Snipping back is all we can do right now. With one other person from a different household and socially distanced.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.
First off – our snowdrops are starting to come up.
This was covered in dense ivy last year. It will be interesting to watch it grow and mature.
Moving on, we came to a wildflower scallop that we cleared out last year. I have kinda had this continual obsession that the path should resemble a woodland ride and break out into woodland glades at certain points along it.
So basically a nice wide path that breaks out into a number of clearings. All we can do is snip back, so we snipped back the other side of the wildflower scallop and released some of the larger trees.
One of the challenges that we have is that the path runs in a north-north-east direction on this stretch. This means none of the edges of the path are getting maximum sunshine. We can counter this by creating a wavy edge so micro-habitats that face south are allowed to develop. This will give us our greatest biodiversity.
We have one month left until the bird nesting season starts in March. We will then take stock of where we are and wildflower seed the areas where we want lots of colour.
We had news from Sustrans that we can do workdays as part of our daily exercise. Two people from seperate households at a time. I have had loads of people requesting to help. So sorry but not at the moment. Group workdays are a no-no.
We are going on a tree release bit of a trip. We are just going to clear the scrub around trees and crop out their competition so that they can mature.
We are back next week just cutting out all the tree saplings that are sprouting up. We really don’t need this.
What we want is mature trees in space where they can thrive, and sunlight that can get to the ground so life can prosper under the canopy.
Yeah, it has been a long and frustrating year for all of us. It has been great to see so many people using the greenway and I am glad that we have managed to cobble together workdays.
This week we got our little den up again.
I just love it! I could quite happily spend all day just pottering about. However, Marcus and myself went on a mission to create a clearing opposite the bench.
I actually remembered to take before and after photos today, and also a photo of our habitat pile for all sorts of wildlife. We will wildflower seed in March.
Our usual coffee break and look up and down the path. I cannot quite explain how beneficial this is in terms of brotherhood, kinship and friendship. Just sharing what is on our minds, chatting and making plans. It is good stuff, believe me.
What else have we been up to? I topped up the bird-feeders and made a record of all of our benches.
We have certainly given everyone plenty of places to sit and enjoy a coffee and biscuit. Some have fantastic views, some have wildflower clearings, some are designed for a solitary seat, others for groups. It’s back to that “The Greenway Has Been Created For Everyone” philosophy.
Next week is a litter-pick starting at the Rotherham Close entrance. I will bring some mince pies and coffee. This will be the last one for 2020. I actually have to do some paid work the following Wednesday!!
As always, everybody more than welcome to join us on this great adventure.
We were back in our new old clearing this week. Or should that be old new clearing…?
Anyhow, here we are creating an area where people can stop, have a seat at our bench and just enjoy the wildflowers and the wildlife.
We are even allowed to imagine the double-tracked railway-line with up to twenty-two trains whooshing back and forth between Rugby and Leamington. A busy line, indeed.
As always, we pile up the cuttings to make habitat piles for all sorts of wildlife.
We are going to seed the area with a shade-loving wildflower mix in the spring. We are also going to replace the bat-boxes and work to get this bit as biodiverse as possible.
We put in a load of bluebell bulbs on the east side of the path a few years ago, so hopefully we will get a good showing in the spring.
Looking up and down the path.
And a festive cuppa and cookie…
Absolutely anyone is welcome to join us. Totally laid back and easy going. Lots of jobs I am holding off until I can get our Young Autistic Adults back. If you want to get involved, message me or just rock up with decent footwear and gloves.
So this week we decided that we would replant one of our benches. It became uprooted a while ago, but trying to put together a workday where we are able to socially distance, and be a bit sensible, proved a challenge.
It is one of the first benches where we were making the legs too short. We extended the legs so that we would get a lot more purchase from the new cement. Luckily the slope compensates for the short legs and it is quite a comfortable perch.
We are trying to have some sort of a bench every 500 metres or so, it just allows people to sit and enjoy the path and the wildlife.
That is really all we did and we just enjoyed a socially distanced coffee and cookie afterwards.
As always, the cups are put back in the bag after our coffee, and put in the dishwasher when I get home.
We have provisionally booked an Adventure Workshop for Young Autistic Adults for the 9th December. We will be replacing the missing bench in the Youth Quadrant and also the hide bench at the bird-feeder clearing. If lockdown continues we may have to push this date out a bit. I have one person keen to attend and could do with one more…
Here is a picture of the last of the berries on offer.
I can almost feel the long, cold winter approaching.