We welcomed Welwyn Hatfield Borough Cllr. Helen Bromley, Executive Member for the Environment, CEO Rob Bridge, and Director of Landscaping Nick Long.
They were shown around the site by the Leader of the Friends, John Roper, and admired the excavations carried out in the past two years, and learned about the history of the site construction in 1860, and the Pulhamite rock work.
They watched the volunteers working to trace the missing section of the Top Path, digging out stubborn dead tree stumps with a mattock, strimming back nettles and other invasive plants, weeding the Victorian planting beds, and planting more ferns that had quite recently been donated by a benefactor – not to forget time spent chatting to one of our volunteers (past-Mayor Les Page) who was disguised as a leaf blowing operative.
At the elevenses break time, which was timed to match the conclusion of their visit, Cllr Bromley spoke to the volunteers and congratulated them all for the outstanding contribution they are making to restore the Danesbury Fernery, which she described as an important and long lost piece of Welwyn’s heritage.
All the visitors were amazed at the scale and scope of the project that the volunteers have taken on with the help of the Borough Council. They found the project stimulating and exciting and they gave the volunteers an assurance that the Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve will continue to have the full support of the Borough Council.
CEO Rob Bridge added his congratulations and promptly posted an entry on our Twitter site and I strongly recommend that that you have a look at @danesburyferns.
Future Meeting Dates
You are reminded that it was agreed at the September meeting that in future we will meet twice a month, on the third Thursday for the work parties, as now, plus a meeting of the ‘Friends of the Fernery Garden‘ on the 1st Saturday each month, starting Saturday 4th November. All meetings will start in the Fernery at 10 a.m. and we will be seeking volunteer leaders to help us get the Saturday meetings off to a successful start. Please set the dates in your diary.
The November 2017 edition of the Welwyn Magazine will carry a Report from the Friends of Danesbury LNR which introduces the new Saturday Gardening meetings. The Magazine will also carry the dates of all future Thursday and Saturday meetings from now onwards, conveniently on the back-page ‘ Dates for Your Diary’.
Social Media – progress
As mentioned last month, please develop the habit of having a look at our website www.danesburyfernery.org.uk, our FaceBook Page @danesbury fernery and our Twitter page @danesburyferns from time to time.
We are beginning to pick up useful contacts on the Twitter page and as individuals you can follow selected fern specialists who are making contact with us, and build up your knowledge. The Facebook Page @danesbury fernery which Lucy is running for us, is looking very good and attracting interest
This website is still awaiting some further polishing, but it takes time..
British Pteridological Society
Andrew is about to submit our Group Registration. If you want to be included in the group membership, and have not already done so, please let him know as soon as you can.
Alan Bishop & Associates – Pulhamite restoration experts.
Alan Bishop has long been interested in our progress and has been trying to make a date to visit us for several months. At long last, he managed to call in to see us towards the close of our meeting, and spent about one hour being shown around the Danesbury Fernery, by John and Sue.
It would be a safe summary to say that in terms of the setting of the rock work in the slope of the dell, the condition of the rockwork itself, and particularly the ‘virtually’ new condition of the rock work that has been buried under spoil for years, he was amazed and delighted with what he saw. Mindful of its early stage of excavation, he described the condition of the Danesbury Fernery as among the best that he has visited, and he hopes to pop in from time to time to see how we are progressing.
In his short visit, Alan gave some useful tips to Harry and (new boy) David, to help them trace the line of the Top Path by following the foundations, and in response to questions based on his wide experience of Pulham site restoration, he freely gave his views on the direction we might take in regard to development of the overall site and the garden as we move forward.
This was another very successful Working Party, and the Committee thanks all the volunteers who turned out, for their enthusiasm and support. There is no doubting that this was an important and extremely successful presentation and everybody played their part.
Thanks and well done to everybody.
Dates of Next Meetings
4th November – Saturday – The Friends of the Fernery Garden
16th November – Thursday – FOD Work Party