Fairfield Association Friends

Photo by Janet PackhamThe Fairfield Association is now responsible for around 50 acres of land over five sites: Fairfield Green Play Area, the Community Orchard, the Aldcliffe Triangle (also supported by Friends of the Triangle) and the two nature reserve sites, Fauna and Flora (please see map below).

  Map showing Orchard, Fauna and Flora

The Fairfield Association Friends exist to give people the opportunity to make one-off or regular donations to the Association which will help to cover the costs both of developing all these areas as needed and also of their ongoing maintenance, something for which it's especially difficult to raise external grant money. Flora in particular, as our newest and biggest acquisition, is likely to be most in need of a continuous source of funding for the next few years.

What will your contributions be used for?
In addition to the regular maintenance and development of all the sites, here are some examples of what the Fairfield Association has done with money raised and donated since 2011:
  • Acquired a 30-year lease on Fauna, created the very popular new footpath across it.
  • Purchased Flora, mainly with funds contributed by our local community, supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
  • Landscaped both Flora and Fauna with new and restored hedges, ponds and scrapes, and created hay meadows which are more wildflower-rich every year.
  • Supported the Friends of the Aldcliffe Road Triangle in their aim of creating a beautiful small park on an area of derelict land by the Canal. Already the site has been cleared and opened up, and the Council has recently approved the plans for further improvements.
  • Carried out repairs on several items of play equipment on Fairfield Green and replaced the whole of the safety surface.
  • Improved the care of the fruit trees in the Community Orchard, yielding a much improved crop as well as a wonderful display of apple blossom in the spring, and laid overgrown hedges to improve the habitat for wildlife.
  • Provided tools and training for volunteers working on the various sites, whose numbers have increased by a factor of four.
  • Worked to control invasive and inedible or poisonous plants such as ragwort, thistles and docks.
Photo by Janet Packham Fairfield Green Play Area Photo of Aldcliffe Road Triangle
What do we need to do to develop and maintain the Fauna and Flora Nature reserve?
We are increasing the biodiversity of the Fairfield reserves and making ecological improvements to the land by using, as far as possible, the traditional farming methods associated with previous generations of farmers. Although these methods qualify for some financial support from Natural England, our policy of minimising fertiliser and herbicide input inevitably lowers the yield. The contributions from The Friends will help to bridge the gap as well as help fund the essential, regular maintenance.

As you may well have seen, hedges have already been laid in Fauna and Flora, scrapes have been made for water loving species, numerous native trees planted and the traditional White Park cattle graze the pasture.

The arable land in Flora has been carefully ploughed, so as to preserve the lynchets, and spring-sown with wide margins along the hedgerows and wild flower strips to attract bees as well as birds. Some of our target bird species such as lapwings and curlews have already been attracted to the site and we are confident that more will follow.

In the near future we aim to improve access across the site, both by creating additional paths up to and around Pony Wood, and by improving the quality of the existing footpaths so that they are more accessible.

The Fairfield Association also takes an active interest in the history of the area and numerous items of historical interest have been uncovered by local groups of archaeologists and metal detectorists.

More details of both wildlife sightings and historical artefacts found in our fields can be found on the: Wildlife Sightings, Wildflower Sightings and Local History pages.

Photo by Janet Packham Photo by Janet Packham Photo by Geoff Oliver

Since 2014 we have been drawing up detailed plans which we will use to bid for the external funding which will certainly be needed. However, most funders now expect applicants to provide their own match funding, and all funders require applicants to show that they are well supported by their community. If we can show that we have regular and dependable contributions from The Friends, this will greatly strengthen our grant applications, as well as helping to fund our annual budget and our new projects.

All of the above activities cost money (even the most enthusiastic volunteers need tools and equipment!). We hope you will join The Friends and give generously.

To become a Fairfield Friend today, please download the form below. There is also a gift aid form to fill in if you are a UK taxpayer and have not already filled one in for us.

  Fairfield Friend Form

  Fairfield Association Gift Aid Form

For more information on The Friends, please contact the Fairfield Friends coordinator, Geoff Oliver, on: fairfieldfriends AT fairfieldassociation DOT org.

Alternatively, if you would like to leave the Fairfield Association a legacy, please download the 'Leaving a Legacy' document below for further information:

  Leaving a Legacy

Many thanks - your support in helping the Fairfield Association preserve these important green spaces will be much appreciated!