Monthly Archives: June 2016

Volunteering session Wednesday evening

Here is Jonathan’s message


Greetings All,

Two pieces of volunteering news for you on this occasion.

First, there’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and
Flora this Wednesday evening, June 29th, starting at 6.30pm.

This week’s to do list reads as follows:

* The barley straw bundles for for Anna’s Pond need making up and
barrowing across.
* The barbed wire near the big Ash Tree on the Fauna path needs repair.
* The grass overhanging the Fauna path needs strimming.
* Cut back and dig out bramble along the Fauna path.
* Cut off and remove flowering heads of dock, especially in the Pony Wood
extension, around the Flora Field margin and along the beetle banks.
* Now that the net has arrived for the shed roof – “Back of the net, etc!”
to borrow a footballing expression – inspect it and the roof to determine
when and how best to use it.
* Thin out the apples according to our expert advice.
* Tie up some of the soft fruit bushes.

Second, we are suspending the Ragwort Working Party II which has met on
Tuesday evenings. Ragwort Working Party I continues to meet on Wednesday
mornings from 9.30 at the Shed. We are doing well this year but watch out
for further appeals for help later in the summer.

Very good.
And that’s your lot for this occasion,
Best wishes,


Water lily

Water lilies have appeared in Alder Pond (Big Meadow) this summer. How I don’t know but if they survive the pond occasionally drying up they will be a lovely feature.


Also can anyone identify this plant which is growing in the Hay Meadow marsh but which I can’t find in any of my books or the Wildflower Identification collection which is on the Fairfield web site?


Many thanks if you can help



Volunteering Saturday 111th June 2016

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

Three items for your attention.
Firstly, news of this Saturday’s volunteer session. Thirdly, some words
about the ragwort working parties. And sandwiched discreetly between them,
an appeal for apple and pear tree thinners.

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday morning, June 11th, starting at 10.00am and finishing in the
general vicinity of 1.00pm.

On the agenda for this occasion…

1. Repair fencing down the track from the Shed and in the corner of West

2. Strim around a couple of areas in the Orchard where we are getting
ground back to grass. Also strim the overhanging grass along the Fauna

3. Make up three wired bundles of barley straw for  Anna’s Pond and barrow
them across to the pond.

4. Dig out bramble encroaching within the stock fence in the Hay Meadow
and Carr House Meadow.

5. There are self seeded saplings in the marsh between the Hay Meadow and
the Cromwell Road entrance which should be removed before they start
getting ideas. Crush their dreams.

6. Now things are drying out we should strengthen the bund near the Alder
Pond drain which leaked last year.

7. Clear encroaching vegetation around all the benches.

8. Split and propagate marsh marigolds.

Jobs 3, 5 and 6 definitely need wellingtons so if you fancy these jobs
please come suitably shod.

We are also looking for a volunteer or two to thin out the fruit on the
apple and pear trees. This is required to optimise the crop. Full training
will be given. Work in your own time and at your own pace.

We are now running two Ragwort Working Parties, or RWPs, if TLAs* are your
Ragwort I meets on Wednesday mornings at 9.30 at the shed. We work until
about 1 but working
times are flexible within the morning.
Ragwort II will be led by Mick Short and meet on Tuesday evenings from 6
to around 8, or a shorter time if that suits you. Again, the meeting point
is at the shed. All are very much welcome – gloves, tools and training
are provided.

And that’s your lot for this time,

Best wishes,

(*Three-Letter Acronyms)


At the end of April we planted 70 wild flower plugs in the wet part of the Hay Meadow. The ragwort Working Party had time this morning to inspect the plugs and we were pleased to find that all but one were thriving. We found a ragged robin in flower. This is one of the plants we put in but from its position and flowering I think this one has arrived independently. This is even better as we have not observed this plant on the Reserves in recent years.