Looking Back……and Forward

If you are reading this, then Congratulations – you have made it into 2024!

For The Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field it’s time to take stock of what we achieved in the past year, and what we plan to achieve in this new year….. assuming the rain eventually stops falling!

Main achievements 2023

  • New fruit trees planted and dense brambles/nettles cleared. Thanks to the hardy volunteers who took this on.
  • The existing apple orchard was pruned and re-invigorated.
  • 2 flower meadows were mown and many more wild flower plug plants added by volunteers.
  • At very short notice our volunteers repaired the damage caused by “joy riders” and a wooden Planter was installed at the bottom of the Field to deter future ‘visits’ by vehicles.
  • We reached the final stage of The Kings Award. Unfortunately  we did not win the final vote, but very well done to those who worked on our application for this prestigious national award. A phenomenal achievement to get so far in this event.
  • As usual a Remembrance day ceremony was held with Christchurch. Four local schools attended plus members of the public, our MP, County Councillor and local Councillor.
  • We replanted the Memorial garden.
  • Our work days were always very well attended, showing that people really do care about the Field.

Most importantly, the Field was used by more and more local people, enjoying all the work we have done over the past few years. 

Outline Plans for 2024

  • We shall work with the City Council to get a GIS map of the Field (This is a Geographic Information System map, which makes it much easier to plan future work.)
  •  Thanks to the persistence of our Committee we are well underway with plans to construct a new stone bench adjacent to the memorial garden. We are looking into the possibility of two more time capsules for this bench and we also plan to move the top notice board.
  • We hope to plant more fruit trees.
  • Jean Argles wood will need tending as it continues to establish itself. Hopefully it is mopping up some of the excess rainfall!
  • We shall also need to coppice the main willow area and cut back other willows. They take over too easily.
  • There are plans to instal a couple of bat boxes if the experts think it could encourage more bats (which have always lived in the area).
  • We shall maintain the Memorial garden and planter and of course plan for Remembrance Day 2024.
  • If the bonfire night event is reinstated by the Gregson we may well be called on to assist.
  • We shall mow the wild flower meadows on their 3 year cycle, to maximise benefit to the flowers. We shall also look at whether more planting would be a good idea.
  • As ever we shall continue to work with the Gregson, Christchurch and other groups for the common good.

There’s plenty going on for everyone and we look forward to all working together again in the coming year!

I leave you with a picture of our leader, Chairman Paul, inspiring his troops towards the promised land………………but the moles seem to have got there first!!