The picture on the front of this website shows a big working party of local people helping to plant hundreds of saplings in the South West quarter of the Field. This was the start of Jean Argles’ Wood………pre-Covid!
Those of you who walk on the Field regularly will have been pleased to see how well most of the saplings have taken root.. They are now breaking into leaf for the new growing season. Unfortunately the rampant rough grass on the Field is interfering with their growth and in some case is even threatening to kill the young trees despite the weed-suppressant mats we installed when we planted the young trees.
This dense grass and dead vegetation around the base of the trees needs to be removed to expose those mats that are still in place. This is best done by simply hand pulling the grass – preferably wearing gloves. We have been advised that:
- No digging should take place as it will damage the shallow roots
- No scything or strimming due to the risk of damaging the stems or even cutting the saplings down completely!
- Don’t remove the mats – they will degrade over time. Simply clear the grass and reposition the mats if necessary.
- Any plastic protective tubes and canes which are still in place can remain to give support. They can easily be removed and recycled later
- Do not remove saplings that appear dead or dying – some may still recover.
- Note that newly planted trees and existing trees will be regularly monitored and managed to encourage diversity.
What we really need is a big Volunteer Day, just like we had when we planted the wood together. Unfortunately we are still not allowed to organise such an event, although we shall do so as soon as it is permitted. In the meantime the young trees really need a helping hand, so if any of you could help by organising your own mini-working party of family or ‘bubble’ members, then this would be a great help. Photographs are very welcome.
There’s a lot of work here, so please help if you can.
What’s been going on?
Spring is a time for new beginnings but first it’s good to remember what has happened in the past few months (apart from the small matter of Covid!):
- The access track along Derwent Road has been improved. We shall probably never know why it wasn’t put in years ago, but it’s there now, and it seems to be heavily used.
- The Memorial Garden has been completed and a variety of mainly wild flower seeds have been planted. Anyone who lives near the Derwent Road end of the field may have seen volunteers carrying watering cans to keep the seeds watered during the very dry weather in April. Now why didn’t we get United Utilities to install mains water at the Memorial Garden while they were at it?!
- The third bench has been installed. Note that the bench supplied was not quite the dimensions expected; hence the concrete shuttering, which will be removed soon. One of our local school is planning to bury a time capsule under the bench in due course.
All these projects have been instigated by The Friends Committee but carried out by United Utilities and Sapphire Utility Solutions at no cost to us. We are very grateful to these companies for their support and look forward to working together in the future.
Unsung Heroes – our anonymous Canine Cleansers!
The Field provides a valuable space for exercising dogs, which have grown in number during Covid. The great majority of local dog owners are very good at cleaning up after their pets and we say a big Thank-you to them. There are also a few who not only clean up after their own pets but also clear up after other dogs. We are truly grateful to these unsung heroes for their work, and urge all local people to do their bit to keep the Field clean and safe for our children.
- Bulbs will be added to the Memorial Garden later in 2021
- A wild flower meadow has been agreed with Natural England and Lancaster City Council. Giant plant plugs sown with wild flower seeds are currently being grown for transplanting in the Autumn. We intend to organise a volunteer day to help with this project later in the year, assuming Covid restrictions permit.
- An application has been made for a grant to contribute towards drainage of the worst boggy bits which restrict the use of some areas of the Field
- The 2 notice boards are to be revamped. They seem to suffer from severe bleaching in the sun so we shall experiment with ways of keeping the notices easy to read and up to date.