Archive for June, 2012

May

2nd I cleaned off the chalkboard and then Jim and I cleared up litter that we’d spotted in the car park yesterday. A busy programme of events this month means shuffling posters around and writing notices. We put a poster in the FoAM notice-board and found some more bottles and cans to put in the wheelie bin. I put a new notice on the chalkboard to advertise the Photographic Workshop. We then nipped up to Anderton to put more posters there. When we got back to the cabin a man was asking for charcoal. We were lucky to meet him at the door and he was lucky that we had managed to bag at least some of the last burn. Amanda delivered paint and brushes to the lay-by on Marbury Lane for us to take through to No 1 Hide on Neumann’s Flash. Jim and I faced a screen that didn’t seem to have seen paint since it was installed. It quickly soaked up the paint and, by the time we’d emptied the tin, we hadn’t quite covered one side.

3rd The cuttings that Elna, Frances and I had pushed into the ground earlier in the year were sprouting new leaves so the willow snake sculpture at Anderton was growing well. Today Lou, Liz and I used loppers, whilst Gareth used the hedge trimmer to give it a ‘haircut’. We finished the trim and started tidying up, tossing the brash out of sight and weeding the nettles away from the sculpture. The warmth of increasing sunshine demanded short sleeves, but I paid the penalty with nettle rash. Pip took advantage of some shade.
Jim and I took the opportunity to do the Marbury Butterfly Transect at twelve. There was enough heat to tempt the insects to fly. We recorded just six. We had a late lunch and returned to Anderton to do more sprucing up with the rest of the team. Dave was chain sawing the lower branches of three lime trees to make headroom for a man on a mower. I followed with loppers to remover the smaller branches. We all moved across the car park to attend to the view to the Lift. Not tempted by the steep bank, I found enough litter to keep me busy.

9th Sandra decided to learn how to get really dirty and helped to empty the charcoal burner. However it was yet another disappointing result and it didn’t take us long to fill a few bags and separate out the browns. We had time to start working on the area at the entrance to the Arboretum before lunch. The full effect of the curious shapes of one of the oriental plane trees had been lost amongst elder and brambles, which we removed. After our break we turned our attention to the Lucombe Oak. The identification post had all but disappeared behind nettles and hollies. We left piles of brash surrounding the specimen trees when we were called away to sow seed to attract birds onto the field between Marbury Lane and Neumann’s Flash. We followed Chris with the harrow attached to the tractor. Eight of us lined up along the field edge and scattered seed from a variety of containers as we crossed to the far side. It wasn’t as wet and sticky as we’d feared and we’d caught a break between the heavy showers. We and the finches look forward to sunflowers on Marbury lane. We returned to load the brash onto the trailer behind Amanda’s van and left the entrance to the Arboretum looking neater.

16th I joined the team of volunteers working with Chris filling in divots created by rabbits and cattle which had rampaged across the park last week. The ground needed to be made safe for a music event and Pets in the Park.

17th The beer and the loos arrived before we did. Chris had offered half an hour of volunteer time to help set up the music event. The first job was to look for any new, or missed, divots. We put up gazebos and it became clear that our assistance would be needed for much of the day. The heavy vehicles became stuck in the saturated turf; so much for filling divots. Chris came to the rescue with the tractor. Delivery of the fencing was delayed and signs of panic and disagreement amongst the organisers crept in as the rush was on to get everything ready by four o’clock. Refreshments and First Aid all had to be accommodated. It looked as if the event would go ahead on time when we brewed up at four. The music started at five, delayed only by the youngsters’ journeys after school. Collaboration twixt young and older people at its best.

30th Dave led a group of volunteers to Anderton. We parked by the rifle range. Jim and I set off along the Fisherman’s Path with loppers to do the first cutting back of the year. Things have been slow to get growing, but the recent warm weather has prompted a sudden growth spurt. It was quite cloudy and it got more and more humid. We reached Carden’s Ferry Bridge before heading up to the top path and then we made our way back to the vehicles. The forecast for the next few days was not so good, so I did the Butterfly Transect. It was hardly worth the effort as all I saw was one small white. Back in the yard I wrestled with the hose pipe with its newly fitted attachment and managed to water the other side of the fence. There were no squeals, so I take it there were no passers-by. Following frantic instructions from Chris and Kevin I redirected the spray and watered the plants left over from the Bring and Buy Sale last weekend.

Breakfast with Moths, Saturday 7th July

elephant hawk moth

Join the regular moth trappers and see what was attracted to the traps on the previous night.

Croissants and orange juice will be available for breakfast.
Donations welcome.

Meet at 9.30am in Marbury Country Park

For further information contact:
Alan Garner 01606 883539