Archive for March, 2019


Hello hard-working SSNTV’ers, …Worked lots of hours last year? Then look out for your Volunteer Card reward in the post imminently!

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It was SSNTV member Matthew’s milestone (we’ll leave it at that shall we?) birthday  the night before, so top marks to most who made it out next day, among them workday leader David…..

It was a gloriously bright and sunny early Spring day which made the profusion of daffodils in the gardens and arboretum look at their best. We worked under the supervision of both Head Gardener Caroline and her deputy James. This was a rare treat as we don’t often see them together! 

It’s always a good idea to keep the Head Gardener happy so we were pleased that we were able to complete all of the tasks that Caroline could remember from her list for the day! (Even if we did have help from a few of the property’s garden volunteers)

We had a bit of a bonfire fest too, as we eventually had three on the go. One group burned some cuttings where we had a megafire in the past, towards the Blue Bridge. Another group made a fire near the Chinese Bridge in the Arboretum, to burn the hawthorn trees we cut down, aimed at opening up views across the river back to the Mansion. A third burn developed further into the Arboretum where we all worked after lunch to burn cuttings, fallen stems and the brambles we dug out. As an end of the day task, ‘brambling’ (which sounds better than the activity) was quite hard going, especially as it involved venturing close to the very smoky fire.

Unfortunately at times, the wind wasn’t in the most favourable direction for the garden either! We did smoke it out a bit – oops sorry visitors! It was busy with people who were both curious and at the same time needed to dodge the billowing clouds.  Indeed, those in the Mansion wondered if they needed the fire brigade, until they found out the smoke was coming from way over in the Arboretum!

We always get supplied with fabulous cake at Shugborough (thanks James) but incredibly we struggled to eat it all, having attempted to polish off the left-overs from group member Matthew’s birthday cake at elevenses and lunchtime.

Oh yes and BTW….what is K9 doing on James’s garden mowing / blowing machine???????

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So in the end we made it to Walcot Wood for one day this Spring and experienced the whole range of weather that nature could provide!

After the high winds of Saturday which caused a cancellation, an early Sunday start saw blue skies and dry as we arrived on site – a delight. However soon after heading up the hill, grey skies arrived and hail – or was it sleet – came down briefly!
As work continued clearing the hawthorn stands to reveal more of the aged oaks and encourage more flora – which was already starting to peak through, as we spotted the first spring primose flowerheads – showery spells were interspersed with sunny skies.
Cake o’clock and lunch came and went in the sunshine – should we have a long Sunday lunchtime BBQ next time?…. and as the day came to a close with more of the hillside revealed – hopefully Countryside Manager Pete will like what we’ve done – the peace and tranquility of the remote site became clear to all as the wind subsided and the sun shone to round off the day.

…You know you’ve been to Walcot – the flipside of the views and rolling green hills are the steep slopes – your aching knees remind you of that when you get home!

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Our EVENTS page has been updated with new dates for your diary.

If you have volunteered with us before…., then you know how to book onto the workdays.

If you’re interested to volunteer with us for the first time…., then please contact us for more info – just pop over to our CONTACTS PAGE and send us your details so our web fairy can put you in touch with us.

In the meantime, don’t forget that we are also on Facebook.

Just click the Facebook link in the sidebar to read recent workday reports and see more pictures (don’t worry, you don’t have to have a Facebook account to read the updates!).

Walcot Woods

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