Ascot and Bee will be leaving tomorrow (Good Friday) after a first attempt at grazing rushes. They have clearly been eating clumps of rush round the edges of Big Meadow even if the overall rush coverage hasn’t changed a great deal. They have also been much admired for their decorative qualities and their occasional displays of teenage athleticism… and they have provided a useful source of manure for some of Fairfield’s gardeners. The FA will be discussing the experiment next month and will hope to decide whether pony grazing would be useful again next winter, perhaps at a slightly different time or even with larger numbers. In the meantime many thanks to their owner, Nicola Evans and to all the volunteers who kept an eye on them every day. They have been in good health throughout, and the picture shows Bee discussing with her vet last Friday the pros and cons of her annual flu and tetanus injection. The vet persuaded her to go for it.
A return visit last Friday (19 February) with volunteers who’d not been able to join us the previous week. Bee and Ascot were more willing to be caught than last time (though Bee was busy with a mouthful of rushes and needed coaxing to join us), and seemed pleased with the renewed attention (see picture of Bee dozing peacefully). And yes, they are definitely eating the rush – perhaps because it’s colder and there’s less grass to go at, perhaps they’ve only just realised how tasty it is? They’ve got a long way to go, but you can see some chewed off tufts if you look.
The Hedge Working Party (HWP) will meet for the first time this season on Wednesday 20th November at 9am (or later if convenient for you) at the Shed. Whilst we have some volunteers with hedge laying experience, everyone is welcome to either learn how to lay and/or help out, for example, by carting excess growth away to the bonfire site.
The HWP will meet every Wednesday at 9am throughout the winter except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (we are not obsessive!) unless prevented by bad weather. If it is very wet, snowing or frostbound then its off – if you are unsure ring Ian on 078121 970595. For those of you who have to work during the ‘working week’ the HWP will meet on the first Saturday of each month at 9am, i.e. 7th December, 4th January, and 1st February (lets leave 1st March as an option for now).
The HWP will work for a ‘long morning’ from 9am up to about 2pm but do start and depart at your convenience, pleasure or exhaustion level!
The task of the HWP is to manage hedges and trees around the Fairfield ‘estate’. Specifically this winter we aim to lay sections of the hedge between the Orchard and the Pads footpath, trim back the sides of the hedge to keep the Pads footpath clear, lay the western hedge of the Flora ‘West Field’ and pollard, coppice or fell trees within the Orchard as agreed by the Flora and Orchard Group (FOG). So, there is plenty to do.
Any queries contact Ian on 07811 970595 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do come along if you can.
Ian Procter, Volunteer Organsier
Report on volunteer morning 9th March 2013
11 local volunteers were joined by 11 students from Green Lancaster on a cold and damp morning.
- We had received a consignment of hedgerow sapling from The Woodland Trust and around 200 of these were planted:
- Filling gaps in the Pads / Fauna hedge where attempts to lay very old wood had failed
- Thickening up some of the planting in the Fauna / Grammar School Pond hedge.
- Replacing the section of rotten hedge at the north end of the Pads / Orchard hedge
- Infilling gaps in the Pads / Orchard hedge especially a gap toward the southern end which had been blocked by dead wood.
- The latter was carted away to the top end of the Paddock along with the elder cut out of the hedge by the hedge laying working party. This is now ready for burning on Fraser’s bonfire.
- Pruning of the apple trees progressed.
- The fruit bushes in the fruit hedge were pruned and the remnants carted away to the Paddock.
- Encroaching grass was cleared from around some of the Orchard benches.
- Bramble was cut back to the fence along the Fauna footpath. (NB Earlier volunteer work had cleared enveloping bramble from last year’s saplings in the Fauna hedge).
- Various stakes were gathered up for storage at the Orchard entrance.
- Graham’s stumps were moved from the Paddock / Allotments hedge so they don’t get caught up in any future hedge work.
- Various notices informing the public of our activities were removed as having served their purpose.
Join us for the ever-popular Easter Egg Hunt at Fairfield Orchard, Easter Monday (1st April), 2-4 pm
- Easter Egg Treasure Hunt (£1.50 per child)
Children must be accompanied by an adult
- Egg decorating
- Childrens Easter Bonnet competition (come with an Easter Bonnet that you have made)
- Refreshments and cakes
- Bonnet judging to take place at 3.30 p m
If you able to help us with the Easter Egg Hunt – baking cakes, serving refreshments, helping with the children’s egg decorating or the egg hunt itself, it will be much appreciated! Please give Tony a call on Lancaster 36426 or reply to this post. Many thanks.