By the end of this TMAEG year ending with the 8th Year Celebration & AGM on September 14th, we will have run some forty events – a mix of environmental schemes, visits, walks and socials. The need to safeguard and improve our environment is increasingly seen as vital to our planet’s future and to span all levels from the local – as here in Two Mile Ash – to the global. As a local environmental group, TMAEG seeks to do its bit both for the people who live, work and visit here and for nature and biodiversity. And in terms of the human species, we like to think that we are as much social as environmental as everything we do brings us together, providing opportunities for new friendships and contributing to our feelings of well-being.
Herewith, a small selection of the things we have been doing.
Summer planting at the Park Gateway
As part of a joint scheme with Hair Culture and the Dental Practice who own the large planters, TMAEG volunteers remove the winter pansies and daffodils and replace them with red geraniums and trailing lobelias. This happened in late May and will provide summer colour for this focal point of our village centre.
Earlier in the season, volunteers tamed a previously overgrown pyracantha bush.
They weeded the eye-catching Twin Gardens created by TMAEG in the spring of 2018,
and trimmed some of the Council’s shrubs which border the Twin Gardens at the entrance to the Local Park.
The result, a more attractive place for everyone.
Working with entry year children at Ashbrook School
Every year, about half way through the autumn term, TMAEG teams up with Ashbrook School to enable first year children to plant daffodil bulbs in prepared sites close to the school.
A view of the entrance to the Local Park in March 2019 – these are the newest of our Ashbrook daffodils, planted by children entering the school in the autumn of 2018.
Year by year, as the children plant more daffodils, and as the individual groups thicken out, the result becomes ever more striking.
Nature areas and spring flowers
Wood anemones in the Milesmere/Thorncliffe Woodland. These were planted some years back by TMAEG in a newly created glade and they are now coming into their own.
Native primroses have been planted in a second glade providing a fine spring display at the point where the woodland track joins the green ride running along the western edge of TMA.
A related species, the cowslip, can also be found here . . .
. . . as can the pretty flower, stitchwort.
Visits, Talks and Walks
The Year Eight Programme included two local walks led by Stan, three visits and our second Winter Social. The Local Heritage Walk in December reminded us that while Two Mile Ash is barely 40 years old, quite close by we have the remains of a Roman villa, a medieval priory and Georgian architecture. This walk was followed in the spring by another very enjoyable one covering the historic village of Loughton and the Teardrop Lakes.
The Winter Social at Holy Cross Church was attended by an audience of 25 members; our speakers were Kevin Slaymaker on local wildlife – and Chris Monk (TMAEG’s web master) on ‘IT Society and Local Memories’. A very thoughtful evening, giving rise to plenty of questions and discussion, and with refreshments provided by Lin and her team.
The Social was part of a cluster of TMAEG events held in February – see TMAEG’s flyers for the visits to the Waste Recovery Park (WRP) and the Linford Lakes Nature Reserve below. NB TMAEG’s summer visit to the Coton Manor Garden is the subject of a separate news item.
Bee Garden & Fernery
A walk the length of the Ashbrook Corridor – from Stonehill to Downland, shows much variety: a seasonal pond, a stream-side area planted with primroses and native bulbs, historic hedgerow reflecting an ancient boundary, stretches with TMAEG trees ‘notched’ into earlier planting and much more. The bee garden & fernery started some 3 years ago is another ‘bead on the string’ along this important landscape feature of TMA.
This area has three main components: the bee garden with its sequence of bee attracting plants; the ferns area with its complementary planting of foxgloves and; the native plants alongside the stream including hemp agrimony and water mint. The footbridge linking Haithwaite with the main path between Stonehill and the High Street provides a fine viewpoint, with the stub of the footpath leading to the line of the former bridge another one.