Posts Tagged ‘Wenlock Edge’

This year we find the group celebrating it’s 35th Birthday. We will celebrate with a huge bonfire party later this year. It’s great to hear that the group continues to contribute a significant number of volunteer hours to the National Trust. Our volunteer hours and stats for the year September 2014 to August 2015 were announced on Saturday, during our AGM. The results are always impressive – lots of hard work translates into a huge number of volunteer hours for the National Trust.

Figures are from 1st Sept 2014 to 31st Aug 2015:

  • total volunteer hours 3,027.25
  • 60 people volunteered with the group
  • we arranged 62 workdays at 13 different National Trust properties
  • average number of volunteers per workday  8

Where did we spend our time? The top 3 sites measured by hours worked are as follows:

  • Dudmaston (gardens and woodland)
  • Wenlock Edge
  • Benthall Hall

Matt Hinton topped the hours chart again this year with 309.75hours. Well done Matt.

A big thank you to all who contributed volunteer hours and to those who do committee work and workday leading, ensuring that the group continues to flourish.

 

If you’d like to add a few volunteer hours to next year’s total, why not join us for a workday? Our current list of workdays can be found on our EVENTS page. Pick a day and CONTACT US. Let’s make the coming year a bigger and better success.

 

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Drum roll please….

Our volunteer hours and stats for the year September 2013 to August 2014 were announced on Saturday, during our AGM. The results are always impressive – lots of hard work translates into a huge number of volunteer hours for the National Trust.

Figures are from 1st Sept 2013 to 31st Aug 2014:

  • total volunteer hours 3,068.75
  • 73 people volunteered with the group
  • we arranged 66  workdays at 15 different National Trust properties
  • average number of volunteers per workday  9

Where did we spend our time? The top 3 sites measured by hours worked are as follows:

  • Dudmaston (gardens and woodland)
  • Wenlock Edge
  • Morville Hall

Matt Hinton topped the hours chart again this year with 310.75hours. He isn’t a man, he’s a machine! A volunteering machine! Well done Matt.

We also have a “top 100”. This lists the total hours volunteered by the top 100 group members since the group began in 1980. Just for fun, have a guess at how many hours the group have worked in total (answer at the end of this post).

Congratulations to our volunteers who earned National Trust Long Service Awards during this past year.

20 year award – Peter Orme
15 year award –Helen Payne, Ann Dalgleish
10 year award – Tom Freeland, Jen Davison, Laura Harrison, Sheila Smallwood, Rachel Freeland, Neil Semple
5 year award – Gill Amias, Ben Nash, Jackie Semple, Avril Simpson

They will receive their awards at a special event later this year.

A big thank you to all who contributed volunteer hours and to those who do committee work and workday leading, ensuring that the group continues to flourish.

 

If you’d like to add a few volunteer hours to next year’s total, why not join us for a workday? Our current list of workdays can be found on our EVENTS page. Pick a day and CONTACT US. Let’s make the coming year a bigger and better success.

 

(answer: 58,638 hours – wow!)

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Wenlock Edge: new season

Returning to Wenlock Edge after a summer absence always signals the end of summer and the move into a new season. It did feel odd to be thinking that way yesterday as the sun was shining, the temperature was 22C and we wore sunhats! Don’t panic, it is still summer. It’s just that we have started work with an autumn/winter feel. This usually involves cutting trees and having bonfires. We know from experience that we will start September with suncream and end the month thinking about digging out warmer clothes…it’s pre-autumn!

We had a really good workday at Wenlock yesterday. The worksite was perfect: dry underfoot, easy access, amazing views. We were joined by two new volunteers (hello Sara and Oliver!). The work involved cutting back the treeline which was encroaching on a neighbouring field.

The photographs answer a few questions we are often asked about our workdays.

Did we have cake? yes we did. Lots of cake in the tin at the start of the day…lots of cake in the people at the end of the day.

Was there a bonfire? yes, we had two!

How good was the site? see for yourself.

Was the weather nice? blue skies and sunshine. perfect.

pic collage wenlock 31 aug

 

note: although we haven’t been working at Wenlock Edge, we have been busy during the summer at Dudmaston, Shugborough, Sunnycroft, Benthall and Biddulph. We’ve also had a working week at Cragside. If you’d like to join us, please find our current programme on our EVENTS page. Get in touch via our CONTACTS page or find us on Facebook.

 

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It’s “Look how awesome we are” time again. Our volunteer hours and stats have recently been published. The results are always impressive – lots of hard working volunteer hours for the National Trust.

Figures are from 1st Sept 2012 to 31st Aug 2013:

  • total volunteer hours for the group – 3,465.25
  • 66 people volunteered with the group
  • there were 71  workdays at 16 different National Trust sites

Where did we spend our time? The top 3 sites measured by hours worked are as follows:

  • Dudmaston
  • Benthall Hall
  • Wenlock Edge
Matt Hinton topped the hours chart again this year with 379.25hours (plus his mum sends us cake – yay Matt’s mum!).

We are also very proud of our volunteers who earned National Trust Long Service Awards this past year.

20 year award – Ann Brookman, Andrew Dalgleish, Dave Maeer, Jane Maeer
15 year award – Christine Brown, Ron Murdoch
10 year award – Lucy Cole
5 year award – Peter Elliot, Jon Hazlewood, Matt Hinton, Zac Harvey, John Upton,Gordon Whittaker, Lisa Whittaker

Well done all.

A big thank you to all who contributed volunteer hours and to those who do the admin and workday leading, ensuring that the group is a continued success.

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Hello all

We have reached the end of our first working month of the year and it has been a busy one, with challenging working conditions.

We started the month on Saturday 5th at Benthall Hall. The task involved cutting down old fruit trees and sycamore and burning the evidence on a bonfire. This is perfect work for the time of year: gets us working hard from the outset with the promise of a bonfire to keep us warm. There was a good turnout and we were rewarded with a hot meal at the end of the day. We had our tea break and meals in style as we were allowed to use the Hall as our base – perhaps the scruffiest group to eat around the table since it was crafted in the 1600s?

benthall

Benthall Hall

The weather turned from mild to cold for our workday on Sunday 13th, where a hardy group headed out to Wenlock Edge where we continued to open up a viewpoint on one of the many walks through the woods. The immense size of our bonfire created spring like conditions where we were working, despite the fact that the temperature didn’t rise much above freezing elsewhere.

…and then it snowed…but we were not put off

After a two year break, we returned to Shugborough on Sunday 26th. Shugborough is home to “The Great Yew”, listed as the largest evergreen crown in Britain and Ireland. We gave the yew a trim, not a chop! With snow on the ground, there was also time for a little fun.

shugborough yew

Trimming The Great Yew

shugborough snow

Shugborough snow

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Beccy Speight joins SSNTV at Wenlock Edge

The month began with a special visitor to Wenlock Edge on Sunday 1st April. Beccy Speight, Regional Director for the National Trust in the Midlands, joined us for a workday. The location was the old railway line. The weather was fine, the cake was good and Beckie got stuck in with the work, felling trees and clearing brash. I hear that Ron soon signed her up as an apprentice firestarter!

We continued work at the same site on Friday 6th April (Good Friday Bank Holiday). It was Laura’s turn to be firestarter, under Ron’s watchful eye. Verdict: uses too many matches, has a lot to learn before she is ‘black belt’ firestarter. Max the dog worked hard and was too tired to walk home so he commandeered Ron’s car (see photo below).

Max drives home after a hard days work at Wenlock

It’s possible that April 2012 will be remembered as being very wet and we got a full helping of rain on Monday 9th April (Easter Monday Bank Holiday), Dudmaston, where we worked with National Trust Ranger Mike Annis to work on tree and scrub clearance at the Big Pool Dam. It rained in the morning…it cleared for lunch…it rained in the afternoon. We had two fires going which helped to cheer things up, but it did get a bit muddy underfoot and it’s hard to stay cheerful when your waterproof trousers cease to be waterproof and a dog steals your jacket to  lie on (poor Matt). A feast of Easter Eggs boosted morale.

Max doesn't like damp ground. Matt's jacket proved to be just right for resting on

We just can’t get enough of  Wenlock Edge. Our next session was Sunday 15th April. A different site this time, at the footpath running along the edge of the old quarry. In sunshine, we worked on path clearance and fence repair. This is a popular walking path for locals and visitors to the area. Our job was to cut back the overgrowth at the edges of the path and repair the fence on the quarry edge, improving path access and safety. If you are ever in the area, I can highly recommend the walks in and around Much Wenlock and along Wenlock Edge.

Wenlock Edge, Matt

The weather for Sunday 22nd April didn’t look promising but SSNTV are never put off by the forecast and there was a good turnout of volunteers at Wightwick Manor & Gardens. The work for the day was in the bridge garden, which had become overgrown with laurel and other tall shrubs. There was once a productive fruit garden in this part of the property and in the future it is hoped to return the garden to its former glory. With luck, we avoided the rain as we worked. It did rain, monsoon style, at lunchtime but we managed to take cover in a marquee to eat lunch and wait for the skies to clear.

 

Morville...soggy workwear

We didn’t have any luck with the weather on Sunday 29th April. Our visit to Morville Hall was cold and wet. It was raining as we arrived…it rained all day….it was still raining at the end of the day. Unperturbed, a hardy group of SSNTVers joined Morville Hall tenants Chris and Sarah. We braved the wind and rain to work in the garden, carrying out a list of tidying and maintenance tasks in preparation for the annual open weekend at the property and surrounding gardens. The upside of rainy days at Morville is that we are allowed to eat our lunch in the Elizabethan hall – very grand indeed! We stopped work only when we couldn’t get any wetter. Chris and Sarah provided tea and cake. This was much appreciated at the end of this damp workday.


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What a great start  to 2012. Five workdays completed by the group in January.

We started the month with a visit to Sunnycroft on Sunday 8th January. The property is closed at the moment for its winter rest. A good opportunity to have a clear up in the garden. Over the past year, hedges have been chopped back and trees pruned (we got involved with some of this work – info here). The property has a good composting system in place (and yes, we’ve been involved with this too!), but woody waste can’t be easily composted. Our visit to Sunnycroft this month involved two large bonfires to get rid of the woody waste. Meanwhile, the digging crew got stuck into turning the compost beds.

Our next workday was at Walcot Woods on Sunday January 15th. The weather had turned cold and crisp – not that the group ever need an excuse for a bonfire or two! We continued the ongoing woodland management project, clearing back scrub and removing some of the smaller trees. This site is probably our most remote workplace, but it is well worth the extra effort required to get there. It is an amazing place to work, with many veteran trees and stunning views down the valley. (ed’s note: our website header photo was taken at Walcot)

Saturday January 21st saw a continuation of the winter hedgelaying programme at Attingham Park. The group welcomed three new people to share the workload.  (ed’s note: I hear that this year’s hedgelaying site is particularly good – there is another opportunity to join the group on 18th February. See events for info).

On the same weekend as the hedgelaying, another workday took place at Wenlock Edge on Sunday January 22nd. Working at an old quarry site, there was a lot of bowsawing and lopping – we turned trees and scrub into a log pile and a fire.

On Saturday 28th January,  group members met NT Area Ranger Mike Annis for a walk around Dudmaston Estate. It was a cold and bright day – perfect for walking…especially as the furthest point from the car park happened to be a pub (such good luck to find ourselves at the pub in time for lunch). Mike talked about how the work we do on the Estate fits into the overall management of the estate lands. We discussed possible future projects for the group. It seems that we won’t run out of work at Dudmaston anytime soon – good news for us!

We completed our working month at Morville Hall on Sunday 29th January. Always a favourite site, the turnout for this workday was high. The numerous garden tasks were tackled with our usual enthusiasm – apple trees pruned, flagstones moved, shrub roots mattocked, flower borders manured, paths straightened. We had our lunch inside Morville Hall – I wonder if the Elizabethan walls have ever seen such a scruffy lot within?! The day was completed with a lot of tasty cake.

So that was January. Busy, busy, busy. Bring on February!

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