As with the June 2018 Work Party we will all meet in the Fernery at 10am for Team Briefings, but then divide into:
- a Fernery Gardening Group who will remain and work in the Fernery, and
- a ‘scrub bashing’ group that will work on the Nature Reserve Park Field.
The Fernery Gardening Group
Harry Ward will be the group leader as before. Prime tasks will be to check the stability of the rabbit wire, undertake weeding and watering and standard maintenance work, including the tidying up of paths and checking that the young trees on the perimeter are watered and weeded around their bases.
Under Sarah’s direction, preparation for the next Big Plant Up will commence from August/September and members of the Gardening Group will be involved in this process. The Anthony Parson’s planting bed against the Retaining Wall, which is currently covered by a weed suppressing membrane is expected to be planted up in the Autumn.
As reported elsewhere, the WHBC is reaching an agreement with the Mid-Herts Scouting organisation to undertake a voluntary task of fitting anti-rabbit fencing to the cattle fence on the perimeter of the Fernery. Until that task is complete it will be necessary to continue to install rabbit wire around all new planting.
Scrub Bashing Team (SBT)
A team will collect tools from the Fernery shed and then gather at the corral in the Park Field to continue the work of clearing the scrub away from the base and surrounds of the sequoia tree. The Welwyn cubs and scouters did some work further along the path last Thursday evening 12th July 2018 and if resources and time permit, then the SBT team should tidy up using use bow saws to reduce lopped scrub down to ground level, and strim nettles from the sides of the paths about 1 metre back.
Paths continue to be invaded by bramble runners which need to be cut back using secateurs. Dog walkers have started doing a good job at this but the task is never-ending.
Chris James (WHBC) has identified overhangs and outgrowths that need management over the next few months on the Park Field:
- Paths in general
- Sunken Path – overhangs each side where sunken path meets perimeter path
- The section by the ‘plantation’ near metal kissing gate (several small elms here that could be removed)
- The entrance from the mansion, turning right towards metal gate – several low branches of sycamore could be cut right back to trunk here. Path very narrow (suspect not mown!)
- The section parallel to House drive where a few years ago the CMS undertook some hedge layering.
- General – all the small tree saplings growing along/into the stock fence boundary should be cut off at ground level. They are a mixture of ash, elm and oak.
Next month, in August, the scrub coppicing in the sunken track that was started at the sides 2 years ago could be re-commenced.
Management of Split working Parties
We have a constant need to encourage volunteers to attend Leaders, and First Aid Courses.
Until we are in a position where we can physically have a 1st Aider with each group, Harry (with 1st Aider qualifications) will be the leader in the Fernery on 19th July, and John will be the leader in the Fernery Field. Sub projects and activities will be led by Andrew and Lucy.
Telephone contact will be maintained between both groups at all times with ‘formal’ checks on the hour at 11 and 12 pm.
The Scrub Bashing Team will complete their tasks and return tools etc back to the Fernery by 12 p.m.
The full team will meet at the Fernery at 10 a.m. for briefing and allocation of tasks, and for the issue of appropriate tools.
If possible a First Aider will attend each group, but failing that, then the respective leaders will maintain telephone contact.
For those not familiar with the location of the Fernery, full details may be found on the website, but simply stated the closest access point is North Ride, on the Danesbury Estate, AL6 9RD.
Either park in North Ride, or take the right hand fork of the unmade Road which leads to Danesbury Park Road, and an entrance is about 500 metres on the right not far from a lay-by.
Tea breaks will of necessity be separate, but we will aim to meet up together as a group at 12 p.m. in the Fernery for a de-brief.
Please bring a drink with you, and wear strong boots or shoes and have strong gardening gloves too.