Newsletter April 2019 – including Future Plans


Working Party 21st October

Despite the truly appalling weather, our team of volunteers cleared the overgrown orchard area, removed willow cut back by our friend Jon Oliver and dragged it to the designated eco-area situated near the bottom of the Field. The volunteers also cut back brambles and other scrub.

Bonfire & Firework Display 5th November

The Gregson Festival Group organised another wonderful firework display on the field which was enjoyed by the many people who came. FMWF volunteers assisted with stewarding on the night and helping with the clearing up of the Field the following day. Yet again, this was a fantastic community event.

Remembrance Event 9th November

A WW1 Remembrance service was held around the Field’s memorial stone on Friday 9th Nov and attended by children from our 3 local schools (Ridge, Christchurch Primary and Central Lancaster High).  Local minister the Rev Keith Brockbank led the service in which he reminded children of the sacrifices made by people in the First WW, especially those from the Lancaster area.  At the service, children presented poppies/wreaths they had made and took part in readings.

Jean Argles, the Great Niece of Miss Whalley also enjoyed attending the event at which she kindly made a donation to each of the three schools involved. The Lancaster Guardian included an article with photographs in its publication the following week.  Many thanks to everyone involved for making the first event of this kind such a success.

Notice Boards

As a result of feedback from members, we have purchased two notice boards using funds provided by the Lancashire Environment Fund. They were made by local bench joiners, W A Corless and Son from Galgate. We worked with local builder, Gary Metcalfe, to install these. One was placed near the memorial at the top of the field and a second at the bottom of the Field adjacent to the main pathway. Hopefully, the information on the notice boards will help to keep the local community informed of developments and plans etc.

Future Plans for 2019/20

  • On Sunday 21st April at 1000 hrs we are participating in the Great British Spring Clean organised by the Keep Britain Tidy Organisation. This will involve volunteers clearing litter and other rubbish. All welcome – please wear appropriate clothing/gloves etc. Parents/guardians must be responsible for their children.
  • On Saturday 6th June we would like to participate in the National Field Day Picnic. Is there a volunteer/s that would be prepared to lead on this event on behalf of the group? We are happy to assist with liaising with the City Council, completing risk assessments etc. Please contact us asap so we can start working together to plan this event.
  • Continue to work with Lancaster City Council to plant trees in the woodland walk area bounded by the River Midge, the main path and the willow/orchard area. Only native species such as holly and mountain ash will be planted to encourage ecological diversity. The wood will be named Jean Argles wood after the Great Niece of Miss Whalley.
  • Keep a log of species of interest observed on the Field. For example, a barn owl was spotted around Christmas and a Roe deer has also been seen.
  • Continue to clear willow scrub and areas around the orchard. We aim to train at least one volunteer to carry out scything, a lost art that we need to revive!
  • Install a second bench near the middle of the Field near to the mown area used by children for playing football, cricket etc.
  • Continue to involve local schools in developing & using the Field e.g. Christchurch school are to bury a time capsule under the proposed bench and mark the day by having a picnic for the whole school.
  • Work with partners to improve “access for all” to the field. Derwent Road & access to the field from the road is a specific problem area that we have alerted the City and County Council to. We will work with others who have concerns about the traffic and access to the bus stop e.g. Ridge Residents Group, Christchurch school and Derwent road residents.
  • Encourage more diverse wild life e.g. butterflies and bees by planting appropriate bushes, wild flowers, bulbs etc.
  • Update and review our management plan to reflect proposed plans and developments.
  • Continue to pursue our Town/Village Green application with Lancashire County Council. It is now over 3 years since we first applied!
  • Work with the Gregson Festival Group to help make the 2019 Bonfire another great success.

Fund Raising

We were successful in gaining a grant from R & E Wilson Charitable Fund after liaising with Jon Oliver, the NVQ Horticulture tutor from Central Lancaster High School.  The grant will enable the NVQ pupils to build a small memorial garden around the memorial stone.

Another successful grant from LEF enabled us to buy a second bench which will be installed this Spring.

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 web site for 2019/20.

Publicity and Communication

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

FMWF Contacts

Contact this e mail with any queries or if you would like to get involved in activities.

Send in any interesting photos, sightings of wildlife, plants etc for our records.  We can help to identify any unknown species.