Work Party Sessions, 2013

Sunday 15th December : About ten volunteers braved the rain - it was a wet working day at the orchard this morning, luckily just planting some of the small saplings received from The Woodland Trust to fill the hedges. Used the saplings either side of the bee enclosure and the outfilling of the hedge opposite to the allotments. Many more saplings left to use at Jubilee Green next year. Sheltered in the polytunnel later with mince pies and mulled wine!
David Hawkins
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Sunday 10th November: Fifteen volunteers turned up for this morning's Working Day. Jobs undertaken included:
- Replacing 3 rotten stakes and the accompanying wire tree guards, re-attaching nameplates
- Hammering in stakes loosened in the recent strong winds
- Reducing the height of a number of original stakes and tree guards to eliminate rubbing
- Clearing round tree bases, including the cordons and espaliers
- Cutting the grass in the bee enclosure
- Fitting new canes to some of the fans
- Heeling in the new hedging whips (from the Woodland Trust) - photos below. Some of these are for the Orchard and some for a new hedge at Jubilee Green.

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Sunday 13th October: Main tasks were to apply grease bands around the trees to help prevent attack by winter moths, and to clear and weed round the base of all the trees. Grass cutting and weeding in wildflower areas. The last of the orchard apples were harvested.
July 14th
About fourteen volunteers turned up to help:
-clear the pond of non native pond weed
-rake up cut grass
-clear round the trees
-scythe along the edge of the allotments
-thin apples and check for pests
-lightly prune the cordons
-tidy up the dipping platform
Well deserved refreshments taken in the shade of the hawthorn tree!
June 9th
The tree group finished clearing grass from around the base of the standard trees. A path has been created from the central circle to a bench under the hawthorn tree. Dock was dug out from the wildflower area, before it could flower and seed. The fruit trees were inspected for unwelcome insects! (friendly ladybird larvae also discovered). Quite a lot of "fruitlets" have set. Five beds were prepared for the bee-friendly wildflower plug plants.
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May 12th
The grass in the bee enclosure was scythed. Jim Binning, BCOG's beekeeper, treated us to a "taste of honey" - (the first from our bees!)- eaten with a sorrel leaf.
The space round the base of more of the trees was cleared.
The waterbutt next to the shed in the wildlife area was fitted with an overflow, so that excess rainwater will now run into the pond.
April 14th
14 volunteers today. Tasks completed were:
Holly saplings approx. 1-2 feet tall planted as hedging along the Vernon's Court hedge line.
Wildflower seeds sown.
Polytunnel patched.
Field maple tree planted near the hedge alongside Vernon's Court.
3 irises (pond plants) repotted.
Many barrow loads of compost removed from the two containers in the wildlife area and used to mulch almost all the trees - all the standards and the cordons. There's enough left in the second container to use on the allotment, as the material at the bottom looks quite fertile.
March 10th
10 volunteers turned up to help with re-fencing the bee enclosure. An area of turf was removed in the bee enclosure to allow the sowing of wild flower seeds. Hedging between the allotments and the wildlife area was completed with hawthorn whips. Buds on the fruit trees are beginning to appear! and daffodils planted among the orchard trees are starting to bloom.
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February 17th
Pruning workshop with David Squirrell who demonstrated pruning techniques to a group of volunteers. Some woodchips were used as weed suppressant on the bed in front of the espaliers - this bed will become a bee friendly plant area.
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Photos: Lawrence Moore and Sheila Hawkins