Hello Conservation Volunteers
For our last work morning of 2022 we were again fortunate in having a lovely, crisp winter's morning at Forge Dam where the task was to plant some 300+ hawthorn "whips" along the bridal path to replace the fencing which had been removed to allow the contractors to access the site with their heavy equipment.
Our Ranger, Matt, had organised the collection of 388 hawthorn whips, along with enough childlike small spades for us all to dig them in. Matt gave us precise instruction on planting the hedging i.e. plant the whips in a line 50cm apart, with a second line 40cm behind the first line, staggered in the gaps creating a zigzag effect. We were also taken through the various digging techniques to create the slot into which to drop the whips ("L", "T" and other letters!), "heel" them in, and give a tug to eliminate air gaps around the roots.
Suffice to say, some of the ground was a tad hard and difficult to dig, although the majority was easier and around 300 of the whips have been planted, with the remainders dug in behind the store to keep them alive until we can finish the planting in the New Year. Apparently, the professional planters can do one whip every 3 seconds, so we have a fair way to go to match them! It is expected around 10% of the whips will die, possibly slightly higher in the harder ground.
Thanks again to Mandy for bringing her special banana flapjack to keep our energy levels up on a cold morning!
It had been reported to us that the path which goes up to the Health Authority was covered in leaves and very slippery, so Anna volunteered to venture up there by herself armed with a rake and spade to clear it and did an excellent job.
Over at Ann's, Ben, Peter, and Rowena had gathered in the warmth to complete 11 more bare hoops, with 5 turned into ready made wreaths, ready for selling for the funds to go towards the Forge Dam Playground project fund.
A special mention and thanks go to Hilary who went to a clothing factory at Dronfield to tutor 16 young machinists and a couple of directors in a wreath making workshop which put £158 into the Playground fund, plus they have already booked for next year!
So, as we bring the year to an end, a big thank you to all those who have volunteered during 2022 where we have worked on many tasks including leaky dams, footpath and bridal path restoration, fences, railing, new benches, hibernaculum,general maintenance of goits and dams, Himalayan balsam clearance, gardening etc. and we hope you can join us again during 2023.
Sadly, somebody decided to vandalise the hibernaculum less than a week after we had spent the morning building it. One of the entrance pipes had been removed and one end demolished. We have made some repairs to it although we couldn't find the missing pipe. A post has been installed at the side of it with a laminated information sheet about it.
The next work morning is on Thursday 12th January 2023. An email will be sent out nearer the time with details.
A Selection of photos from the work morning
Matt giving instructions at the start of the morning
Some of the 388 hawthorn whips
Matt trying to break through the hard ground whilst others stand around chatting!
Rod, Stephen and Dave
Mandy dishing out the banana flapjack to Lyndon, Stephen, Dave and Rod
Claire loosening up the ground
Rob and Lyndon
Chain gang at work!
A completed section of hedging showing the two staggered lines
The team - Stephen, Rod, Chris, Matt, Claire, Dave C, Rob, Dave M, Ted
The vandalised hibernaculum with the new sign
The Health Authority path before and after being cleared by Anna
Ben and Peter in the frame!
Wreath makers at the clothing factory