Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteer session 27th May

Apologies once again for posting this late. My excuse this time is that we were on holiday when Jonathan sent the message out. Here is his message

Greetings All,

There’ll be an evening volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and
Flora, on Wednesday May 27th, commencing at 6.30pm at the Shed.

Our tasks for this occasion…

a) Continuing to build the fence around the Shed.
b) Weeding the Shed green roof, especially removing sycamore saplings up
c) Replacing the lid on bird box 4.
d) Reviewing the safety of the fallen goat willow in the Orchard.
e) Digging out ragwort from the Hay and Carr House Meadows.
f) Removing the brambles enveloping some of our hedges.
g) Pruning back a bush obstructing the path near the fruit circle.
h) Cutting out a protruding stump endangering the mower near the fruit
i) Making a repair to the barbed wire near the cattle crossing.

We have three other items requiring your attention, which for the sake of
convenience I will number 1, 2 and 3:

1. The *Ragwort Working Party* will continue this year’s work on the dates

For the benefit of newcomers, the Fauna component of the Nature Reserves
still has a problem with infestation with the toxic plant ragwort. We are
obliged under our Stewardship agreement with Natural England to combat
this problem.
The work will be a mix of glysophate spot spraying and digging out.
Those not wanting to engage in spraying will have ample opportunity to
contribute by digging out.
If you do opt to spray full training will be provided.
There are morning and afternoon sessions on the dates below, starting at
9.30am and 2pm respectively. The meeting point is at the Shed.
Tuesday 26th May
Wednesday 27th May
Friday 29th May
Monday 1st June
Tuesday 2nd June
Wednesday 3rd June
Friday 5th June
Saturday 6th June

After June 6th progress will be reviewed and a decision made on how to
proceed to the next

2. *Wildflower Working Party*.

We wish to extend wildflower plots on the Reserves.
The first step will be a plot around the Fauna Stones. This will need the
turf removing and then preparation of the bed before an autumn sowing of
the seed.
Rather than trying to do this within our regular volunteer sessions, we
hope to establish a Wildflower Working Party.
If you would like to be part of this or want to know more before
committing then please email Ian at  or
phone him on 07811 970 595.
For this to work we really need a working party convenor who can organise
things. If you think you could do this then contact Ian.

3. *Claver Hill*.

The local Claver Hill project has asked FA members to support their bid
for funding in the Aviva Funding Scheme.
This works by a voting system, with a deadline at the end of May.
To view details of Claver Hill use this link:

To cast votes you have to register from this web site with Aviva. It is
very straightforward.
The FA has decided not to apply through the Aviva Scheme so there is no
conflict of interest for FA members.

And that’s your lot for this time,

Best wishes,


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1 thought on “Volunteer session 27th May”

  1. And here is what we did
    In the evening four brave souls reported for the monthly evening volunteer session. The promised heavy rain held off until we were packing up so we kept quite dry although rather windswept.
    • We continued building the new fence around the Shed, using materials reclaimed from the Reserves.
    • The former wire fence was removed and the wire stored away.
    • The remaining timber was sorted so that those lengths suitable for the fence were identified and a calculation made of new timber requirement.
    • Bird box 4’s roof was replaced although more work needs to be done to secure it.
    • A protruding stump was cut out near the fruit circle.
    • A bush obstructing a path out of the fruit circle was pruned back.
    • The fallen goat willow in the Orchard was reviewed and thought to be safe to leave until the winter tree management programme.
    • The broken stock fence near the Lucy Brook crossing was repaired.
    • Reports of sheep droppings on the Pads footpath were investigated. We think it is deer droppings.
    • We inspected the Shed green roof and found the sedum to be in a healthy state but infested with sycamore seedlings. Whilst we removed various other weeds we decided to leave and monitor the sycamores on the grounds / hope that a dry spell should kill them off. Otherwise it’s a big job especially as getting the root out whole is awkward.

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