Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Real progress taking place!

Feb 23rd
Work day to clear site. 27 people in total (including 5 children and two teenagers) visited/supported/worked at different times throughout the day.

Brambles were cleared and tea, homemade biscuits and cakes consumed! Sheers, secateurs, loppers, scythes, machetes, brush cutters and a lawn mower were used to do the work and big piles made for burning. One of the apple tress was pruned to improve yield and accessability.

Feb 24th
A small group worked to rake and burn the piles of brambles with advice from visiting fire man!

Feb 25th
Meeting of Focus group at Tavern pub. Discussed aims of the project and ways forward. Six new people had heard about the meeting and joined us to find out more!

Feb 26th
Travis Perkins contacted to say they would like to support us with equipment and labour.

27th Feb
Gabi and Sara attended Kemble Garden Club meeting to update the group about our project. Stayed for talk on propagation by Jenny from Malmesbury Garden Centre.

Feb 29th
David from Travis Perkins and who lives in West Hay visited the site with Sara and Gabi to discuss what TP can do to help us. They can offer to clear some of the brambles with a small digger which would be a compromise between doing by hand and using a tractor. They may also be able to support us with some equipment.

March 1st
Site meeting to plan and design with Alison. Seventeen of us attended, toured the site with maps, marking where trees are and jotting down ideas of where things might best go. After this, Alison led a smaller group in an exercise using a large outline of the area and post-it notes to make a design for the possible layout. Five of us plus dog went to the Tavern for lunch with Alison.

March 4th

Gabi visited Malmesbury Garden Centre. David Butcher offered an expert to prune the fruit trees and to pass in our direction anything which becomes unsaleable, ie: split bags of compost, out of date seed, plants past their best for sale, etc. Any purchases from the shop will be discounted (not discussed further so no idea what %)

March 5th
Martin Hutchins from CDC visited the site and talked with Gabi, Sara, Jan and Witheal about the possibility of getting permission to carry on clearing brambles before the birds start nest building in the brambles.

March 6th
Alison Ensor sent her design plan/proposal to CDC

March 7th
CDC agreed verbally that we could continue to clear brambles subject to a bird survey to make sure nest building had not started. Permission would be confirmed in writing.

March 7th
Gabi arranged for Gareth – a bird expert - from Cotwold Water Park to spent an afternoon observing the site and he did this and submitted a detailed report of bird activity and other wildlife. It seems we would be safe to clear more brambles at the moment as the birds who nest in brambles are only displaying, not building yet.

March 10th
Witheal was contacted by Prince Charle’s estate manager in answer to the letter Witheal had written on behalf of our group. HRH wants to support our project with a donation and may possibly be able to help in other ways!

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