VOLUNTEER NEWSLETTER 

OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2020

Until the lockdown ends at the beginning of December, our group volunteer programme based on the ‘rule of 6’ must be suspended. We will pick up the programme again just as soon as we safely can and make any changes to try and keep up with the necessary seasonal work. Please keep an eye on our website for an up-to-date situation report. We certainly hope to be able to display the Christmas tree at Bare Lane Station again this year, if Northern allows it. It will hopefully cheer us all at a difficult time of year!

 

We have been plodding away maintaining our existing sites with a small group of dedicated volunteers, having decided that this was the safest and most effective way of operating. Thank you to our small, dedicated team who have been so brilliant at managing to work safely within all the Covid restrictions. Let us hope that more normal operations can be resumed in 2021 with some new and exciting projects.

 

When we can resume, please bear in mind:

  • Group size will be a maximum of 6 people. Our sites have each been assessed for social distancing.

  • Telephone bookings will be necessary in advance.

  • Health and wellbeing measures remain paramount and IF YOU FEEL AT ALL UNWELL, PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER JOINING US UNTIL YOU ARE FEELING BETTER!

  • Tools will need to be carefully managed and sanitised.

  • Volunteers should bring their own work gloves, as well as work clothes and suitable footwear.

  • Please bring packed lunches and snacks, including your own hot/cold drinks as required.

  • Please bring your own soap or hand sanitiser. We suggest a hygiene kit of soap/sanitiser, towel and flask of hot water for washing hands at break times.

  • Please help us to help you and reassure us all over health and hygiene. KEEP YOUR OWN GLOVES; CLEAN YOUR TOOLS; WASH YOUR HANDS and KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!

 

 

 

 

News

The old dipping platform at the Mossgate Primary School pond has now been refurbished and should be good for another few years.

 

The wildflower area at Great Wood Primary School has been mowed at the end of the season and the grass removed. This should help reduce fertility and encourage more wildflowers.

 

Great Wood itself has been prepared for autumn access by the children, with pathways cleared and some brambles and thorns removed. A fox was found snoozing on the island! The ash trees in the Wood are showing signs of ‘ash dieback’, while some thinning is planned over the winter to allow in more light to the pond area.

 

The Thurnham wildflower meadow has had its pathways mowed and is now ready for its autumn strimming and removal of the vigorous grasses.

 

A platform tub has been replaced at Bare Lane Station, while the wildflower platform ends have been mowed/strimmed with the grass removed to enhance the wildflower carpet. The newly planted hedgerow within the signalling compound has been weeded and black plastic put down to help suppress the weeds. A ‘wild barrier’ has been identified in the station car park, in line with current national thinking for providing a network of these small areas within and linking through our urban areas.

 

25 October - Thurnham meadows  This site has done very well over the summer, but it is now time to do a final grass cut and rake, to reduce the fertility for next season. This will help our native flowers to expand into the uncultivated area.

8 November - Belmount meadows  This has been delayed because of problems with vehicular access down Raikes Lane. All being well, this will now be sorted and we can do some maintenance on last year’s hedge planting, cutting in the meadows, including canopy raising in the copse, and assessing our hedge laying.

22 November - Mossgate Primary School  A highly successful project around the pond has been completed but we now need to create a bog garden and work on the area around the pond. This will be a showcase of what we can achieve!

6 December - Penhale am; Great Wood pm  Woodland management will be needed on both sites. We will be lifting canopies on some of the trees and doing some new planting. We need to thin some of the alder trees which are overhanging the pond at Great Wood as the pond has become quite stagnant and not particularly attractive to pond life.

20 December - Torrisholme Barrow  We want to check the new trees and remove one of the old protective cages. There will need to be an assessment of the ash trees as sadly there is now so much evidence of ash dieback.

 

We are hoping for a relaxing Christmas and a much happier year in 2021! A big ‘thank you’ to all those who have supported us through this challenging year of 2020.

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