The pictures that follow seek to give some flavour of our busy winter to spring season of events. The highlights include extending our tree planting to the Ash Brook corridor north of Clay Hill, dealing speedily with the sudden collapse of a tree in the February gales, and a further development of our partnership work at Park Gateway which includes a more varied display in the two big planters.
The season has also seen the planting of native species, including cowslips (for the first time) and – above all – the wonderful show presented by over a thousand daffodils and other bulbs. And, as always, we’ve been doing a lot of necessary management to enhance this area’s look and biodiversity.
The Ash Brook Corridor – extending our impact
TMAEG has now planted some 80 native species and shrubs along the Ash Brook corridor. These particular ones were mainly planted in the winter of 2013 as part of ‘The Big Tree Plant’ and all are now flourishing.
Two of our early project days this winter focused on the Clay Hill to Downland section of the Ash Brook. The channel close to Clay Hill is overgrown with brambles and these will need to be trimmed back in future sessions. However, we have already made a start on its enhancement through the planting of three bird cherry trees (left) and the collection of long accumulated litter (right).
Further down the Brook, and closer to the crossing we planted rowan, hazel and guelder rose in the gaps left by the felling of larger trees, including willows.
Ash Brook Corridor – Stone Hill Pond and the fallen tree
The February gales brought down one of the ivy clad trees on the rear bank of the Stone Hill Pond.
On the next available Saturday, TMAEG brought together a strong team to remove the tree and tidy other storm damage.
Harshad, Dave and Clare made short work of cutting up the trunk and branches, even though these were partially submerged.
Left – Many of the tree branches were used to form a log pile on the opposite side of the brook and right – a view of the area after the work and a busy morning!
The Ash Brook Corridor – wildflowers
As we are learning, it can take a long time to establish wildflowers but six years on we are getting there.
Left – Along the Ash Brook the native primroses are now seeding well and spreading down the bank and right – a colony of celandines has become established in one location.
Tools and Equipment
Left –The tools cart that TMAEG purchased last autumn has proved most useful and even includes a ‘refreshments station’!
Right – black and pink sacks are a necessary part of our kit; nevertheless our impression is that the sites we cover are becoming steadily cleaner. On the whole, the sites we cover are getting cleaner. These ones contain the litter and recyclables collected during a recent joint litter picking session with the Neighbourhood Action Group in the Local Park.
A Feast of Daffodils
Left – February Gold daffodils planted by Ashbrook schoolchildren last November and right – the same type showing in the tubs on the School forecourt.
Two new areas for daffodils – on the greens along Capian Walk. In the group nearer the High Street we have mixed varieties intended to lengthen the flowering season. The second group, towards the Dansteed Way footbridge, is made up of smaller Tete a Tete daffodils.
Other Corridors – Milesmere
Wild daffodils flowering in their second season in the first woodland glade. A second glade has now been formed and here it is hoped to establish wild primroses; the first batch was planted this Spring.
Other Corridors – Fringe of Golf Course
Left – Re-coating the log path during the Christmas break – and helped by a visitor from Prague, Chris Sadil
Right – A new project area along the footpath to Leafield Rise. A holly hedge is being established along with wild primroses.
Other Corridors – Kepwick
Left – The TMAEG garden after weeding and showing some of the many daffodils planted last autumn.
Right – The woodland edge after the March tidy up. A guelder rose hedge is being established in front of the tree line.
Left – The volunteers busy at a second site following their work in the garden and right – the finished result with the multi-colour tulips about to come into bloom.
Other Corridors – Park Gateway
The partnership between the businesses, residents and TMAEG in Park Gateway is resulting in a steady improvement in the look of Park Gateway. The large planters, which are owned by the two businesses, are now being managed to a planting scheme devised by TMAEG, and TMAEG volunteers continue to look after the communal areas; the most recent work session was on April 8th. In parallel, the private frontage areas are being increasingly well looked after.
Beautiful daffodils, most of which were planted by Ashbrook schoolchildren.