January 2022 Update – Although Covid had an impact on activity on the Field a significant amount of work was carried out and noticeable progress achieved over the past year by our enthusiastic volunteers and our main partners, Lancaster City Council………..
Wild Flower Meadows
Two new wild flower meadows have been planted with around 6000 plug plants. This was an incredible effort from our eager volunteers, police cadets and the City Council workforce over two sunny days in October. These meadows will need management to ensure that they evolve into a fantastic wild life resource with the bonus of looking amazing. Our volunteer scything team will have a key role in their management.
All Field users know how waterlogged the Field becomes in wet weather. Initially, there were proposals to drain the main pathway from the Memorial Garden to the main Kentmere Road access. Other sections of the Field were also considered. A professional survey has now been completed which confirms significant practical and potential issues with these ideas – apart from the considerable costs.
We are now focusing on the area around the main access path from Kentmere Road adjacent to the small stream. This is the wettest part of the Field which makes this access very difficult. When plans have been drawn up we will hold a public meeting to explain the proposals.
The Rev Carol Backhouse from Christ Church led this annual event which took place at our Memorial Stone. Classes from four local schools attended and children gave readings and placed handmade wreaths.
LRGS have produced a time capsule which they will bury early in 2022 under our most recently installed third bench.
Memorial Garden & Access
The two beds in front of the Memorial Stone were planted with wild flower seeds in spring 2021. An early drought delayed germination but eventually they bloomed. We will continue to plant bulbs and flowers each spring.
We are looking at improving access, especially for wheelchair users and pushchairs etc. The County Council have now confirmed that ‘dropped kerbs’ will be installed adjacent to the Memorial Garden/ bus stop area to improve access to crossing Derwent Road.
Town/Village Green Approval
After several years of trying to register for Town/Village Green status, there has recently been some progress. A successful application would provide even more protection for the Field.
The City Council mowing team will now regularly mow the play area, the main pathways and areas around the Memorial Garden and the two notice boards.
Jean Argles Wood
The majority of the newly planted trees are thriving. However, work is needed to help the saplings grow i.e. hand clearing the thick vegetation around them and selective pruning.
These trees will be used as part of Lancaster City Council’s volunteer ‘Tree Warden’ scheme. The first session on the field will be on Fri 11th Feb @1 – 3pm. Further details to follow.
The main willow copse has been thinned to stop it encroaching onto the saplings, the main field, pathways and the orchard. Cut wood has been used to form animal refuges. Many thanks to hard work from our own volunteers and those from the police cadets. Other willows have also been coppiced, again to stop them spreading especially into the new wild flower meadows.
Work is needed to prune the orchard trees and keep the undergrowth shorter. Maintenance will involve regular scything and possibly planting more fruit trees in the future.
We were unable to hold an annual meeting in 2021. We aim to have one in spring 2022 – probably at the newly refurbished Gregson. This will be advertised this in advance.
When we hold an event on the field, we need to have access to first aid help. Currently, several local doctors have volunteered to be available. If there are any trained and qualified first aiders that could help could you please let us know.
We do not have any regular income and rely on grants and the occasional donation. If you would like to make a donation please contact us by e mail.
We use 5 different methods of communicating with the public.
- Web site – misswhalleysfield.org.uk – lots of info to be found here!
- Facebook – facebook.com/MissWhalleysField/
- Let us know of anyone who would like to be included in our e mail list.
- Two notice boards on the Field
- Annual and occasional meetings, as needed.
Paul Wiggins (Chair – Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field)