On 6th Oct an enthusiastic band of locals helped Tess, Stephanie and the dedicated Council team plant our first wild flower meadow. On Sunday 10th Oct the sun shone (again!) and around 50 local people turned out for our follow-up work party, making the week the biggest volunteering event in the history of the Friends of the Field.
We were delighted to welcome several of our local representatives, including
- Caroline Jackson, our Green Council Leader, who seems to have escaped the photographer!
- Lizzie Collinge (Lancs CC) seen here cheerfully getting her knees dirty….
- and even Cat Smith MP – though how much work she got done is uncertain; a good time was obviously had by all!
We are very grateful to them all for finding the time to come and support us.
A phenomenal amount of work was done, including…………………..
- clearing vegetation to prepare the way for further wild flower planting
- planting a new area with wild flowers on the South facing slope near the top of the Field parallel to Borrowdale Road. This is shown in the main picture at the top of this post. We shall have two flower meadows instead of just one!
- The willow has been cut back as it was threatening to take over and also the brambles. The cuttings have been moved to create habitat areas for animals to overwinter. Volunteers from the Police cadets helped with this task – a big thank you to them.
New wildlife habitat in logpile
- Work was started on clearing overgrown grass from around the newly planted trees in Jean Argles wood in the SW quarter of the Field. This is to help the young trees to thrive.
- Finally, and shamefully, volunteers had to clear quite a lot of litter (especially fast food packaging and drinks cans) and dog poo. PLEASE help to keep our Field safe and clean for ‘the children of Lancaster’ for whom it was provided by Miss Whalley!
This brings us to some unsung heroes who deserve our thanks. Without them our plans for a new Meadow would not have got off the ground:
Claire Cornish, who has over 30 years’ experience as a professional ecologist. Claire works for Cumbria Wildlife Trust as their Grassland Conservation Officer. She surveyed our field and took soil samples for analysis to ensure that the plants specified were just right.
Erica Sarney (she can be seen in the middle of the picture at the top of this post, with a tray of plants in her hand). Erica has many claims to fame in the wild flower world, but from our point of view she has provided invaluable advice and help. She has done all this before, just up the Lune Valley near Caton. Erica has mentored and supported our own Richard Evans who has spent the past year collecting suitable wild flower seed, growing thousands of plants in the Council poly-tunnels on White Lund, and finally planting them on our Field. Without their hard work over many months, we couldn’t possibly have achieved what we have. Thank you!
……….and finally, let’s not forget our Chairman, the indefatigable Paul Wiggins and his wife Margaret, who are responsible for pulling all this together.
Now all we have to do is wait for the Spring; In the meantime, enjoy and look after our Field!