Archive for April, 2021

Second Sunday back as lockdown starts to ease was oversubscribed with volunteers. Workday leader (and it seems….botanist and lepidopterist extraordinaire…) Dave reports from what seems to have been a blazing day in the sunshine on the Edge – in all respects!

The group was tasked with helping to clear the NT boundary so a neighbouring farmer could put in his new fence. We met up at the bottom of the Edge (still with wonderful views of the Shropshire Hills). The job as always for Wenlock was cutting and burning – to make sure we had enough to burn, rangers Al and Kate were already taking down large willow and ash trees that might threaten to fall on the new fence.

Some of the wood was saved for selling on and a small amount found new homes with welcoming log stores. We finished the day with three large fires – quite a result, as it could have been more had we not spotted smoking embers in an old dead hedge.

Despite it seeming not to have rained for months, the site was quite boggy with a water-filled ditch on one side. Those with wellies found the silt in the ditch to be almost as deep as their boots! That said, it did make it good for wild flowers. I managed to spot Wild Garlic, Meadowsweet, Dog Violet, leaves of Early Purple Orchid, Bog Mint and Marsh Marigold or King Cup. Well, I did say it was boggy! Of course with the wild flowers come butterflies: Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Orange tip and a blue, possibly a Holly Blue….

A wonderful day full of sunshine, flowers, butterflies and bonfires!

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Success at last!

Following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, we’re happy to report that SSNTV were able to complete the first Sunday workday of 2021 with a brilliant Covid safe day in the East Annexe of the Walled Garden at Shugborough.

As the majority of the wall conservation work has now been completed here, head gardener Caroline now has grand plans for increasing visitor access around this part of the garden, which include extending the visitor walking route out in front of the walls in the picture and creating new flower beds.

However, before the flower bed creation and seed sowing could begin, the SSNTV removals team were called in to clear the target areas of all things that don’t agree with rotovator blades or shouldn’t belong in a flower bed.

During the day we completed the challenge of uncovering, lifting, shifting and re-homing: 2 full pallets worth of stonework; 1 full pallet of slate; pallets of paling fences; 1 pallet of fence posts; some rather large tree trunks; old roof timbers and other wood left from the conservation work; a full size enamel bath (taps still working!!); a rusty bench; a random chimney pot; assorted pipes and metalwork; bricks and rubble and a nice selection of logs. 

Blessed with glorious sunshine and brilliant volunteers (as always), a fantastic day was had by the small group, on account of Covid regs. Thanks to Caroline for offering us this extra session ahead of the full workday programme which our volunteers will be happy to be reminded is due to restart in mid-May!! 

…Off to Wenlock Edge next….!!

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Dates for your diary for April and May (as per Prog. Organiser, Helen’s emails) are included in the SSNTV website Events page here

….are those boots now clean and ready???

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