Sunday, 5 December 2021


 At our orchard maintenance sessions, volunteers could see that the scrub behind the orchard (mainly brambles and elder) was spreading too close to some of the orchard trees. This would affect the growth of our fruit trees in time, with brambles competing for soil nutrients.

Cutting back was the only way. We had our team of volunteers but the task was too overwhelming for us with our hand tools alone - secateurs and loppers.
Fortunately Glendale managers agreed. Glendale is the contracting company that manages the park on behalf of Lewisham Council; cutting back was on their schedule as part of Mayow Park green space maintenance tasks.
We were able to plan our volunteer session to tie in with a day when Glendale’s team was able to work on the task – Thursday 2nd December.
Volunteers at work

Working with hand tools

The nature conservation value for wildlife of the dense hedge of brambles was not forgotten, but this is a public park and there is a need to maximise the grass area available to park users while maintaining spaces for wildlife. Doing this work in winter is probably the safest time.
Our team of volunteers worked with basic hand tools in an area close to the hard standing, while the Glendale team brought a power hedge cutter for the toughest sections. In some parts the brambles were cut back by 3 metres. 
Glendale team get ready

 open space cleared

After cutting back, the area was cleared and the plant matter we had cut was taken away by Glendale for composting.
Cut vegetation removed for composting
That area looks more open and welcoming to park users now.
All photos credit D Budden

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