Please contact the office if you are interested in volunteering and we will discuss details.
Conservation Work - Past
Continuing with the roof garden. We will be building bed/mini greenhouse for tomatoes, staking tomatoes, planting vegetables, weeding the meadow, sowing seeds, potting up seedlings etc.
We returned to the project at Sydenham place to help the residents group to expand the area of their woodland, wildlife garden, they and we have been making on a patch of formerly fly-tipped waste ground. Filling a skip full of rubbish was the priority task for the day. We also helped with some weeding and cutting back.
A clean up of a stretch of beck along the cycle path along canal road and the area alongside the beck.
We worked with Aire Rivers Trust again, repairing the footpath alongside the river.
We removed a large amount of soil from the path; that has built up over time through flooding, to make the pathway more accessible in wet weather. We also did some litter picking and some removal of himalayan balsam.
As well as orchard management; grass mowing and weeding around the fruit trees. We continued with the apple store shed, using boards to make the floor; finishing the construction of the door and fitting it. We also created the living roof. Mixing soil and gravel, and raising it onto the roof as the growing substrate, we planted it up with a variety of stonecrops and will add some thyme later.
We spent the day back at base preparing the roof garden for the forthcoming growing season.
We prepared for planting tomatoes, by repairing the “mini-greenhouses”, covering the wooden frames with the plastic coverings. We also got the cloches out, repairing and cleaning them. These were used to protect, tender vegetables; tomato seedlings, courgettes and sweetcorn. We sowed some Runner beans and French beans, to be planted out later. We also created a new home for a homeless apricot tree; it is now growing against a sun trap wall, so hopefully it will do well.
We gave the meadow some care, weeding the dandelions etc ; that got a hold during the dry weather last summer, (seeding in the bare patches where the grass temporarily died down). We transplanted wildflower seedlings that had also seeded themselves well, around the meadow to give a more even distribution and potted up some Oxeye Daisies to be grown on for future use on other sites and projects.
Probably peak blossom today (regarding dates for group tasks anyway).
There are a few notable trees which appear to be having a bit of a rest; Belle de Boskoop, Winston, Howgate Wonder, Lady Henniker and Allington Pippin all have little or no blossom. The Durondeau pear has been badly affected by frost with on a few blossoms escaping unharmed.
Not much to report on the work front; a vaguely vertical (but less that satisfactory) door frame and the start of a not very satisfactory door (rather warped and not really square, but hopefully will do at least to start with).
A few more onions planted.
Sorry, no task today as it is a bank holiday
However, we will be at the orchard on Saturday 20th 10 am, please make your own way to the orchard.
We worked with Aire Rivers Trust today at Middlebrook Beck, helping with the mission to clear the becks and rivers of rubbish and to clear the surrounding banks to prevent further rubbish from washing in. There was no stopping our enthusiastic volunteers who made quite an impressive haul.
Blackcaps singing. Bumblebees searching for a nest hole. Bilberries in flower. Spring. Time to finish off tree planting activities.
We adjusted our total to what was reasonable to fit in the space, so had less to plant this week than previously planned. The challenge today was that we were filling in gaps so needed to walk a fair way (and squeeze through gorse, and clamber down stones).
After a late lunch, once finished in the top enclosure, we split into two teams. Hawthorn on the track and embankments. Holly across the main hillside, plus retracing steps to guard some that were planted at the weekend.
We spent a little while replacing fallen stakes in stony ground, and gathering left over stakes, bags, etc. And then we were done. 3,681. Let's call it 3,700.
Well done everyone, it's been a supreme effort. It was shame a few people were unable to come due to illness, work and studies. But, hey, we've got a northern forest to create and as tree planting comes out top as people's favourite task in the annual survey, there is bound to be more planting next season.