Volunteering in February

Greetings All,

There’s a number of volunteering opportunities for you to set yourself upon this February. A brief outline follows…

The Hedge Working Party will meet on Saturday 1st February as well as every Wednesday at the moment.
We are making progress with the West hedge but there is still a long way to go and plenty to do.
We meet at the Storage Building at 9.00am or, if arriving a little later, head down the Pads footpath and you will see us at work on the hedge.
Please bring your own refreshments.

The regular monthly volunteering Saturday will take place on February 8th, from 10.00am until 1.00pm. We meet at the Storage Building and on this occasion will be joined by a group of students. Our tasks include:

1. Planting a willow ‘living fence’ alongside School Pond. This is to act as a screen as we are advised that the closeness of the path may be inhibiting some birds from nesting around the Pond.
2. Clearing away brash both in the Orchard and alongside the West hedge.
3. Planting hedge saplings at the Pads ‘dogleg’ and in the West hedge.
4. Litter picking both in the Orchard and in Little Wood.
5. Trimming back the hedge alongside the Pads footpath between Lucy Brook and the concrete wall.

There is also a Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) sapling planting day at Freeman’s Pools on 20th February, starting at 10.00am.
The meeting point is at the reserve on the cycle path from New Quay Road, Lancaster.
Bring stout footwear, waterproofs and a packed lunch.
The LWT give us lots of support, including haymaking and we hope that some Fairfield Association volunteers can lend a hand.
Please let Ian Procter know if you are coming on 07811970595 or sysaf123-volunteer@yahoo.co.uk
Contact Ian if you are not sure of the meeting place.

And that’s all for now. Please do come along to any of the above sessions if you can possibly spare any time.
Many hands make light work and we really do appreciate all help, regardless of experience, physical sturdiness, how much time you can give and anything else I might have forgotten.

Best wishes,


White Park

I was surprised today on going up the steps into The Storey to see an image of a White park cow and calf on the screen in front of me. I thought it looked familiar then realised that it is taken from our leaflet and the city council are advertising the lectures ( for free ). So come along and learn all about them from Fraser on Thursday.

 Flora – Spring Programme of Events Leaflet

Curlews, greylag geese and pheasants

Heard curlews as walking past Fauna this morning – lovely sound. Also saw a flock of what I thought were Greylag geese flying overhead, probably confirmed, as there are now a large flock (eighty or more) settled at top of field adjacent to Flora. Also saw two pheasants sunning themselves in same field.

Bird walk

Thanks to everyone who came out for the bird walk on Saturday morning.

We were out for around an hour and 20 minutes or so, and clocked up just over 30 species in a relatively small area. We took in the Orchard, Pony Wood and FAUNA.
The morning’s highlights included little owl, redwing, kestrel, jay and snipe along with other common species.
I’m already looking forward to our next outing!

Little Egret again

This bird seems to spend a lot of time in Lucy Brook where it runs along Willow Lane and the back of the west field in Flora. Disturbed it again in this area this morning. As we then turned the footpath corner into Fauna it took off from Big Meadow and flew access the reserve before settling down in School Pond.

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,


A soggy flush count

The first flush count of 2014 took place in driving rain and buffeting wind. Not surprisingly the marshes were awash – as was the inside of my wellys by the end. In the gloomy light, with glasses streaked with rain, it was not always easy to spot the birds flying up. Nevertheless, we achieved a good tally of snipe: 48 in School Pond, 49 (plus one jack snipe) in Big Meadow, and a single bird each for the Hay Meadow and Upper Sowerholme. Highlight was a sparrowhawk (probably male, from the size) that flew over and back above our heads as we stood in the middle of Big Meadow.