Sunday, 30 November 2014

extra whips planted 30th Nov 2014

This weekend (29th - 30th November) marks the start of National Tree Week so it makes sense to plant some trees. Some of the Friends volunteers had planned to plant more whips last Sunday but relentless rain and waterlogged ground kept us away. Luckily today the weather was mild with some sun, so Sue and Alona agreed to meet and do some planting.
The area they worked on is immediately behind the hard-standing and adjacent to the orchard. Three winters ago a large tree (sycamore, I think) fell during a storm. When the tree was cut up, the trunk and logs were left for the benefit of wildlife. The open space created by the fallen tree was rapidly colonised by sycamore, elder, cherry, horse chestnut and other young saplings, with a dense ground cover of ivy. Scattered among gaps in the greenery various wild plants have taken hold, including nettles and forget-me-not. Perhaps a wild flower survey in spring could identify and list some of these?
Back to the tree planting today: Around 20 whips were planted, including rowan, hazel, silver birch and hawthorn, planted at fairly close spacing to grow into a hedgerow.
It is always a joy when other park users come over, to talk to volunteers, to find out what we are doing and to watch. One of our first visitors was a robin. Then came a young boy with his dad, on their way to grow Mayow Community Garden. Someone who has volunteered with us before came to ask about our next planned work session. A lovely silver cat strolled by while going for a walk with his owners and last of all came  two women with a dog. 
Sue planting whips

As this is the start of National Tree Week ( there was a busy day of activities and celebration at Grow Mayow Community Garden. Hopefully they will post some photos of their event on this blog in the days to come. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Hedgerow planting 9th November 2014

We planned a short work session ( 90 minutes) for 9th November but aimed to plant up to 200 hedgerow whips (young tree saplings) for wildlife so fine weather and plenty of volunteers with spades were needed. Luck was on our side with 11 adults, most armed with a spade or fork, while two  babies in buggies acted as supervisors. Was the good turn out due to the email sent to supporters by Sue, the Friends of Mayow Park Secretary? I'd like to think so.
Some of the whips, canes and guards provided by the Woodland Trust
Our saplings arrived on 7th November from the Woodland Trust.They included hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, dog rose, elder, crab apple, rowan, oak, silver birch. Tree guards and canes were also provided.
Work starts behind the shipping container building
Some volunteers planted a  double row of mixed whips along the back wall of the shipping containers at the bowls green. As these grow they will camouflage the containers while helping wildlife.

Planting whips in the fruiting hedgerow
More whips were planted near the orchard to fill in gaps of the fruiting hedgerow planted two years ago.

A new double row was also planted along a fence. Some of the elder was planted  in gaps among existing bushes.



Plenty of rotted wood chip mulch for  the whips

Some of the volunteers by the newly planted hedgerow 

Most of the saplings had supporting canes and tree guards to ensure some protection.
The park was full of people enjoying the mild weather and from time to time someone would stop to ask who we were, what we were dong and why.
Although we did not finish, we managed to plant around150 of the whips. We plan to have a second planting date towards the end of November.

One volunteer put most of her energy  into enhancing the mini wild flower meadow by tending the bed and sowing more wild flower seeds. Thank you Bruna. (No photo, sorry.) We look forward to seeing what will grow next spring and summer.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers who came, giving up their Sunday afternoon to improve the park for people and wildlife. Special thanks to one in particular who came on his birthday.