you’re able to come along, here is some of what you might be getting up
to:

1. Prepare the ground in the ‘old damson copse’ near the Towneley entrance
to the Orchard. Plant holly, broom and gorse.
2. Plant saplings (oak, horse chestnut and birch cherry) donated by
members as replacements for felled trees in the ‘wild’ part of the
Orchard.
3. Mark out the Flora Field beetle banks with stakes and red hazard tape.
Attach tape to the fences around the manholes to make them prominent.
4. Continue removing invasive bramble and self seeded saplings  in the
Orchard.
5. Plug a gap in the Orchard / Pads hedge with brash.
6. Construct willow ‘play domes’ in the Orchard ‘wild area’.
7. Strengthen the northern fence of the Paddock.

Second, a reminder about the Volunteers’ Buffet, which takes place at the
Storey on February 22nd, 7pm to 9pm, £10. All Fairfield volunteers,
helpers and members are welcome including partners.
We have to have numbers beforehand so please book a place with either Sue
Nieduszynska (sue@nieduszynski.org or 01524 60480) or Ian Procter
(sysaf123-volunteer@yahoo.co.uk or 07811970595) by February 15th.

Third, on Saturday March 3rd we will be having an additional volunteer
session to begin the planting of the new hedge around Pony Wood.
We will have 600 saplings (six hundred) to plant so will need plenty of
help. Mark the date in your diaries, calendars, electronic personal
organisers or maybe commit it to memory with the help of an amusing
limerick – the choice is yours! Details to follow in due course. (I’d be
quite keen to read the limericks if you take that route and are willing to
share.)

Best wishes,
Jonathan.

Volunteer Session Saturday 13th January 2018

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

And a very Happy New Year to you and yours.
Two items for your volunteering attention on this occasion.

First, there’ll be a volunteer session in Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and
Flora this Saturday, January 13th, starting at 10.00am and finishing all
rosy cheeked at 1.00pm. Please come along if you possibly can no matter
what the state of you.
Work to be getting on with includes:

* Continuing to cut out bramble and unwanted sapling suckers through the
Orchard.

* Removing the net from the roof of the shed, carefully mind you,  so as
not to spill the sycamore seeds.

* Replacing broken fencing post at Hay Meadow double gates and repairing
wire.

* Fixing new fencing posts to secure the open gate between Big Meadow and
Hay Meadow.

* Adding barbed wire strand to weak points along the West Field / Pads
wire fence.

* Trimming the hedge at the southern end of the Pads footpath / Big Meadow.

Second, food and drink lovers will be glad to learn the volunteer buffet
will be held at The Storey on February 22nd, 7- 9pm (please note the
change of date).
The cost is £10 per person.
Please book a place with either Sue Nieduszynska (sue@nieduszynski.org or
01524 60480) or Ian Procter (sysaf123-volunteer@yahoo.co.uk or 07811 970
595) by Feb 15th as we need to give numbers to The Print Room Cafe. Well
behaved spouses and partners are very welcome. This is a great opportunity
for cake bakers and calendar makers to mix with hedge layers, scythers and
other good people so please join us for a rare evening of relaxation.

And that’s about it for now,

Best wishes,
Jonathan.