Filling bird feeders, moving tree chippings and removing brambles etc

Monday January 24th 2022

Dry but chilly weather for our work session at school this morning…

I was there just after 8am, signed in and went through school to wildlife area ready to tackle a few tasks…

First jobs as usual were filling some of the bird feeders and cleaning our tables and benches ..

Next I collected wheelbarrow and shovel and headed off to tree shreddings pile near field gate …had brought several loads into wildlife area and had spread them on path near pond when Mrs Webber arrived to help with transporting more shreddings …between us we moved around 12 barrow loads then it was time to have an early refreshment break and a chance to recover😇😇

Rest of work session we spent tackling the huge amount of bramble growth behind the wildlife pond …lots of brambles removed …so rewarding when we actually manage to pull out the roots…lots of brambles are entwined in a large blackthorn tree so thats 2 lots of prickles to contend with 🙂 another work session needed yet to finish clearing the area behind the pond of bramble growth 👍🏻

Tools put away….tired ,cold but satisfied with our work achievements this morning we headed off home around 12 noon

NB Since we restarted our work sessions back at school after over 12 months of being unable to be working in our wildlife area due to COVID lockdown restrictions we have cleared a huge amount of brambles,ivy etc which had overgrown onto pathways,cleared alexanders,nettles etc from slope below shed and large area between upper and lower paths,moved dozens of wheelbarrow loads of tree shreddings onto muddy pathways ,pruned buddleias and trees overhanging pathways,planted more daffodil bulbs etc….

Tasks still yet to tackle include more clearance work behind shed and on slope above outdoor classroom seating,moving more tree shreddings onto rest of pathways , clearance and pruning back work in far copse ,shed tidying etc🤔

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Moving tree chippings onto paths,weeding ,repairing wheelbarrow and pond gate etc

Thursday January 20th 2022

At school by 8.30am …after signing in headed to wildlife area…weather dry but very chilly 👍🏻

Started work session by transporting 4 wheelbarrow loads of tree shreddings from by field gate down to willow dome and path by outdoor classroom seating…hard work so stopped to do another job ie cleaning bird poo off all tables and benches again😇

Brought another 3 wheelbarrow loads of tree shreddings down to cover more of pathway..

Next cleared another couple of large garden bags of unwanted alexanders from above top path then started clearing new nettle growth from large grassy bank between 2 main paths

Chris arrived for work around 10.20am …we stopped for a coffee break …Chris brought pump so was able to re pump tyre on orange wheelbarrow …he also repaired right hand pond gate 👍🏻

Chris then started wheelbarrowing in more tree shreddings for the path to the willow dome whilst I finished clearing nettle growth from near the walnut tree …then I brought another 2 barrowloads of tree chippings for the path…between us we must have shifted at least another 21 barrowloads this morning…nevertheless there’s still even more to move into the wildlife area for covering more paths next week😇

Lovely to see we have lots of lovely snowdrops and violets in flower in the wildlife area at the moment ..with daffodils also soon to bloom👍🏻

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Feeding birds,moving tree shreddings ,clearing behind wildlife area pond etc

Monday January 17th 2022

No work sessions at school last week due to wet weather on Monday and having other commitments on Thursday..

This morning arrived school around 8.20am …signed in and headed through school to wildlife area…first job was refilling bird feeders …then scraped bird poo off tables and seating ….next until Mrs Webber arrived I was busy clearing some of the nettle growth off the grassy area between the 2 main paths

Mrs W and I moved around 15 wheelbarrow loads of tree chippings from near the field gate into the wildlife area …we spread them along the path at the bottom of the steps…very hard work so we had a rest and coffee break after moving 8 loads😇😇

Lots more chippings still to move onto the paths over next few weeks😓😓

We spent the rest of work session working clearing brambles,ivy,hogweed etc from behind the wildlife pond …Mrs W was working just inside the far end of the boardwalk whilst I was clearing from inside the right hand pond gateway ….should finish clearing this area next week hopefully….

NB Alas since I cleared that area 3 years ago our neighbours have dumped chipboard pieces ,broken slates, a whirly washing pole with lots of line onto school land …rubbish dumped over boundary fence into far right corner of area behind our pond …so this is definitely fly tipping plus a dangerous trip hazard 😡😡😡…I will report fly tipping and H&S risks to school head and manager asap.

*school caretaker removed fly tipped rubbish before end of school day👍🏻

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First 2022 work session in school wildlife area

Thursday January 6th 2022

At school just after 8am…signed in and headed through school to wildlife area ..

First jobs were putting out some fat balls, suet pellets and niger seed for the birds then scraping and sweeping tables and benches…again lots of messy bird poo to remove.

Decided next to collect wheelbarrow and large shovel then went off to enormous pile of tree shreddings near field gate…managed to transport 6 barrowloads of wet shreddings which I then tipped onto the steps below our shed in the wildlife area

Chris arrived to help around 9.30am…he took over moving shreddings which we used to start covering top pathway in wildlife area …Chris also finished pruning back the buddleias just near the shed plus a wild rose by the benches….and I was busy pulling out ivy,hogweed ,alexanders etc from around the buddleias …I intend finishing tidying this slope next Monday then hopefully will plant some daffodils and spread thick layer of tree chipping around the buddleias

Chris emptied 2 large dumpy bags of gardening waste from this morning’s work into the woods near bottom of steps

Mr Ball brought Reception class children down into the wildlife area this morning

Chris and I packed up and headed for our homes around 11.30am just as it started to rain😓

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Pruning buddleijas, refitting bird, bat and insect boxes, moving tree shreddings etc…

Thursday December 16th 2021

At school before 8.30am …once in wildlife area cleaned bird poo off benches and tables then took wheelbarrow and shovel to start loading up from huge pile of tree shreddings..moved about 9 or 10 barrow loads into school wildlife area plus tipped them onto pathway at top of steps …hard work definitely need more volunteer help with this job🤔

Chris arrived to help at 10.30am …after a coffee and catch up we collected ladder ,tools and boxes and headed down steps where Chris was soon busy re attaching about 6 bird,bat and insect boxes to nearby trees… he also refitted another 2 bird boxes as they had twisted around and were no longer level👍🏻

Out final job of the morning was pruning back about half of the overgrown buddleijas near the shed …they hadn’t been pruned for 2 years so Chris chopped them back and we both cut or snapped them into small pieces …filled dumpy bag with our prunings then tipped it onto another new pile between the trees at the bottom of the steps

Tools etc then packed away plus Chris took big bag of litter to dispose of in school bin shed before we headed off to our homes…

Today was our last work session before the school 2021 Christmas holidays🎄🎄🎄

Our first 2022 work session will be on Thursday January 6th👍🏻

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More clearance work on slope below shed…

Monday December 13th 2021

Grey overcast skies for our work session this morning..

At school before 8.30am,signed in and went through school to wildlife area…as usual first job was clearing large amounts of bird poo off benches, tables and handrails 😇

Decided to do more clearance work on slope below shed …huge amounts of ivy removed plus some litter, tennis balls and lost bird feeders in the undergrowth located !

Thankfully I was also joined by Mrs Webber who spent morning clearing ivy and some brambles nearby …our combined clearance work resulted in another 12 large tubs of green waste being added to nearby compost piles 😇

Clearing work on a slope can be precarious as the more you clear the muddier it gets underfoot so there’s a greater risk of slipping…especially as we get more tired near the end of our work session😮

Really pleased just how much clearance work has been achieved over recent work sessions ie since we were allowed back in school grounds in early Sept…very much looking forward to seeing snowdrops, daffodils and primroses blooming in Spring on the areas we’ve managed to clear so far 👍🏻

NB whilst working on lower slope by recently pruned wild rose I came across a large frog …I rehomed frog further along the slope on an area we’re not about to start clearing in near future 😇

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Pruning,planting bulbs and pulling out more ivy etc

Monday December 6th 2021

At school by 8.15am …alas weather light drizzle but decided to carry on as so much clearing still to be done yet in school wildlife area😰

As usual first job was removing bird poo from tables and benches …ones near pond very yucky due to berries being eaten by birds at this time of year….

Was part way through pruning back a large overgrown wild rose on lower part of main slope near seating when Mrs W arrived to help just after 9am👍🏻

After finishing rose pruning we moved on to start clearing foliage in area just outside the wildlife pond fence …Mrs W pruned back an overgrown gorse plus we both cleared lots of ivy, hogweeds, alexanders etc

Short heavier rain shower resulted in us taking shelter at playground seating for our refreshment break…rain then eased so back to work for us 😇

Mrs W then planted more daffodil bulbs on the slope below the shed then join me clearing more ivy etc

Still more ivy etc to be cleared near pond fence asap …amazing just how far the ivy has ”travelled’ across the ground since area was last cleared ie in autumn 2019!

NB we have made another compost pile for our gardening waste in the corner by the pond fence

Tools packed away before we headed for our homes just before noon 😇

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Another busy volunteer gardening session at school this morning..

Thursday December 2nd 2021

At school by 8.15am …intended to get spare bird boxes back on trees this morning so Mark the caretaker brought ladder to wildlife area ready …alas later Chris rang me to say he was unable to help at school this morning after all…

My first job was emptying the litter bin just inside the wildlife area …it was stuffed full so emptied it by hand and triple bagged the waste ready to go in school dumpy bins…sadly most of rubbish was plastic and foil from playtimes in playground ?

Next job was cleaning tables and benches ie scraping and sweeping off the bird poo😇

Main task was more clearance work on slope below shed ie removing ivy,brambles, nettles ,hogweed etc …removed enough to fill another 2 dumpy bags ..hoping to finish clearing main part of slope on Monday

Lots more litter removed & PE equipment found plus missing bird feeders located in the undergrowth !

Minor panic when secateurs were mislaid…search and searched then thankfully at end of work session I found the secateurs under leaves on the slope where I’d been working😇

Packed tools away and headed for home at 11.45am

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Planting daffodil bulbs and more clearance work ..

Monday November 29th 2021

Later start for today’s work session in school wildlife area for me this morning ie I arrived an hour later than usual at 9.15am

I spent the morning doing more clearance work on the steep bank below the shed …this area now around 60% cleared …lots more green waste added to compost piles 👍🏻

Mrs W also busy working planting around 6 dozen daffodils on grassy area between 2 main pathways …bulbs brought with gift token awarded to school for Teignmouth in Bloom entry 👍🏻

Weather dry but quite chilly this morning …we had a late refreshment break then after emptying a couple of dumpy bags onto the compost pile, tidied away tools and headed for home

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Started clearing steep bank below shed..

Thursday November 25th 2021

Lovely sunny dry weather for working in school wildlife area this morning …at school by 8.15am …signed in and headed off to wildlife area…

Chris unable to help today plus last Monday morning neither Liz nor I were free to come to school….

After sweeping and scraping tables and benches ie removing bird poo I decided it was time to start clearing slope below shed …always a bit of a precarious job as it gets quite slippery the more the foliage is cleared…began clearing across slope from top by shed…removed sufficient ivy, hogweed,water avens, montbretia, nettles, grass etc to fill a large dumpy bag plus about 6 large gardening tubs …hopefully have already cleared about 50% of this bank ie which hadn’t been touched for 2 years …area needs regular maintaining otherwise ivy and brambles takes over everywhere 😡

Once all areas are cleared and kept tidied then our lovely spring flowering fritillaries, snowdrops, daffodils and primroses will be able to be seen by everyone visiting or working in the school wildlife area😇

Very many thanks to Iain F who brought back the newly repaired bird and bat box he collected for repair work last Thursday ….hoping to get all our spare bird,insect and bat boxes refitted to trees in the wildlife area next week 👍🏻

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