Its seems as if the days are not long enough at this time of the year, trying to get all the winter tasks finished before the breading season starts and following straight on from that the spring planting season. In the last few weeks the ConVols have tried to concentrate on Training. thinning the Meadow and the Millennium woods. As the name suggests the Millennium woods were planted around 15 years ago to Forestry commission planting instructions.(2 meter ) This has lead to a woodland that is far too over populated and in desperate need of thinning. giving our novice chainsaw operatives chance to start honing their skills and collect some brash for us to collect for the Meadow and give us chance to cut path ways into the Bramble to give us access to the Himalayan Balsam in the summer.
We have also been preparing the meadow for the spring thinning/shaping the Arboretum plot, in preparation for replanting. A small picnic glade has been cleared near the west gate to let our visitors have a rest and to give some shape to the plantation . Hopefully this and the new trees should see us finished in that plot for this year. The ConVols have had some work done on one of the wet flushes this winter in the next week or two it will be planted up and some pond life added . We will have to keep a close eye on the Mares tale and cut it as it appears but with a bit of luck it will be gone in a few years.We do need some recorders for the new wetland project, perhaps Scarborough field Nats. would like to help
The Main gate I hear you ask in a loud whisper “ something must be done” and we agree 100% .A chipper has been booked but we need more brash to make it work, its amazing how much is needed to fill a small area never mind a git big gate, I know from experience that just when you think you have plenty you realise that the brash isn’t enough to fill a Wheel Barrow never mind a truck, so its slowly slowly.
Fund raising has in the short term been successful #bagsofhelp this windfall from Tesco is fantastic but we need more to keep us going . Our first priority is transport, Tasks takes us all over the 300 +sq. miles of the borough and we need a 4×4 to help us with our work. Unfortunately the cost of buying a 4×4 is prohibitive and not good value if its only going to get uses once or twice a week.
To make the a purchase of a 4×4 viable the volunteers are working towards increasing the number of days that they operate and expanding the kind of tasks that we do to include more Coastal work and marine Conservation. A big jump we know, moving into this work is not just a matter of buying a boat and sailing into the blue. Skippers tickets need to be got ,the kind of craft sorted out, insurance , equipment need to be bought/ trained on and cooperation with other interested parties sought to eliminate duplication of effort.
This gallery contains 0 photos
Some of our newly qualified chainsaw operators first chance to strut their stuff
This gallery contains 5 photos
Our new wetland project, Thanks to Pete Wilson and his staff for all the hard work. Yes the ConVols know it looks a bit harsh on the land at the moment but very soon it will be planted up and hopefully we will get rid of all the Mares Tail that suddenly invaded a few years ago, to bring in the wild life. It is a series of scrapes with March in-between and will bring in all sorts of new wild life
This gallery contains 6 photos
The 8th of March International Womans Day
We celebrated this by holding a Chainsaw training event on the Meadow all week. Sammie and Marie were joined by Roger and Dave in bringing our skill level up to date. As you will perhaps know if your a member of a group people come and go, some members only come out in good weather others have favourite tasks and come out for them only, some thank goodness get work and move on. Its the latter this time for the ConVols, two of our membership took the training and later in the year managed to find work (fantastic) We are hoping to offer regular training in woodland/conservation skills over the coming months and years, coming next is dry stone walling in the spring. Please let me know email@example.com if you are wanting a place as numbers are limited.
Next week we will be in the Meadow thinning the Cheery plot, raking the brush up and preparing the path for chipping. We will use the brash in the cherry plot on the east gate and brash from the arboretum plot for the west. I will also be getting some new trees for small cherry plot. WE must not forget the hide in the next few days we will be planting around the hide with willow, hopefully this will make it a little less conspicuous. Then it will be time to plant out the few thousand wild flowers we have so look out for the coming announcements.
In the next few weeks we will also be creating a Wet flush with the help of a local farmer ( Pete Wilson ) but alas we need the rest of the Meadow to dry out so we can get the tractor up there. Keep an eye out for announcements as this will probably be a weekend task.
The volunteers are desperately looking for funding to buy a 4×4 the type we need is a good old fashioned work horse, the one that meets our need is not the cheapest of options but it is the most appropriate for our varied needs a Discovery commercial
This gallery contains 0 photos
Its been a busy week for the ConVols, working on the beautiful south cliff gardens, cutting back overgrown trees and bushes. We were meant to be collaborating with a local friends group but for some reason they decided not to come out and help, someone came and took some photos at the end but no one helping.
It was a bit of a strange task to work on, we had been asked if we could cut down some small trees and bushes to improve a path. At first the Vols dragged the brash up to the road to fill a skip, when it got full we used a tractor to push it all down. In the meantime we pulled all the brash up onto the grass. Then we discovered the tractor had a grab so we pulled it all down onto the path too be picked up and taken away. The volunteers were not at all impressed by the Council garden employees standing around watching a group of (in some cases) elderly Volunteers struggle.
We shall certainly have to have a task review and more site inspections to help eliminate these things happening again.
Friday was another kettle of fish all together and I want to thank every one that came and supported us with Capt. Peter Cocker’s memorial. Late Thursday having had a full day and was sat relaxing for the evening a harbinger of doom came on the TV and told every one that the next day was going to be rubbish. Rain,hail,snow and wind the man said in a far too cheery tone. He was having some fun he had to be! Didn’t he know we had a git big tree to put in and have a memorial service Memo to self get the Gazebo. So the day dawns and the forecast was right I open the curtains to a snow storm and I start to panic about just getting there never mind if anyone was coming at half two. The memorial sign had been delivered the day before with relief all round so we were set to get wet. I drove to Daves house to pick him up and then to the council depot to pick up our gear and get the plaque made into a sign, thank you SBC. Dave and I made our way up to the Meadow and as soon as we started the long of road clime of over a mile we knew it would be a miracle if we got there, the track was like an ice rink but we made thanks to a marvellous Kia Soul . I managed to get within a hundred feet of the Meadow gates and Dave and we unloaded the car of gazebo and tools. A kind person from SBC had delivered the tree to the gate. David carried the gazebo and I got the tools and off we went . Gazebo up, hole dug and with Sammie’s help we got the Heavy standard Hornbeam over all the mud. 2.30 came and we remembered Peter a lovely man with out whom the ConVols owe a huge debt of gratitude. After the ceremony I showed Mrs Cocker around the beautiful blue bell glade that the ConVols are naming after Capt.Pete. Below are some pics of the memorial and with Capt.Peters good friend another Capt. Peter
We all got wet but poor dave looked a bit like a drowned rat when we were finished mind you having to push the land rover out did not help
Its chain saw training this week starting at Manor road Depot then for the rest of the week on the meadow giving our Arboretum plot a good thinning. On Wed those Vols that are not training are working at Millennium woods cutting back all the overgrown brush.
Lets be safe out there.
This gallery contains 8 photos