2020 started with enthusiastic members joining a working party to add more tree mats to protect the newly planted trees, clear vegetation and prune some of the willow (to produce more flowers for insects).
Then the virus struck and since then all jobs on the Field have had to be Covid compliant. This put paid to our regular community activities such as working parties, the Bonfire, summer picnics, litter picking parties etc. Nevertheless, the Friends group has certainly not been idle and much has been achieved, working closely with our ever-helpful contacts at Lancaster City Council.
Work on the Memorial Garden by pupils of Lancaster Central High School came to a halt in March. However we were delighted to be offered support by United Utilities and Sapphire Utility Solutions. They lowered the raised manhole by the Memorial stone and completed the garden, which now looks very smart.
Of course our usual Remembrance Day activities at the Memorial Stone could not take place but we were very pleased that local schools were able to arrange their own small Remembrance Day services.
Now that the garden is finally completed, all we have to do now is keep it in good order and create a planting plan. The Memorial is the primary focus on the Field and it is important that we keep it looking good all year.
Local residents have also welcomed the appearance of a tarmac access path connecting the Derwent Road bus stop to Keswick Road. The Friends are delighted to have been able to get this job done – at long last – and are very grateful to our partners (UU and Sapphire) who carried this out.
Our Chairperson has taken the opportunity of lockdown to polish his media skills, starring on Radio Lancashire and hosting a visit from Lancashire Life for their October edition. This is all excellent publicity for the Field. The more people who know about the history and potential of Miss Whalley’s Field the better for our future prospects.
We have also taken care to keep our website and Facebook pages up to date and looking attractive. There’s nothing worse than an out-of-date web site for giving the impression that an organisation is not active. Ours is definitely alive! In particular we are delighted to host the fantastic new video on this website’s Wildlife page. This was created by one of our members, Richard Evans. It only lasts 3 minutes but it is a spectacular and beautiful presentation of what a huge range of flowers and small wildlife exists on Miss Whalley’s Field – in summer at least!
Several lone volunteers have kept working on the Field throughout the year. Our scything volunteers have had a chance to try their new skills clearing long grass especially around the orchard and preparing areas for seed planting. We want to encourage the spread of wild flowers across the Field to make it a really attractive place for everyone.
Looking to the future, we want to get to grips with the chronic drainage problems on the Field. An initial survey by drone is just the first stage in a major project with UU and Sapphire which we hope will eventually create a mix of habitats on the field.
The Committee has recently updated our 3 year plan. You can have a look at this on the Management page of this website. Once we have seen the back of Covid, we look forward to carrying it out and further improving this unique local resource.
As always, we welcome new members to the e mail list and volunteers for future working parties and events. Do get in touch!