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Conservation Work - Past
The covering of snow this morning did not deter our visit to the orchard, even if we were a bit late to set off.
Unsurprisingly (to me), we didn’t make great progress with the floor and door of the Apple Store, but it was very helpful to do more measuring, adjusting and chin scratching on site rather than in the workshop. The issues with the door revolve around the choice of hinge and how to avoid the obstruction of the straw wall verses the design of the door (weight, using materials we have or buying new stuff, or keeping an eye out for a door in a skip!).
However, it seemed a good day to clear some of the trees on our boundary so we coppiced the Ash by the Bramley and felled the Field Maple near the pond. Clearing these will help more light reach the tree and pond respectively.
We just had two species to plant today, Acer campestre (field maple) and Betula pendula (silver birch).
Both species were guarded with taller guards and stakes (quite a challenge to get these in the ground securely in some places – we are essentially on the back slope of the quarry after all).
We created a belt between the shrubs from last week and the main planting from last year.
We didn’t quite manage to get them all planted so the remainder have been snugly heeled-in waiting for our next visit on Wednesday 6th February. Only 3426 left to plant!
Today saw our return to Odda Quarry where we will be concentrating our planting efforts for the rest of the season.
Some of us, having learnt how muddy the access track could be donned wellies for the walk to site; others thought the frost and the dry year meant it would be fine. They were right.
Luckily the soil where we were planting had been protected by the vegetation so we were good to go. We concentrated on the shrubby edge of the woodland, planting hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel and a few guelder rose.
The weather warning of hill snow in the afternoon materialised with a few flakes when we still had nearly a hundred to plant. A final push meant we got all these in the ground and were back at the minibus as the snow shower thickened. Once back in town there was little sign of snow.
We will return to Odda next Friday.
We returned to help Forest of Bradford with this large planting scheme on the hillside above the reservoir.
Although there were spells of rain, we had great views across to Derbyshire (I think!).
We planted the shrub layer surrounding the woodland trees; hazel, grey willow, holly, elderberry and guelder rose. Once planted, a guard was placed over the tree and well secured to give them a good start. Welcome to Andy and Sylvie who both joined us for the first time.
Happy New Year
We made it today, hooray! We joined Forest of Bradford volunteers and between us planted 400 trees, finishing at lunchtime (though we had had mince pie and pumpkin cake snacks mid morning).
This is a big scheme, spreading around the hillside. We were mainly planting Scot’s pine and hazel.
It was a good place to spend our last volunteer day of 2018, with lovely views amongst the lifting clouds. Thanks for all your efforts through 2018, it’s been quite an ‘interesting’ year!
More minibus trouble so we had to abandon our plans to go tree planting at Ogden reservoir.
Instead we undertook the essential task of removing some of the dandelions from the meadow at Culture Fusion, as well as weeding the growing beds.
We made a short trip up to the orchard as well to check if the gales had done any damage. We had to replace some of the covering on the apple store but we were pleased to see no damage had been done to the trees.
Today we concentrated on pruning the apple trees.
Last winter we had to cancel a few planned sessions due to the inclement weather and some of the trees are getting too crowded. We took lower branches off Belle de Boskoop and Winston to help access to get under the trees. As always, we start by removing dead, diseased and damaged branches, though there aren’t too many of them. There is still a lot more pruning to do so we will return to this task in the New Year.
It was a chilly day, so the tasks of turning the compost heaps and digging out nettles were a useful way of keeping warm.
Today we applied the second coat of the clay plaster on the inside of the store.
We have a couple of tubs left which we will use on the rougher areas, and the final coat is a lime whitewash to help increase the reflected light levels inside (as well as acting as a herbicide and deterring rodents).
More weeding on around the orchard.