On Saturday I headed over to Bishop’s Meadow in Farnham to join the volunteer working party. I was last there four weeks ago and I couldn’t believe how much everything had grown since then! Cow parsley and meadow buttercups as far as I could see. A complete transformation from my first volunteering day back in November.
We grouped at the previous working party site for a quick run-down of tasks for the morning. Adding more posts to the temporary fence, clearing branches, mowing and digging over apart of the orchard.
The lovely Lexi kept a watchful eye on our wheelbarrow for us.
I was helping to clear dead wood and remove any tree branches that would get in the way of the new fence. The plan is to create a hedgerow and the purpose of the temporary fence is to stop the plants being trampled whilst they establish. In five years time it should be filling out nicely and in 10 years it should be dense enough for wildlife to live in. I’ll be forty by the time that happens. I had no idea it took that long for a hedgerow to establish! If you want to understand why they are important, have a read of the Woodland Trusts Hedgerows and Hedgerow Trees PDF.
After space had been cleared, the fence posts were banged into the ground.
String was run through each post and once they were all in place, it was replaced by thick wire.
At the other end of the meadow is an orchard. These volunteers were digging over a patch of land that will become a tree nursery for young fruit trees.
Ted sat nestled in some straw by the fence and supervised the whole operation.
The grass in the main area of the orchard had grown very tall so it was treated to a haircut. Apparently this mower can chew it’s way through up to a foot of grass and pulls you along.
Spending time in the meadow makes me forget I’m actually in the middle of a busy town. We are lucky to have this space. When I got back to the High Street and headed home, it felt really busy! People rushing around with big bags of shopping, traffic queuing, noise and cafes full of people. It made me realise how peaceful the meadow is.
If you have a couple of spare hours once a month, why not come and join us? You can find out more information on the Bishop’s Meadow Trust volunteering page.