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Wildflower growing – Appeal for Volunteers

Perhaps you were one of the volunteers who planted wild flowers on our Field last autumn? Most of those plants were raised from seed in the Lancaster City Council’s poly tunnels at their White Lund depot (at the junction between Westgate and White Lund Road).

This season we are growing more wildflowers for Hermitage Field Community Meadow, and for a number of other projects in the Lancaster City Council area, including our own Field.

We are looking for additional volunteers

The work involves sowing seeds and ‘potting on’ seedlings, so nothing difficult or strenuous.  Advice is available if you need it. 

Our weekly sessions are usually held on Mondays from 1.00PM to 3.00PM. Our next sessions are:  Tuesday 3 May, Monday 9 May. Come as often as you like and stay for as long as you want.

Please note: parking is NOT allowed in the LCC Depot but Home Bargains at 90 Westgate Road, have kindly said that volunteers can park in their car park for these sessions. It’s only a minute’s walk to the Depot. Please park at the road end, not the shop end. If you prefer to cycle, there are bike racks in the LCC depot – bring your own bike lock. 

If you would like to come, please read the Risk Assessment which has already been emailed to our contact list. (If you have not seen it, please let us know and we can send you a copy.) 

Erica Sarney (ericasarney@fastmail.fm) is running these sessions so please contact her to tell her which session you would like to attend first, and indicate that you have read and agreed to the risk assessment. (Erica is the volunteer leading the project at the Hermitage Field Meadow at the Crook O’Lune).

If you have any questions, please contact Erica Sarney or our own Richard Evans (r.evans@mac.com) who has been growing wildflowers for Miss Whalley’s Field.

This is a great opportunity to help in a very practical way by propagating wild flowers. Come along and give it a try – you never know, you might even enjoy it!

(Footnote: We ask all volunteers to wear masks and maintain 2m social distance in the poly tunnels. Please bring your own gardening gloves and a mask. Hand sanitiser is provided for each session. There is No Smoking at the Depot.)

 

 

Please read the attached Health & Safety information.

Lockdown Update report

Hello Members 

Lock-down is currently being eased a little (4th July). However, due to on-going advice from the City Council and Government we are unable to carry out any work/activities on the field at present. It has been great to see so many people and families enjoying the field during the past weeks.  It appears that many new people have discovered our field on their walks. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful local green space and be able to enjoy its benefits at a time like this. 

There are a few aspects that we’d like keep you updated on:-

  • Restricted mowing has restarted to keep the main paths clear – many thanks to LCC for this. It is very much appreciated by the local community.
  • The newly planted narcissi were lovely and we hope to see them return next spring.  The new trees are also flourishing – all the hard work to plant them was not in vain! 
  • We will ask our trained scythers to carry out some work e.g scything the orchard as soon as the current situation permits.
  • The Field was suffering from dog mess.  We put up more signs but it is difficult to know what else to do.  If you do see any evidence of this let us know with dates, location, photo etc, or better still, report it to the dog warden directly. The more individual reports the better.  www.lancaster.gov.uk/environmental-health/dog-warden-service.
  • In the meantime, thank you to local dog walkers who have kindly cleared up after other dogs! This is greatly appreciated by everyone who uses the field.
  • Work on the Memorial Garden next to our stone, ground to a halt just as the majority of the work was about to take place by Central High School pupils. We don’t know what will happen to the garden when the Covid 19 situation allows. However, the wild flower seeds planted by locals, as an interim measure, are now blooming and brighten up the top of the field.
  • The outcome of our grant application for improving drainage is still unknown and may of course be affected by the impact of the lockdown on finances.

Please keep sending any sightings of any flowers, plants, or other interesting wildlife you spot to our wildlife email.  Or, take a look at the wonderful photos of flowers, butterflies & moths on the wildlife page of this website & see if you can spot any of these.

fmwfwildlife@gmail.com

Keep safe

Margaret (Secretary FMWF)

www.misswhalleysfield.org.uk

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September 2018 Newsletter

Welcome back after our lovely, long summer.  It was encouraging to see the field & the new bench has been well used & enjoyed by a wide variety of children & people of all ages.

Actions since the March Update

Annual Meeting and Auction: These events were held on 22nd April.  Many thanks to those who attended the auction which raised around £400 for funds.  

After the AGM Paul Wiggins took over as Chairperson from Andy Halladay, who remains on the Committee.  Thanks to Andy for his hard work over the past 3 years.  We would welcome anyone who would like to join us on the committee to help support & maintain the field.

Hornbeam Trees behind Kentmere Rd – Councillor Caroline Jackson liaised with our group, residents and the City Council to fell/pollard the large Hornbeams at the bottom of the field.  The trees are now starting to grow back into the “hedge” as they were originally intended.  We organised a working party on Sunday 8thApril to spread large amounts of chipped wood onto the paths through the field, which have been well used during the Summer. 

We always welcome more volunteers to help with projects on the field. (see Events below)

The Pebble Project – Ridge schoolchildren have been involved in a “paint a pebble project”.  Children in last Year’s class 5 each painted a pebble to represent what the field meant to them.  Jean Argles, the niece of Miss Whalley, visited to judge the designs and chose the winning design, painted by Georgia Jackson.  The winning pebble is to be taken to the war grave of Julian Whalley in France by a local resident.  The Lancaster Guardian is interested in covering the story.

UPDATE: Click on this link to see the story in the Lancaster Guardian

https://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/news/pebble-art-will-be-taken-to-french-grave-1-9392442

Notice Boards – One of the key issues raised at the Annual meeting was communication.  In addition to the methods already used (e mail, web site, Facebook, Update Newsletters etc) it was suggested that notice boards on the field would be useful.  We have been successful in obtaining a grant from Lancashire Environmental Fund to pay for two notice boards.  We hope to have these built by a local joiner and installed by the end of October.

Events & Plans for 2018

  1. Working Party Sunday 21st October @ 11.00 hrs – We need more locals involved to help improve & maintain the field!  Jon Oliver, a local expert in arboriculture & tree felling has offered his help by cutting back overgrown trees which we will remove as well as transplanting saplings & cutting overgrown paths etc.
    Meet at the Kentmere Rd end of the field.  All welcome, big, small, young and old.  Children must be supervised by a responsible adult.  Please wear suitable clothing & footwear & bring shovels, rakes, gloves, wheelbarrows and other helpful tools.
  2. Annual Gregson Bonfire & Firework Display – Monday 5th November – The Gregson Festival group have once again have worked hard to raise sufficient funds & gain permission from the council to hold their successful Firework event.  All help before & after the event welcome.

Future Plans for 2018/19

  • Work with the Gregson Festival group & encourage locals to help make the 2018 Bonfire another great success.
  • Continue to clear more willow scrub and areas around the orchard.
  • Involve local schools in developing & using the field – e.g. we are now working with Central Lancaster High to help maintain the orchard, litter pick & be part of a project to design and install a garden area around the memorial. We are also working with Ridge and Christ Church Primary Schools as well as Central High who are all interested in using the memorial as the focus for their Remembrance Day recognition on Friday 9th November.  More details to follow!
  • We are working with Lancaster City Council to improve access along the field edge of Derwent Rd to improve the path & access to the bus stop.  We have asked Lizzie Collinge to help with the involvement of Lancashire County Council.
  • Apply for a grant to develop a Memorial garden around the stone & install a second bench
  • Encourage more diverse wild life e.g. butterflies and bees by planting appropriate bushes, wild flowers, bulbs etc.
  • Continue to pursue our Town/Village Green application with Lancashire County Council. It is now nearly 4 years since we first applied!

Funding Grants and Support – Funds are still very limited and we are always searching for sources of awards, grants or donations.  Please let us know of any potential sources or if you would like to donate financially or offer your time.  Thank you again to a local resident who is funding the hosting of our web site for 2018.

Publicity and Communication – Articles, updates and photos of recent events and developments on our website & Facebook page:-

http://misswhalleysfield.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/MissWhalleysField/

FMWF Contact: fmwfcontact@gmail.com – Contact this e mail if you would like to get involved in activities and/ or join the Committee.

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