Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunningwell Green, 25th November 2017

Back in February 2016, we made our first visit to Sunningwell to assist some of the locals to plant a hedge on the green.  The green had recently been saved from possible development and since then has been bought by a group of the villagers to ensure that it remains as a valuable community asset.

We returned for a second session this weekend to continue with the hedge planting - essentially to extend it in a line from the where we left off last time, down the slope, towards the main road.

Having parked our cars outside the village hall, we met with Bob Evans who lives opposite the green and who was again supervising our work here.  After being briefed in his front garden, the fifteen or so Green Gymmers and a few Sunningwell residents began work.

The first task was to clear away some overgrown vegetation in the area with slashers and rakes.  Next, a line was established with some string to define where the tree whips were to be planted, with canes put in the ground at regular intervals marking the exact locations.  A mixture of species including hawthorn, blackthorn and dogwood were provided, along with spiral tree guards and ties. Given the large group, the hedge was finished just in time for the tea break.  Hopefully, over time, it will establish itself as successfully as the previous section, which has developed nicely.

The break was taken in the garden of Bob's house, and he and wife Kati had assembled an impressive spread with hot sausage and spring rolls, along with biscuits and sweet treats.  At this point, we discussed the post-tea time agenda, which included the scattering of wild flower seeds in an area of the green which had been prepared with the use of a rotavator during the morning.  Also, under the guidance of villagers Colin and James, there was the pond opposite the church to clear.

We divided up accordingly for the second half.  Kevin and Andrew each donned a set of waders and joined Colin in the pond, where the overgrown aquatic vegetation was removed by hand and deposited around the perimeter for clearing.  A couple of wheelbarrows had been sourced and the plants were carted away to a pile back on the green.

The pond water was not as cold as expected and a good effort saw much of the weed cleared before the 12:30pm deadline.  A number of locals including some staff and students from the neighbouring Sunningwell School of Art were delighted to see the immediate improvement!

All in all, a good morning's work in the November sunshine, and something a little different from many of our more regular tasks.
-Andrew



A well sunny Sunningwell Green!

Bob briefs the group in the bright sunshine.

Raring to go.

The section of hedge we helped plant in February 2016.

Graham, Carolyn and Kevin get started.

Clearing away vegetation.

Marking-out the line of the hedge.

Planting begins.

Each cane marked where a sapling was to be planted.

Spiral tree guards to protect the saplings.

A row of Green Gymmers and locals.

A finished section.

Completion of the task!

Tea garden.

Villager Colin removes weed from the pond.

Kevin joins in.

Pond weed is removed to the pavement, where it is collected and taken away.

Where the pond borders the art school.

The pond complete with island.

The pond was surprisingly deep in places!

Matt with a barrow-load of pond weed.

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