Please contact the office if you are interested in volunteering and we will discuss details.
Conservation Work - Past
The main task today was to cut the top areas of wildflower meadow, in order that the flowers continue to thrive amongst the grass. We used the auto scythe to cut the grass and then raked off the arisings to reduce the build-up fertility in the soil.
There was also a substantial amount of litter to collect including four mattresses, a divan base, a tent, sheets and blankets. Thanks to the Clean Team for collecting these items and the numerous bags of litter.
In addition we cleared cut back some over grown hedging and mended the gate on Westcroft Road.
Our favourite mucky task of the autumn pond management season! The aim of the task is to clear some of the build-up of shale and leaf litter that has fallen or been washed into the pond so that there are some areas of open water during the summer months. It would be ecologically disruptive, and too large a task, to drain the pond and clear out all the sludge, but we were able to dig out a fair amount in one day. It is always a challenge to decide what to do with the removed material – we do not want it to wash straight back in, nor affect surrounding vegetation. We chose to create several piles near by, and within a week we hope the falling leaves will enable them to blend in with the surroundings.
Today 10 BEES and Friends of Northcliffe volunteers were joined by 30 volunteers from ASDA. This enhanced workforce enabled us to tackle the pathways as well. Leaf mould was raked off to help reduce the wet and muddy patches that can cause a problem on the paths in wet weather.
A lovely autumn day and lots achieved. More pictures here.
Volunteering roles from 9am to 5.30pm
Our annual celebration event will be slightly different than previous years but still a lot of volunteer roles. Juicing, apple sales, kitchen help as well as help with setting up the marquees and packing up at the end of the day.
We will pick up from Culture Fusion at (time to follow).
Make your own way to the orchard if you plan to come along later.
Today we were focusing on ensuring the site was ready for Apple Day. We finished weeding the seating areas and path and topped up some areas with new bark chip. We had bought a full load but this turned out to be only a fraction of what was needed.
We also paid attention to areas of nettles and other unwanted plants, as well as a bit of weeding in the vegetable beds. We harvested apples and did as much preparation for Sunday as possible in advance.
A small group of six volunteers undertook the autumn tasks of clearing the pond and clearing the pathways.
Once a year we pull The Reed Sweetgrass from the pond in order to maintain open water. Today we also cleared brambles and balsam from the water inflow – the Boar’s Well.
The path team worked at Coleman Street end uncovering old steps that had been neglected for years and were covered in bramble. This task was not completed and we plan to carry on with this in the winter.
We sowed some yellow rattle seed on the meadow, removing some of the dominant hogweed at the same time. There were plenty of long tailed tits to keep us company.There were plenty of long tailed tits to keep us company.
Nine volunteers worked at the orchard today. The fence and gate were repaired and replaced. Fruit and vegetables, mainly potatoes, were harvested. The pathways were cleared and areas of vegetation cut.
Captain Brass took able charge of the boat again today. Together with the enthusiastic assistance of David they managed to retrieve the accumulated litter from the water whilst others worked around the edge and in the grassy areas. Thanks to the Clean Team for collecting the rubbish.
We also cut and raked the grass, to benefit the wildflowers and cut back branches around the pathway.
This was our final cut of the year and we managed to cover a good area with both the auto scythe and the hand tools. We cut the larger bracken at the top of the hill, and worked down the slope to connect the patches of heather and bilberry to the open area at the bottom.
There were plenty of small heath butterflies about, as well as bumblebees, grouse and swifts.
Today we continued our summer management of Boar’s Well with the usual routine of clearing and mowing the paths and meadow areas. We also took on the challenge of tacking the Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. So we split into 2 groups and began to remove the knotweed, which had taken steps to grow in the most difficult of places.
As we cut the knotweed back, making sure to leave in one location the group move town the gate, cutting back more and more of the invasive plant. Along the way we also pull balsam from the ground, and collected the litter. Soon we managed to cut back the knotweed we could see and remove the balsam in the area we found it in, and headed back to Culture Fusion.
Today we had a group of 6
Click Here to view the rest of the day pictures
Click Here to view the BEES flickr page