The Boys Done Good Without Me…

It was a bit weird knowing that there was a workday on the greenway but not being allowed to attend, due to my back still having a load of stitches in. However, it was in safe hands with Aaron, Marcus and John beavering away.

mms_20180119_222733The redundant picnic bench from the bird-feeder clearing now has a new home down the path a bit.


We probably need to brush-cut around all the benches at some point and then keep on top of the areas that we want to stay as path, over the spring and summer. We have funding for another brush-cutter from the #fieldgoodgrant so we will have the tools to keep it all down. I am looking into tool storage options because quite a few times we have been caught out with the wrong tools for the job.

I have added to the bird feeders during the week and we now have fat balls, seed mix, sunflower hearts and peanuts. We have a commitment to keep the feeders full, once the birds start to rely on them over the winter months. I cannot wait to find an hour or so to just sit at our communal bench with a coffee and see what birds use the feeders.

John discovered a new fungus:

We could really do with someone on the team who enjoys identifying all of our fungi finds.

Thanks guys for the hard work and thanks John for sending me the photos. Looking forward to getting back on it in February.




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Out of the game for a few weeks

Tomorrow I go under the knife for my back. This means that I will have stitches in for two weeks or so. Whilst my back is healing I cannot drive or lift, or the stiches will simply rip out or get infected and I will be in all sorts of trouble.

There are jobs that need doing so if anyone wants to run the greenway in January, feel free to organise workdays and get on with what needs doing.  The last blog post outlines what needs doing.

I will be back in February and will really be hoping to make our part of the old railway-line the very best it can be for as many different groups as possible.

I am thinking that maybe we might ask Sustrans if we can have a small container on-site somewhere for tool storage? It would cost around £1,700 but would be a great place to store tools and make it so that the correct tools are always available for every workday.

Let me know your thoughts… There are pockets of funding available.



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Community Bench

We have our community bench. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is in the bird-feeder area and the point of it is so people can sit and watch the birds feeding, have a bit of fun recording what they see and most importantly, it gives people a subject to talk about. A nice ice-breaker. When people start to chat about what they are interested in, it leads to new friendships being formed and that could be a big thing for anyone who is feeling a little lonely, or simply does not have a support network of friends or family.

You would be surprised at the number of middle-aged men who find themselves in the above predicament and simply have lost the skill to reach out to others and make friends. The stats are pretty shocking and it leads to serious Mental Health issues.

Thank-you to the developers of the Elliott’s Field retail park for making this happen with the #FieldGoodGrant.

I am going to get two more feeder posts and a few more feeders. We want to have a regular seed mix in a couple, peanuts in a couple, sunflower hearts and suet balls in the others. This will ensure a maximum number of visitors and hopefully make it a really busy little clearing.

We have planted over one hundred tree saplings and have a load of bird-boxes in the area and up the path.

Jobs for this month are, clearing the wind damage. A couple of trees are down and a load of scrub has blown onto the path. Litter pick – there are a few drink cans lying about. Posts for bird-feeder area. Move the rectangle picnic bench from the bird-feeder clearing down the path a bit and create a little clearing for it. Pollard the mature trees where we planted saplings up on the embankment.

I am having surgery on my back next week so I will be out of action for the rest of the month.

There is probably a few other things but it was so wet that I couldn’t really get a good look today.

Lastly, a big shout out to Pete, who was out walking his dogs, and helped me carry the component bench parts up to the clearing. I was really struggling.


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Penultimate Workday of the Year

We are fast approaching the end of the year and Marcus, John and myself put up two of the four bird feeder posts.

I have made these so that they have as little value as possible, so if they go missing, we will not be too upset.

The feeders cost just over £1 each.

The posts cost just over £2 each.

It is all very cheap and cheerful, however what we have is the start of our hub. We had a couple of walkers come past today and the conversation started around the bird-feeders and then meandered on about benches and how tame robins are. It’s great to have a conversation starter.

534251875We cleared off the other side in readiness for two more posts in the New Year.

I had to get a fungi picture in, of course…


The last workday for this year is Sunday 10th December 12:30 to 3:30. We will be building our communal bench.

Thanks all today.


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We Planted More Trees

We got the rest of our tree pack from the Woodland Trust, planted today. Somehow we found ourselves north of the picnic clearing but it just seemed an ideal spot to start putting them in. In total we have planted 105 native British trees. The birds and other wildlife will love us for this.

John, Marcus and myself worked on getting the trees in whilst Aaron worked on the path widening.

I must say, it is looking rather good.


We planted some up on the bank as well. We are going to pollard all the other trees around the saplings so everything has a chance to grow.


A quick look up and down shows how lovely and wide the path is.

And lastly the obligatory fungi picture.


Next one is making our big round bench in the bird-box clearing, after that we will be cutting back the trees where we planted saplings today and then we will do some widening on the southerly part of the path. We are bringing the bench on-site via the gate way down past the clearing.

The bench has been funded by the Elliott’s Field #fieldgoodgrant and we are extremely grateful for their support.

Thanks all for today.


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We Planted Some Trees!!

Yes, you read it correctly, we actually planted some trees rather then cutting them down.


It was Reece, Aaron and myself today. We got stuck in and planted about sixty trees.


They are all native British varieties that include hawthorn, rowan, blackthorn, silver birch, hazel and common oak. We got the trees from the Woodland Trust, a great charity doing fantastic things. They have earned a place on our sponsor page.

IMG_0378We are putting in a bigger round bench here and the rectangle bench will go down the path into another area. We want to attract as much bird activity as possible and I, for one, cannot wait to start recording what we are seeing.

IMG_0382It is certainly a big shift in what we have been doing. We still want a nice wide path, but we also want to create a couple of hubs where people can meet and talk about what they are seeing around them. This is how friendships are forged.

Next one is next Wednesday 29th November, where we will be putting in the rest of our trees, and then we will be building our round bench on Wednesday 6th December so as much help as possible will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for today.


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My Gosh This Is Hard Work!!!

Hard Work!!! – second day in a row where we had the wrong tools for the workday!!

But we soldier on and make the best of what we have. But back-breaking not having the right tools so I had to use the hedge-trimmer to clear off a load of low level scrub. We need to think about how we can get all of our tools on-site for every workday.


This is where Reece and myself started.


We probably cleared about 80 meters or so and made habitat piles for insects and small mammals. We switched sides a couple of times to create the wriggle to the path.


We have confirmation today of our new partner. Another department of Jaguar Land-Rover coming on board and creating something special. There is also more good news in the pipe-line that I will share when it is publicly available.

Another fungus to add to our collection of fungi.


Loads going on, plenty of plates spinning… Phew!!

Cannot quite believe what we have created here!!!

Thanks everyone.



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