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Tree saplings update

We’ve had huge support for our new tree plantings during lockdown: lots of thanks and praise and even better still, new volunteers are adopting and watering them. Deep watering is one of the keys to healthy future survival as it encourages roots to grow downwards where they are best placed to find water in future droughts.

We are working on our autumn volunteering programme now and will update when ready.

tie a scarlet ribbon..
adopt a tree sapling
early morning waterers

April update

We managed to complete most of our new planting of tree saplings and perennial hedgerow plugs. As we can no longer organise our sociable volunteering sessions we are just sticking to incorporating tending to our park during our daily exercise.

If you are local and fancy helping, you can bring water from home (we can’t really use the park taps either) in plastic milk bottles (other containers can be used!) and choose a lonely plant to water. Probably most in need are the larger new shrubs interspersed along the boundary from the top of Vicars Hill to the Bothy. Don’t be tempted to share the water…one good dousing of 5L plus is best or none at all! THANKS IF YOU CAN MANAGE THIS.


Ongoing maintenance events

As spring is upon us and we have some tasks that need completing promptly: we have been having well spaced maintenance events! Thanks to everyone who came to help this weekend. We will continue to weed the new tree planting, mulch and plant the newly layered hedge. We have more plants on order for the Vicars Hill entrance and Cliffview boundary. These include hedgerow perennials and hedging plants.

Big Bird Watch

Winter morning

Following receipt of a tree plan from the council we went on a walk around the park, to check the impact of the proposed tree planting. Four of the new trees are proposed along the path that runs along the south meadow.

Looking towards the south meadow.
Looking towards music block at Prendergast School
Within the Friends’ tree strategy we hope to create a ‘ride’ and infil the trees either side. Maybe we could start planting bulbs along the edges?

Autumn on Hilly Fields

It was such a beautiful morning on Hilly Fields today and I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs of the autumn trees.

This is an abandoned nest – possibly a squirrel’s drey – surrounded by autumnal oak leaves.

The silver birches by the tennis courts are just past their best but still worth a look if you’re passing in the next few days. Their drooping leaves and catkins are delicate and difficult to capture in photographs. A native tree, one of the best for wildlife.

Berries of the Whitebeam tree in the north field. Much loved by the Mistle Thrushes in the park, the Whitebeam is native in Southern England and Ireland. The white leaves which are scattered on the grass at the moment can look silvery in autumn and the veins are finely etched . The whiteness is what gives the tree its name, ‘beam’ being an Anglo-Saxon word for tree.

A beech tree, also in the north field, and one of only two in the park. A native tree with many benefits for wildlife. The beech nuts (collectively known as beech mast) are not produced every year and this appears to be a ‘no-show’ year.

A carpet of leaves in the shade garden next to the bowling green.

I forgot to check what species of tree these are, but I like the way their foliage complements the yellow of the bin at bottom left!

TREE PLANTING 30th November, 2019

Even trees don’t last for ever, especially those threatened by spreading diseases. Our new tree saplings will widen a stand of horse chestnuts. This species is currently under attack from at least three pests and diseases. The most serious of which is ‘bleeding canker’. That’s what it is called, not what I think of it. So we are planning for the potential long term loss of the boundary trees.

Meadow Maintenance

SUNDAY, 3rd November: We need to sort out our WWI meadow so that it is ready for re-seeding. We’ll be at the meadow, up the bank on the corner of the lane, the other side of the lane to the tennis courts. Bring gloves and tools if you have them. We will have some extra. We will start around 10.30 and finish at 12.30.

The meadow towards the end of summer.

our batty day

Join us for bat themed craft and junior yoga.

This Monday, 21st October, by the stone circle.

South Meadow Botanical Survey, 2019

Hilly Fields South Meadow – Species found 13 July 2019

Flowers (39)

Achillea millefolium Yarrow

Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley

Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed

Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle

Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle

Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed

Crepis capillaris Smooth Hawk’s-beard

Echinops sphaerocephalus Glandular Globe-thistle

Galium aparine Cleavers (Goosegrass)

Galium mollugo Hedge Bedstraw

Galium x pomeranicum Hybrid of Hedge and Lady’s Bedstraw

Galium verum Lady’s Bedstraw

Geranium dissectum Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill

Geranium pratense Meadow Crane’s-bill

Helminthotheca echioides Bristly Oxtongue

Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed

Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling

Lotus corniculatus Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil

Malva moschata Musk-mallow

Oenanthe pimpinelloides Corky-fruited Water-dropwort

Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain

Plantago major Greater Plantain

Potentilla reptans Creeping Cinquefoil

Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup

Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup

Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved Dock

Senecio jacobaea Common Ragwort

Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard

Smyrnium olusatrum Alexanders

Stellaria graminea Lesser Stitchwort

Symphytum tuberosum White Comfrey

Tanacetum vulgare Tansy

Taraxacum agg Dandelion

Tragapogon pratensis Goat’s-beard

Trifolium pratensis Red Clover

Trifolium repens White Clover

Urtica dioica Common Nettle

Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch

Vicia sativa Common Vetch

Grasses (14)

Agrostis capillaris Common Bent

Agrostis stolonifera Creeping Bent

Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail

Anisantha sterilis Barren Brome

Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass

Dactylis glomerata Cock’s-foot

Elytrigia repens Common Couch 

Festuca arundinacea Tall Fescue

Festuca rubra Red Fescue

Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog

Hordeum murinum Wall Barley

Hordeum secalinum Meadow Barley

Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass

Phleum pratense Timothy