Work Party Tasks – Thursday 16th August 2018
As with the June and July 2018 Work Parties we will all meet in the Fernery at 10 am for Team Briefings which will be led by Andrew, who will allocate the tasks to be undertaken.
Volunteers will divide into two groups:
- a Fernery Gardening Group who will remain and work in the Fernery, and
- a ‘scrub-bashing’ group that will work on the Local Nature Reserve Park Field
The weather conditions and related safety concerns, will of course dictate which tasks will be practicable for us this coming Thursday.
N.B. Safety Shoes that were ordered have now arrived and are ready for distribution.
Fernery Garden Group – Work Party tasks
Composting – there is a need to tidy up the compost heaps, including the cutting back of bramble trailers to allow access later this year in order to add leaf compost.
Weeding – there are lots of weeds that need pulling (rather than strimming, so that weed seeds are stopped from spreading) and then adding to the rubbish compost.
Leaf collection – the leaf blower will be available to blow small branches and dried out leaves into heaps, where they can then be picked up and deposited in the compost heaps.
Watering – not likely to be needed this week.
Visiting Detectorist – it is possible that at least one member of the local metal detecting group will visit us on Thursday 16th September. They know about our recent water irrigation discoveries, but they are keen to work with us and, perhaps, help us discover and document the source of the Victorian irrigation system.
Local Nature Reserve – Park Field Scrub Bashing Work Party tasks
Chris James has identified areas that need attention, as follows:
Overhanging brambles and growths – the perimeter path constantly needs maintenance – “I need a secateurs gang”!
There are also some more substantial overhangs/outgrowths in the following places:
- 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
Stock fence boundary – all the small tree saplings growing along/into the wire fencing should be cut off at ground level. They are a mixture of ash, elm and oak. A selective few should be retained (far enough away from fence to not be a future problem).
The sunken path is generally in good condition because it has been mown each side. But there is scope to continue the scrub coppicing at the sides that was started 2 years ago. This could be done in August.
Andrew has identified quite a few ferns growing at the side of the sunken track that could be dug out and replanted in the Fernery.
The full team will meet at the Fernery at 10 a.m.* for briefing and the allocation of tasks; and the issue of appropriate tools.
*Volunteers are encouraged to arrive earlier if possible in order to help with the distribution of tools and allocation of tasks, which will facilitate a prompt working start for everybody.
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 as follows: either park in North Ride, or take the right hand fork of the unmade Road which leads to Danesbury Park Road, and a kissing gate entrance is about 500 metres on the right, not far from a lay-by.
Tea Breaks and De-Briefing
Tea breaks for the two work parties will of necessity be separate, but we will aim to meet up together in The Fernery for de-briefing at 12 p.m.
Please bring a drink with you, and wear strong boots or shoes and have strong gardening gloves too.
Other Issues of Interest
Mechanical Digger Day – Re-profiling ‘the Parson’s Bed’ – 20th September 2018
Big-Plant-Up Day – Work Party Thursday 18th October 2018
Mid-Herts Scouts Rabbit Protection – 20th September 2018 (?)
Excavation Tasks for 2019
Ann MacDonald has also targeted the Pulhamite Outcrop site at the North East end of the dell for 2019 Excavation/Restoration. She intends that the mis-placed Pulhamite stone which is resting nearby, will be re-set by Maydencroft within the walls of the outcrop, to the same professional standard employed in re-setting the grotto rocks.
Since we first established ourselves as a group in February 2017, operating within an agreed Constitution, we are overdue holding an AGM, and an Agenda will be produced shortly.
Our success in the Fernery has led to the Danesbury Residents Association having to manage considerable funds in our name, and our origjnal plans for banking are arguably now inappropriate.
We also need to review our team structure to ensure that we present more opportunity for individual members to share team responsibilities if they so wish.