Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Attingham, Sunday 12th June

The group had a visit to Attingham, near Shrewsbury this past weekend. The official description of the task was “mucking out the cow sheds at Home Farm to get valuable garden manure”. As I sit at home drinking tea on Tuesday morning, I realise I haven’t heard from anyone who attended the workday…I am thinking maybe that they were enjoying the mucking out so much that they are still there…..HELLO MUCKERS….ARE YOU STILL OUT THERE????

STOP PRESS::: I hear that the task on Sunday was changed and the group spent the day mulching around the trees in the orchard (there was some horse muck involved!). Unfortunately, the weather was not favourable (i.e. the wrong sort of rain). A small but hardy group started the day…and a slightly wetter group ended the day. On the plus side, there was plenty of cake.

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Saturday/Sunday 28th/29th May

Continuing our succesful bank holiday outings, we find ourselves back at Dudmaston for some more rhoddie attack!

Day 1 – Saturday. Someone suggested having an early start today so we met at the earlier than usual time of 9am (John was so keen that he had been waiting at the car park with his bowsaw twitching at 8.15!). We were back to the same area of woodland as previously (see Easter Weekend), adjacent the ponds. It is pleasing to have to walk a little further each time, passing by the areas we have cleared on other workdays. Ron soon got the fire started and we worked throughout the morning, progressively clearing rhoddies from along the poolside. Given the early start, lunch seemed well deserved. With the exception of one rain shower, the weather was fine and allowed us to clear a larger than anticipated area.

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Gang of six and Ron's giant knotweed

The Weir, Hereford, Saturday 7th May

So, the National Trust got me thinking with their recent description of ‘daycations‘. If a daycation is when you go somewhere nice for a one day holiday, is a one day workday somewhere nice called a workdaycation? If so, our workdaycation (yes, yes, i know, its awful) was to The Weir near Hereford. This site is outwith our normal Shropshire/Staffordshire geographical area.

Car sharing was the order of the day and we met head gardener, Ned, on site just in time for the first rain we’d seen for many weeks. We were shown around the property, which includes a beautiful stretch along the River Wye and a walled garden. (more…)

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Dudmaston

Dudmaston, Sunday 1st May

WNTCV continue their series of bank holiday workdays with another day of rhoddy bashing at Dudmaston (see Easter Weekend 2 for our last visit). It was a fabulous workday with old and new members joining forces. According to Laura, the group “motored through the rhoddy, it didn’t stand a chance!” The fire was a bit lively given the dry ground, heat and light breezes – kept the group on their toes keeping things safe.

A great day was had by all and there was LOTS of cake!

No photos at the moment – we’ll add some if we receive them (any group member with pics, please forward a couple to Avril).

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Roman Bank worksite

Wenlock Edge, Roman Bank, Saturday 30th April

Sunshine again. We love this site and it was particularly lovely today with bluebells in the woods and just the right mix of sunny spots and shade. We worked further down the ride from our last visit (see Sunday 13th March).

Both sides of the ride were overgrown and crowded with trees. We removed all the brash and cut down selected trees to open up the woodland floor. The effects of this work could clearly be seen at our previous work site with limestone loving wild flowers and plants making a welcome return. (more…)

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Dudmaston Estate, Monday 25th April

WNTCV don’t do things by half measures – if we are going to have an Easter weekend workday, why not have two? This was the crazy logic that dragged us all out of our beds early on the morning of the bank holiday. Perhaps it was the promise of homemade cake…perhaps it was the desire to burn off some of the calories consumed during yesterdays “egg o’clock” (see Easter Weekend part 1). Whatever the reasoning it was a happy bunch of WNTCVers who met at Dudmaston to attack some rhododendrons. Ron, our resident firestarter, got the flames going while the rest of the crew got to work clearing areas of rhoddies, bramble and brash. We started work at this particular site towards the end of last year and we have been progressively working our way along the edge of the two pools removing rhoddies as we go and, as a result, opening up the views.

The work at this site today was very rewarding in that we could clearly see the effects of our efforts. The area really opened up with lots of sunlight reaching the woodland floor and the view through to the pools beginning to appear. We are back at this site next weekend to continue the project. I think that visitors using the woodland path through this area will see a big difference now that the rhoddies are being cleared.

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Wenlock Edge, Sunday 24th April

Back to Wenlock Edge today for some hard work and easter eggs. National Trust Ranger Chris met us at the entrance to Lea Quarry and we headed up to the work site. The group has worked here many times over the last year or two (see Feb 27 2011) and it is great to see the transformation continue. No need for too much discussion before we started work, just a brief safety talk and we were up on the slope cutting brash and trees, passing them (with the help of gravity!) to the slope base where a fire was started to get rid of the cuttings.

Instead of “cake o’clock”, today we had “egg o’clock”. Our normal cake break was replaced by a little easter treat or two, kindly supplied by Matt. We did have our very own easter bunny…or a very confused looking Max the dog who puts up with us silly humans and our craziness – as you can see from the picture he looked super cute with his temporary pink ears.

This was the group’s first ever Easter workday – we usually don’t work on bank holiday weekends. We all agreed that it had been a really worthwhile outing and hopefully we can make it an annual event.

Max "Easter Bunny" Harrison

before.....

....during....

....after

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WNTCV has two workdays this coming weekend.This is unusual for the group as we don’t normally work during bank holidays. Our keen members fancied some extra work however so we thought we would keep them busy with not one, but two additional workdays.

On Sunday 24th April we are at Wenlock Edge, continuing scrub clearance at Lea Quarry as part of the restoration of limestone grassland. This could be the perfect way to either:

a) burn off calories after eating too many easter eggs

b) build up an appetite to eat more easter eggs!

On bank holiday Monday (25th April) we are working in the Dudmaston Estate on one of the the group’s favourite tasks – attacking the invasive, non-native species rhododendron ponticum.

For existing WNTCV members, please contact the workday leader as usual. Non-members are also welcome on any of our workdays – if you want to join us, please follow the email link on our CONTACT or EVENTS pages and we’ll get back to you with further information.

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Morville Hall

Morville Hall, Sunday 17th April

First things firstĀ  – a ‘plug’ for the good people of Morville and their annual festival, being held over the three days of May bank holiday (30th April – 2nd May). Have a look at theĀ  Morville Festival 2011 website where you will find details of the flower festival, garden fete and open gardens. I can highly recommend a visit – the cake alone is worth the journey!

Morville Hall

Now to news of our workday. As I was driving over to Morville today, with sun shining and blue skies, it struck me that I can’t remember having a day of bad weather at Morville. Morville Hall is a very impressive sight in any weather, and particularly fine in the sunshine.

We were warmly welcomed by our good friends, Chris and Sarah Douglas, who had prepared a list of gardening tasks for the group including planting lavender in the new formal garden, dry stone walling, erecting fence posts, hedge trimming and general garden tidying. After tea and biscuits we headed out into the garden to start work.

Planting in the new formal garden

Workday leader, Mags, kept us motivated with homemade maple syrup fudge and we were soon racing through the list of tasks.

Here’s me (below), doing some work for a change instead of taking photographs! Repairing the wall was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – we were sure that all of the stones that had fallen from the wall were in the pile, we just had to work out what went where.

At the end of the day, we were served tea with a delicious spread of cakes (thanks Sarah!).

Wall repairs (me doing some work!)

Cake Oclock

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Well, we aren’t really going on a bear hunt…..that poem has just been stuck in my head for the last few days.

We are REALLY going to Morville Hall, this coming Sunday 17th April (where there are unlikely to be bears). Morville Hall is a favourite venue for the group – we always have a great turnout for our visits. It is a stunning location, there is a wide variety of gardening tasks to choose from and we are always warmly welcomed by Morville Hall tenants, Chris and Sarah Douglas.

Of course, there will be an update on this site after our visit but why not come along and join us instead?

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