Tag Archives: Pony Wood

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.

 

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.

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.

Deer, birds and flowers

Three sightings of roe deer today, two very definite ones of a single deer running through Lower Sowerholme and then later in the Flora Field heading into Pony Wood. The third sighting of two deer between Lower Sowerholme and Flora Field rather more certain.

Whilst in the Big Meadow Bog ragworting we put up a couple of snipe.

Two new flowers to report. First water mint in Lower Sowerholme

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And finally, now that the haymaking has finished we can report Common Spotted Orchid in the Hay Meadow. About 20 of them in total but we didn’t want to encourage people climbing the gates by announcing them earlier. This photo is from 22nd June.

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Early evening stroll

Whilst it was still bright and sunny, we wandered round the boundaries of the nature reserve early yesterday evening. The woodpecker in Pony Wood was going at it hammer and tongs, the sound carrying far across the fields. After hearing from Jon Carter about the decline in recent years of greenfinch numbers because of a virus, Paul was delighted to see a couple as we paused on the Long Pads path. They were perched briefly on a wire fence at the boundary between Flora Field (new name for the arable) and Lower Sowerholme (formerly known as Gleesons field). But we couldn’t spot the grey partridge in West Field, and were starting to think that the lapwings had moved on. Just as we were about to get to the end of the reserve by the Aldcliffe Road houses, we heard a brief call: two displaying together over the ridge of Flora Field. One promptly landed at the top of the field, silhouetted against the skyline, distinctive crest showing clearly. Magical.

Spring is springing

Whilst working with the Hedge Working Party in and around Flora this morning we saw

  • The big brown hare
  • A pair of jays
  • Two heron
  • A woodpecker (sorry we heard rather than saw!) in Pony Wood
  • Ladybirds
  • Peacock butterflies
  • Long tailed tits
  • The white violets on the Pads footpath just to the south of the Orchard

Much better than enduring the rain!

 

FLORA Fields Walk and Talk

Last Saturday’s Walk and Talk around the FLORA fields took us up to the top of the hill just beside Pony Wood, where some fairly wild lambs were wriggling through gaps in the fence and leading their mothers across the fields. I’m looking forward, hopefully, to the time when we take over the fields and can start on our improvements by getting the sheep and lambs out of the wood.

There were lapwings to be seen in fair numbers on the field to the west of the Pads path, and curlews on the western hill side (we do need to sort out – discover or invent – names for these fields!). Good to see them there – they come nearly every winter, especially when the Lune estuary is frozen. If anyone’s got any dates or counts, do please post them here. Also please tell us about egret sightings, of which there have been reports. And anything else – we’d like to make this blog the go-to-place for all wildlife records in FAUNA, FLORA and the Orchard: if everyone who notices anything of interest posts it here, it will provide quick updates of what to look for and we should build up a really good data base over time.