Shearing grass etc and filling bird feeders

Sunday June 21st 2020

Just been up to school for an hour or so as still unable to be there when children present ie due to Covid 19 restrictions..

First job was shearing back the overgrown grass plus hawthorn and blackthorn on the front bed as you enter school grounds…looks a little tidier but still lot more clearing and weeding to do ASAP 🙂

Next to school wildlife area where I refilled all the bird feeders and swept all the benches and tables…

Finally  picked some juicy black ripe cherries from the tree behind our shed👍🏻

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Update re volunteer working in school wildlife area

Tuesday June 2nd  2020

I have continued to go up to school on occasions during lockdown usually on a Sunday with my daughter… to refill the bird feeders and water planted pots and troughs in wildlife area and at the front of school ..

Last Friday I contacted the school head to enquiry if our volunteer team could restart working within the school grounds again from June 1st when school due to reopens for staggered return of nursery, reception and Year 6 children…the head replied that although she wants us back doing our voluntary gardening work it’s safer not to return just yet ie understandably they want to limit the number of adults who come into contact with the children in school..she will contact me when it’s safe to return👍🏻

NB daughter and I did go up to school briefly on Sunday May 31st …we only had time to water the planters and pots at the front of school …alas main flower bed looking rather overgrown so next time will take some shears to chop down the long grass by the front fence🙂

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Updates re school wildlife area work sessions ….

Sunday April 19th 2020….day 27 of full lockdown

Covid 19 Coronavirus movement restrictions mean our Monday morning work sessions in school wildlife area are cancelled until school reopens …

Weds 18th March

UK gov announced schools would be closed from Fri 20th March therefore I contacted Colin and Chris to cancel our wildlife area work sessions until movement restrictions are lifted.

Sunday March 22nd

Jean and daughter Rosie went up to school to finish spreading pile of tree chippings along lower footpath in wildlife area…

Monday March 23rd

UK gov announced further movement restrictions ie closure of gyms,cinemas,pubs,theatres,shops other than food stores plus gave further instructions that wherever possible people must work from home and are only allowed to leave home once a day for walking and cycle exercise for an hour …

Sunday April 5th

Jean and Rosie went up to school to refill bird feeders in school wildlife area

Sunday April 19th

Jean and Rosie went up to school …refilled bird feeders again plus attached hose and refilled water butts plus watered planted pots,planters and troughs at front of school..







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Feeding birds,pruning and tidying,litter picking and spreading tree chippings…

Monday March 16th 2020

Glorious sunny and dry weather for our work session at school this morning…

I arrived around 8am headed to the wildlife area where I refilled all the bird feeders..Colin arrived in time to help me with mixing 3 tubs of bird food for next few weeks..

Chris texted to say he’d be late and then with apologies that alas he couldn’t help us this morning…

Colin and and I gathered tools and wheelbarrow and headed to front of school where we did some planned weeding and tidying until our very welcome lorry load of tree chippings arrived ..I had put an appeal on Teignmouth Oracle Facebook site last Weds and 2 companies responded offering to donate free tree chippings asap..

Devon Tree Services delivered a very much appreciated lorry load of conifer  tree  chippings which were tipped by the playground entrance gate to the wildlife area …👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

NB We really do have so many muddy pathways to cover at the moment we need at least another 5 lorry loads delivered ASAP please😇👍🏻🙂

Colin and I spent rest of work session moving about half of the pile of chippings using wheelbarrows,large bags and a super large shovel..we decided to cover the muddiest areas first ie by the shed,down the steps and the lower path by the ash trees👍🏻

During our well deserved coffee break we watched a colourful male bullfinch on the feeder by the lower pathway…also noticed the bluebells are starting to flower

NB I picked up at least 20 fresh empty  crisp packets and chocolate wrappers from near the field gate and shipping storage containers😡




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Feeding birds,recycling felled branch,removing brambles and alexanders etc

Monday 9th March 2020

Arrived school just after 8am… as usual began work by refilling bird feeders in and around school wildlife area plus cleaning bird poo off seating and tables …

When Colin arrived he went off to clear brambles from the planted slope near the boiler house steps…

Chris finished securing the “balance bar” in the copse by the pond…he made it from a large branch of a felled cherry tree..other branches were previously ie last year cut to size and made into step edges by Chris and Colin..

Chris then went off to help Colin clearing brambles when he’d finished the balance bar…

Meanwhile I spent rest of work session removing lots of unwanted alexanders and brambles from the slope behind the shed …really satisfying to get most of them out with roots attached..four more large bags of green waste added to compost bins from my efforts this morning!

Mr Ball brought a class of children down to explore the wildlife area this morning


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Feeding birds,repairs,construction and weeding etc

Monday March 2nd 2020

So good to be back volunteering in the school wildlife area ie alas last 3 weeks work sessions cancelled due to very we weather!

On arrival I started work with a litter pick on the grassy area around the fruit trees above the playground plus on the slope by the boiler house an finally in the wildlife area behind the shed…easily filled a bucket full of litter ie mainly crisp and chocolate4 wrappings plus foil …annoyingly also lots of the litter was small pieces ie these tiny pieces are everywhere…have pointed out to a teacher  the damage this litter is doing to the school environment!!!

When Colin arrived his first job was retying the honeysuckle back against the shed then he helped me with refilling the bird feeders around the wildlife area…Colin also fixed the cover over the seat by the willow dome + picked up several branches from below the ash trees …later Colin also pruned back brambles and trees which were overhanging the pathways..

Chris brought a spare wheel from home and repaired our orange  wheelbarrow plus he used a cherry tree branch to make a balance bar which he’s fitted down in the copse near the pond…will bring large nails next week to make more secure!

I spent most of work session removing brambles and alexanders from area behind the shed…lots more alexanders and a few brambles to clear asap…

I also found and then took full unopened bag of cheddars plus 2 cherry tomatoes to a teacher in the playground…these had been thrown into the wildlife area behind the shed during this morning’s playtime!

Lovely show of spring flowers in the wildlife area seen this morning included scillas, snowdrops,daffodils,crocus,primroses,violets,hellebores,fritillarias,blackthorn and almond tree blossom and alder  and hazel catkins.




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Feeding birds,pruning,weeding and clearing at front of school,repairing fence etc

Monday February 3rd 2020

Arrived school just after 8am ..first job as usual in wildlife area was refilling all the bird feeders..

Mark the caretaker kindly brought me the box of mixed bird seed I’d ordered from Food 4 Birds…

When Colin and Chris arrived we headed to the front of school with tools etc and spent couple of hours working on planted flower beds ie pruning back escallonia hedge, weeding beds and flower pots, digging out bramble roots, pulling out dozens of unwanted field maple saplings plus ivy and brambles from flower beds either side of front gate etc..

Still more clearance  work to do on these beds asap

Colin did a good job of using strong wire to refix mess fence to posts alongside footpath

NB discovered more devastation where perennial plants had been chopped back and stood on ie on small bed by sheds…will try to keep this bed tidy in future more regularly then hopefully our perennial plants won’t be damaged by over zealous staff!

Back to wildlife area for coffee and biscuits …alas we got soaked in an unexpected downpour on our way home!!!

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Feeding birds,repairing seats and clearing more ivy and alexanders

Monday January 27th 2020

On the way into school this morning I noticed that the caretaker has once again decided to chop back plants for no apparent reason ..this time a lovely ornamental holly on one of the front beds…it was not overhanging the path so I went in to complain to the school head as it’s getting ridiculous ie the number of times small trees and shrubs have been chopped back and just left for us volunteers to clear up the vandalism/mess!!!

As usual I arrived first and began work by refilling the bird feeders around the school wildlife area…

Chris brought back the repaired garden fork he broke last week digging up alexanders+he spent rest of morning filling in holes in wooden seating and benches with cement mix..

I spent morning clearing unwanted foliage including alexanders on the slope below our shed plus by the pond fence …all waste added to our compost bins

NB eventually I had to stop work on main slope as too wet and slippery underfoot..

Colin busy also clearing alexanders and ivy from slope above outdoor classroom seating area..

After a coffee break and catch up we packed tools etc away and headed off for our homes thankfully before the heavy rain and hailstone shower!


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Feeding birds plus more foliage clearance work

Monday January 20th 2020

Last week’s work session cancelled due to wet and windy weather ..

This morning Jean began work by refilling all the bird feeders around the school wildlife area..

On arrival Chris and Colin  tidied up all the ivy previously cut back by Colin in the far copse…moved it to a pile near lower fence..

I was busy clearing more unwanted foliage behind the shed ie lots of alexanders and brambles cleared and piled near fir tree..

Colin and Chris also came to help ie digging up alexanders and chopping back brambles…so much better when we actually manage to get the alexander and bramble roots out!

After a coffee break and catch up we headed off for our homes


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First school wildlife area volunteers work session of 2020

Monday January 6th 2020

Grey,dismal skies for our first 2020 work session this morning…

I arrived at school around 8am and began work by refilling all the bird feeders with mixed seed,suet pellets,niger seed and peanuts..

Had just started to clear unwanted weeds ie brambles,alexanders etc from behind the shed when Chris arrived to help ..

Luckily he had remembered his promise to stain the outdoor classroom seating again ie 5 large wooden picnic tables with benches ..Chris spent work session  repainting the benches with protective stain liquid ….

Meanwhile I was busy clearing about 5 large tubs of weeds from behind the shed plus picked up lots of plastic litter …still another 50% of this area to clear ASAP…it’s quite amazing the amount of foliage growth over the last few months ie more daylight getting to the ground after one of the huge pine trees was removed!

After our coffee break and catch up we headed for our homes earlier than usual around 11am👍🏻😇

NB lovely snowdrops flowering on the grassy bank below the shed👍🏻


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