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Work party sessions 2020: January - June
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Thanks to Paul Arthur for this report
21.05.20 A team of four volunteers enjoyed a perfect afternoon of sunshine and birdsong to cut the grass around the fruit trees. We used the petrol mower, scythes, and shears, and cut the grass around virtually all of the trees in an hour and a half! The only tree circles we didn’t cut were those in the meadow area, and about two elsewhere that we missed (easily done!). The grass was perfect for cutting. We used shears to trim the grass right up to the tree trunks on a good number of the trees.

The fruit trees have set a good quantity of fruit, and have already put on at least six inches of growth, and currently look very healthy.

As usual, several people who were wandering through the orchard at the time were very appreciative of our work and saying how good the orchard looked. Between the efforts of the Town Council, and the dedicated work of the committee and the wider pool of volunteers, we have created a haven in the centre of town that is a gem for us all to be very proud of.

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Thanks to Paul Arthur for this report
We had a most enjoyable work party in the community orchard on Monday afternoon (
4th May), and completed all of the jobs we had set out to do. All the tree circles are now cut, using a petrol mower, scythe, and shears. We raked up and composted the cut grass. There are a small number of tree circles in the meadow area we didn’t cut, as we had previously agreed that we would leave these, though at least two had such long grass (and one had a good crop of chard around it!), that we trimmed them back to stop the trees being totally smothered!

We also mowed all of the grass paths.

Further jobs included weeding the pollinator bed, and planting lady’s bedstraw, two wild basil, knapweed, St John’s wort and self heal, and weeding along the row of apple cordons.

Overall, the orchard is looking an absolute picture at the moment, helped greatly by the cutting of the grass paths.

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Thanks to Paul Arthur for this report
A small team of committee members turned out yesterday evening (27th April) to cut the grass in the tree circles in the orchard. It proved to be a very successful session! 

We cut 10 tree circles (to the left of the main path coming from the church) in half an hour, and scythed five tree circles (towards the hedge between the allotments and the orchard) in 45 minutes! We raked up the grass, and stashed it (mainly) in compost bay number 5. 

We weeded along the line of cordons.

We have about 10 to 15 tree circles still to do. For most of these the grass wasn’t quite as long, so we felt we could afford to wait another week before we tackle them. One or two of these are in the meadow area, and we had said we wouldn’t trim the grass around these, but at least one did look a little in need of some tidying up. So, another hours' worth of work should easily cover it.

We are therefore suggesting a similar session next Monday (4th May).

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Sunday 8th March: thanks to Paul Arthur for this report
We had a very successful and very well attended work party, with 22 people turning out to brave the showers and cold wind. Despite all that, several important jobs were completed, and we are now back up to date following our cancelled work party in February. Jobs completed were:
  • Cutting back the brambles behind the pond, and some piled at left hand end to deter people from walking behind the pond
  • The drowning bins have been relocated about three feet behind the compost bays, on a wooden surface. This will allow easier access to the compost bays from behind. The soil that was removed to level the surface was used to ‘bury’ the dilapidated wooden seat that had previously been removed from close to the Tom Putt apple tree
  • Weeds removed from along all of the cordons and espaliers. Also some weeds and chard were removed from around the Lord Lambourne and Bardsey Island apple trees
  • The whole of the meadow area and all the tree circles were mown
  • Grass and brambles were trimmed back from around the hazels at the top southeastern corner of the orchard
  • A start was made on weeding the bog garden
  • The hawthorn in the wildlife area was trimmed back
  • The hedge between the allotments and wildlife area was trimmed down
  • Some very useful compost turning. The middle bay was emptied (mostly into bay number two), and others turned and spread between bins two and four, incorporating some freshly mown grass cuttings.

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Sunday 12th January: thanks to Paul Arthur for this report
We had a very successful work party yesterday with an excellent turnout of 20 people. The weather was dry, with some sunshine, rather windy but very mild. Achievements included:
- Tree pruning. The two apple trees nearest to the gate into the wildlife area were pruned. Several tree team members helped, aided by a briefing and training from Christine
- Further weeding of the pollinator bed
- Some further trimming of the hedge between the orchard and allotments, this time reducing the height to ‘fence height'
- Compost management: bay 1 was transferred to bay 2, bay 5 transferred to bay 4, and the remainder to bay 2. Bays 1 and 5 are now empty
- Some wooden debris (prunings etc) was burnt on a bonfire, though this had been very reluctant to get going, so not much was burnt!
- The bird boxes were cleaned out
- A branch of the sycamore that was just below the bat box was removed to allow easier access for the bats
- Some preparation for Wassail, logs sawn up for the firebowl, some garlands made, and 15 areas of dog poo were cleared up!
- A chiffchaff was spotted in the wildlife area.
* See link in sidebar opposite for more information
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