This last weekend was our February Conservation Weekend, and a superb weekend it was too. 15 wonderful volunteers joined Jason and Stephen from Deepdale, and were led by our friend Nathan, from Wild Influence.
Yet again the volunteers blew us away with the amount of work they got done, simply brilliant. Over 1,300 hedge plants went in, and then around 70 trees.
The layout of the new hedges will provide new wildlife habitats on the campsite, instead of the grass tundra that has existed in the past. Nathan designed a great mix of plants for the hedges to maximise cover, thickness and food supply for wildlife through the year. The hedge plants were primarily hawthorn, mixed with spindle, field maple, dog rose, dogwood, beech, hazel, crab apple.
Dotted around the site we added a mixed selection of feature trees to provide cover and wind breaks when they are more established. When the field maples (Queen Elizabeth), Norway maples, oaks, copper beeches, sycamores, alders, silver birches and sweet chestnuts are in leaf they will add some beautiful colour to the site.
Looking forward to seeing the wildlife enjoying the new habitat. The wagtails were certainly loving the disturbed ground as we tidied up on Sunday.
Stephen kept the mulch, tree posts and other supplies flowing. Pleased to say we recycled a huge amount of cardboard from Dalegate Market as weed suppressant. Jason’s role was to keep feeding the volunteers so energy didn’t dip, and the general consensus seems to have been that he succeeded at that task, hence ‘Never knowingly under catered!’
On Friday evening, as the weekend team got to know each other we enjoyed pizzas from the Wood Fired Food Co, on one of their regular Friday Pizza Nights, and Harriet, one of the Deepdale crew, introduced a selection of very silly entertaining games.
On Saturday evening we enjoyed a BBQ in the courtyard, which included some of the largest marshmallows we’ve ever seen and a lot of laughter.
There’s a little more mulching to do, and some grass seeding to finish, but the fully serviced pitches are ready to go, and the place looks awesome.
Thank you to all the volunteers. You were great company, managed so much work, and were a pleasure to have to stay.
Maybe you’d like to join us for a future Conservation Weekend. We hold two a year, one in February when we concentrate on hedge and tree planting, and a second in November when we usually work in the woods.