Volunteer Day – Saturday 4th October 2014

The day started with being unusually warm and sunny when we arrived at the Maze Hill entrance, and ended up in torrential rain. Committee members arrived with several dozen native woodland plant plugs and several dozen plant plugs that are attractive for bees, which were generously funded by our grants.  Our plan for the day was to clear an area to the south of the orchard and get the plants in to the ground before colder weather sets in.  The photos below show the pluglets before they were put in to the ground.

One of the trays of plants, ready to be planted.

One of the trays of plants, ready to be planted.

Greater Knapweed pluglets.

Greater Knapweed pluglets.

Betony plants, all looking healthy.

Betony plants, all looking healthy.


There are plants for shady woodland conditions and plants that are attractive to wildlife such as bees.  Greater knapweed is often found in dry, chalky, grassy fields and rough ground, but is tolerant of a wide range of soils. It’s common throughout the British Isles and is very attractive to butterflies and bees.  Betony is a perennial grassland herb growing to 1 to 2 feet tall and commonly found in wastelands, grasslands and woodland edges. It likes any damp soil and will tolerate full sun or in light shade.

Clearing the fallen tree at the start of the day.

Clearing the fallen tree at the start of the day.

 

On arriving at The Glade we were confronted with the remains of a large branch which had landed on the area we intended to weed, dig over and plant some 250 of our small plants. The volunteers quickly chopped up the wood, with the larger branches being added to nearby wood piles to act as an insect habitat; the remaining smaller twigs and branches were piled for further woodland habitats.

 

The new benches in The Glade being put to good use!

The new benches in The Glade being put to good use!

The front of this photo photo shows two new benches which a local contractor has made using a non-native tree that was blocking out light to The Glade area. The photo was taken immediately south of the orchard plantings.

Standing back for a moment!

Standing back for a moment!

Further weeding of the area took place. Several volunteers quickly cleared an area of approximately 20 feet x 10 feet and set about putting in the plants.

Busy digging in our new plants.

Busy digging in our new plants.

Time was very much of the essence as the clear skies earlier this morning had been replaced by very ominous dark clouds. The accompanying photos of the final stages of planting don’t actually show the heavy rain, but this certainly helped to water the plugs!

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