Volunteer session 11th Jnauary

Here is Jonathan’s message

Greetings All,

A very Happy New Year to each and every one.

Some information for your inward digestion regarding forthcoming activities…

Volunteering recommences with the Hedge Working Party on Saturday 4th January from 9am, meeting at the Storage Building.
We are now moving on to lay the western hedge in the Flora fields. The HWP meets again every Wednesday from 8th January, again from 9am at the Storage Building. Don’t forget to bring your own mid-morning refreshment.

Our first regular Saturday volunteering session of the new year is on the 11th January, meeting at 10am by the Storage Building.
Our tasks include:

a) To finish moving the now demolished fence in Flora
b) Further exploration of the foundations of the concrete wall
c) Complete the recovery of usable stone by the Aldcliffe Road wall and concrete trough
d) Investigate the boarding in Pony Wood
e) Repair the hazel fence in Sowerholme
f) Make a short extension to the new hazel fence in the Orchard
g) Further sapling planting alongside the Orchard hazel fence
h) Clear away the last of the hedging debris in the Orchard

Please do come along if you possibly can.

Best wishes,

Jonathan.

One thought on “Volunteer session 11th Jnauary

  1. Drip Post author

    Here’s what we did, including a suggestion for FOg on organisation
    24 volunteers turned out on a bright winter’s morning, including 6 people attending for the first time. This is a record number in the current Volunteer Organiser’s experience and, whilst being very welcome, see what we achieved below, such a number does bring organisational issues. I will return to this at the end but first a list of what we did:
    • Further pruning of the apple trees including removal of one badly infected with canker. Most of the brash and logs were removed.
    • After the break Keith Taylor gave a group of 7 volunteers instruction in fruit tree pruning.
    • The hazel fence in the Orchard was extended to meet up with the newly laid hedge. This included cutting a new supply of hazel withers.
    • Thorn saplings were then planted along both sides of the hazel fence so that as it deteriorates the hedge will replace it.
    • Ivy and other extraneous growth were cleared from a stretch of former hedge adjoining the footpath near the Storage Building in preparation for planting thorn saplings.
    • A litter pick was conducted along both sides of the Pads footpath through the Flora fields and some adjoining hedges.
    • Encroaching grass was cut back from some of the Orchard paths.
    • We completed moving the former Flora fence to the storage area at the edge of Pony Wood.
    • Part of the fence was re-erected along a section which will not be ploughed, the remainder is rolled up and ready for future use.
    • The exploratory trenches under the concrete wall were extended. A piece of glass and a piece of pottery were found which may help to date the wall.
    • The saplings planted along the Pads footpath near the concrete wall had been disturbed by the cattle and these were restored.
    • The mysterious board lodged in the ground in Pony Wood was dug out. It proved to be an old table top with nothing but invertebrates underneath it. Moved to an area where we are collecting items for disposal.
    • The boundary stone, also disturbed by the cattle was re-erected.
    • We investigated the stone around the concrete former drinking trough near Aldcliffe Road with a view to moving usable stone for the rebuilding of the nearby wall. The site proved to be completely waterlogged and even if we could recover the stone, moving it would be difficult until the land dries out. However, the stone has apparently formed a hard standing around the trough and perhaps it should be left for archaeological / historical investigation for the moment?
    • Photographs of some of the above Flora activities were taken for use in reports to the HLF amongst other purposes.
    • Note that the ‘Volunteer Flyer’ was posted near to two of our main work areas to inform the public and encourage new volunteers.
    The numbers attending this session highlighted an organisational problem. The volunteers attending have to be allocated work at the beginning of the session, splitting into work groups usually working in different areas. This is done by the Volunteer Organiser (VO). The problem is that the VO has to then explain what the various tasks involve. Whilst doing this with one group the others are kept waiting because, at present, only the VO knows what each task involves. We clearly need some way of deputising work group leadership so that, for example, three deputies take three groups off to their work straight away because they have been previously briefed by the VO. This is not possible at the moment because the VO does not know who will attend a given session. To be clear – it is not necessary for the VO to know in advance all attendees, rather a) to know that (say) three experienced volunteers have committed to attend and b) these three individuals arrive 15 minutes early so that the VO can brief them on the work their groups will be doing.
    So, what needs to happen?
    1) A list of experienced volunteers who are willing to lead work groups.
    2) They commit to informing the VO before a volunteer session whether they will be attending.
    3) The VO then asks the required number of deputies for that session to come along 15 minutes early for their briefing.
    4) As the session proper starts the VO just does the general introduction and marshals people into groups which the deputies then take off to work.

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