Hello Conservation Volunteers
Thank to you to all the volunteers who turned out today for a variety of tasks around Forge Dam.
We were aware of a few tyres having been dumped just off Woodcliffe, so one of the main tasks of the morning was to remove them for our stand-in Ranger of the day, James, to take away to be properly disposed. A group trudged off for what they thought was hopefully a simple task......little did they know how many had been dumped......TWENTY-SIX tyres, some on steel rims had to be hauled up to the roadside to be loaded into the van.
Elsewhere, another main task was to tidy up the area near the hibernaculum removing leftover debris from the recent works. With little rain over the last few weeks (as can be clearly seen by the lack of water in Forge Dam itself) the ground was rock hard, but with the aid of mattocks the remains of black, plastic sheeting was dug out along with other unnatural rubble. The top half of this area had been seeded with wildflowers and grasses at the end of last year and is starting to grow but it was noticeable people had been taking short cuts across it and damaging the seedlings. Lengths of logs have been laid down on this side to discourage people walking across this area.
On the opposite side by the dam bank some Himalayan balsam was spotted growing and has been removed. (This will be our next task, venturing into the Wet Woodland to pull out this year's growth before the seeds develop. For those who haven't done this before and fancy giving it a go it is quite a therapeutic task once you get your eye in to spot it, walking around, chatting, and pulling it out!)
On the west end of the dam, water from the Wet Woodland was running across the path. This was partially tackled on the last work morning but needed further work. Our drainage experts were back to tackled this and have found the end of the drainage pipe, dug down, cleared it and water is now flowing through it and not over the path.
Up on the top green opposite Fulwood Old Chapel, the remains of the gazebos which were damaged by the high winds on the Duck Race day were being laid out. The aim was to see how many could be salvaged by cannibalising damaged ones to make good ones. By cutting the links between damaged poles to remove them and replacing with the exact same poles, 3 gazebos were reconstructed. To make life easier for those who erect and dismantle the gazebos on race day each gazebo was colour coded with plastic tape on the poles, and any "orphaned" poles coded with a number of rings of coloured tape, so we know where and which way they fit!
Dave, Tony and Peter continued rubbing down the railings on the cobbled path to remove rust and painting with a red oxide primer.....still a way to go!
Ann was also out giving the flowers a well needed watering.
The next work morning is on Tuesday 27th June 2023. John Gittins and Philip Edmeades have offered to help Dave and myself organise and run the work mornings. John and Philip will be in charge on the next working. An email will be sent out nearer the time with details.
A Selection of photos from the work morning
Dumped tyres and wheels
26 tyres and wheels loaded into the council van
Debris removed and logs laid down
Some of the debris removed
End of the drainage pipe uncovered and cleared
Water flowing out of the pipe on the left and not pooling on the right
Water not flowng over the path anymore
Peter, Dave and Tony rubbing down the railings
End of the morning, a little more done........
A gazebo puzzle.....it goes the other way round Rowena!
First one with poles erected and colour coded (yellow and green stripes)
Orphaned poles coded with white tape (3 on this one)