Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteer Session Saturday 10th May

Here is Jonathan’s message to Orchardeers

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this Saturday May 10th, starting at 10.00am and finishing at 1.00pm or thereabouts.

There’s much work to be done at this fecund time…

1. Mow the grass.
2. Cut back the nettles around fruit trees in the Orchard.
3. Position logs in Pony Wood for use as seating.
4. Stake the larger saplings planted in Pony Wood and the Extension.
5. Continue to flatten out the ruts left by machinery in Big Meadow.
6. Make further adjustments to the pedestrian gate at the ‘treble gates’ to improve its working.
7. Repair the broken rail at the cattle crossing.
8. Work on the redundant Flora fence to retrieve a) useful posts, b) useful lengths of wire netting and c) identify what is scrap.
9. Retrieve further redundant spirals and canes from the Pads footpath.
10. Cut back self seeded sycamore saplings along the hedgeline between the Paddock and the Sunnyside Lane path and various self seeding saplings in the Orchard.
11. At the end of the session put up some of our tables in the Orchard for the ‘Blossom Picnic’.

Firewood enthusiasts may be interested to learn that the gates of the Paddock and the Lower Sowerholme (ex-Gleeson’s) fields will be open for firewood collection.

The Blossom Picnic, as advertised in Ruth’s e-newsletter and a ‘Jacob’s Join’ style affair, will take place from 1pm in the Orchard.
Everybody is very much invited to bring some lunch and stay on after the session. See if you can’t tempt some families and friends to join us too. All welcome.

Looking slightly further ahead, I’ve been asked to mention that the next Lancashire Wildlife Trust event is a bird song guided walk, an introduction to identifying the songs of our resident and migrant birds.
The walk will be around the Heysham and Middleton reserves, where up to 9 species of warbler are now singing, and much else besides! The walk is on Weds 14th May, starting at 9am at Heysham nature reserve.
The event is free of charge though booking is required. Please call 01524 855030 to do so.

And that’s your lot from me,

Best wishes,



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1 thought on “Volunteer Session Saturday 10th May”

  1. Here’s what we did
    Despite a dreadful weather forecast 24 local volunteers (plus three students from Green Lancaster) turned out for the Saturday volunteer session. In fact it remained dry if rather damp throughout the morning.
    • The grass paths in the Orchard were mown and the cuttings fed to the cows, still eager despite having much more grass to eat than over the last several years..
    • A considerable area of nettle and long grass around the apple trees was cut back and carted away.
    • Logs left in Pony Wood by the tree surgeon were positioned to act as seating (still more to do).
    • The larger saplings planted in Pony Wood and the Extension were staked and some re-planted where the root was loose.
    • The pedestrian gate at the treble gates was further adjusted to enable it to open properly.
    • The broken rail at the cattle crossing was repaired.
    • The redundant Flora fence was stripped down to separate out good stakes, still useable wire netting and scrap.
    • Self seeded saplings were lopped in the Orchard and the new Paddock west hedge .
    • The path behind the fruit hedge was cut back to allow pedestrian access.
    • A few more spirals and canes were retrieved from the Pads footpath / Big Meadow hedge.
    • The gates to the Paddock and Lower Sowerholme were left unlocked and at least one local resident collected firewood left by the contractors.
    • There was ongoing discussion between experienced volunteers about how to dispose of the abandoned camp in Little Wood. It was agreed that there was too much rubbish to barrow away. A number of plans and contingencies were agreed.

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