Video Clips of Bench Workshop (Early March)

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Last workday until further notice…

Just managed to catch up with my emails and Sustrans are asking for no volunteering that involves social interaction.

We can do stuff on an individual basis, but not together.

Dave, Marcus and Paul made it this week and we got a load of wildflower seeds down. It was hedge bedstraw and lady’s bedstraw that David from Sustrans gave us last year. This is a good food source for our bloody nosed beetles. I also had a load of locally collected wildflower seeds. however, I cannot remember what they are apart from ox-eye daisy.


It will be a nice surprise in the summer!!

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Other than that, we just had a general tidy up and coffee break.


And kept the bird feeders topped up.

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Well, that’s it. I feel quite deflated but our health is the most important thing to consider.

I will keep everyone posted.


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Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung, right out of a railway carriage. It must have been a bumpy ride for the rest of the journey…


Our great friend Andrew has made us five more bird-boxes. We have placed these between Berrybanks and where the path that runs behind Henry Hinde Junior School, from Apple Grove park, and joins the greenway.

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As an aside, I went to Henry Hinde Junior School and us children would wave at the passing trains pulling a cargo of whatever to Rugby Portland Cement (now Cemex). We always got a friendly wave back.

Anyway, Jana, Danielle, Aaron, Marcus and Paul got the bird-boxes up. They need to be facing between North and East so as not to catch the sun and cook any eggs, be high enough to deter human tampering and have a clear flight path in and out so predators cannot sit outside the box waiting for chicks to fledge.

Marcus and Aaron tried to move a fallen tree, or cut a path around it.

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Trying to move it was impossible. The whole tree is being held up by a much smaller tree. People have started to go under the tree as they walk the path. Please go up and over. If it suddenly gives way you might be trapped under it for a long time!!! We made a path over at the root end.


We have done loads of work on the northern end of the path. We have benches and clearings, bird-boxes and bridges. We are committed to making the whole length of the greenway a really good experience.

Next one is Wednesday starting at the clearing where the Cawston Bridleway crosses and putting down an annual cornfield mix in the bench clearings. This will add a blast of colour and attract insects and birds.

I would like late spring and summer workdays to have an element of identifying and recording flora and fauna. I appreciate that this is not for everyone, so we will work out a way to accommodate everybody.

Great work today,


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Workshop Day

This was our much-awaited workshop day for young autistic adults. It was also creating our group seating area.

Firstly, many thanks to the people who supported us with these two projects. We could not have done it without you.

Chris, Reece, Kerrie, Marcus and myself turned out for the morning and what a great morning it was.

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Chris learnt loads of new skills that he can reuse on the next workshop.

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We got the four benches made and in the ground. I like the look of it. Groups can use the space to meet and chill.

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The coffee was a welcome relief, with coconut macaroons this week.

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Chris getting his first-ever pay-packet!!

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The end result.

Here are the video links for the morning.

Loads to take in and lots to take forwards. We all really enjoyed the workshop and look forward to the next one.


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Weekend Workday

We have our young adults with autism workshop, on Wednesday 4th March – more about this later.

We had Matt, Tom, Mick, Marcus and myself on our weekender and we carried on chopping back the ground-ivy. It’s a tough job because the stuff just does not want to give up!!

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However, we have cleared a good stretch and if we mow it once or twice, we should be able to keep it pushed back. Hopefully, grass and violets will grow on the bare earth but if there is no sign of life by the end of March, we can seed with a cornfield mix. We will try and extend the cleared ground by a few more meters every year.


The little stretch needs a bench, and by chance, we have a spare one. The view is to die for.


The bird-feeders are topped up and keeping the birds happy and the squirrels out.


We have a busy March with fallen trees to clear, more bird-boxes to put up around the new benches on the northern end of the path, thanks to Andrew for kindly making them, and we need to seed the bare earth around the benches with all the local wildflower seeds collected last year. We also need to map where all the nesting boxes are before the leaves are back on the trees and the bird-nesting season starts.

Myself, Kerrie and Marcus have put together a project to help young adults with autism to build benches. After a bit of trial and error, we are ready to go with our first workshop on 4th March. It has been a crazy learning experience and put me out of my comfort zone quite a few times. The aim is to teach new skills, build confidence, help people to feel like they are contributing towards their local community and, earn a bit of cash. We are massively new to this so any pointers, advice or support would be very much appreciated.

Weather for Wednesday is looking OK and the location is on the photo.


Massively looking forward to this and creating a little bit of workshop space where we can sell the benches locally.



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All About the Violet

We used to have loads of Common Dog Violets in this area.


Unfortunately, we have let the ivy get out of control and it has stopped just about everything else growing.

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It’s a lot harder to get the stuff up than it initially looks. But Aaron, Tom, Victoria, Reece, Mick and myself did what we could.

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Not bad, but I think for next time a strimmer would be a useful addition in the tool-kit. I will make sure I bring it next time.

And lastly, our coffee and cookie break is always welcome.


Same place next week, which is our weekender.

All welcome!


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New and Improved Bench

If I have to lug another 20kg bag of post-fix down the path, I will not be responsible for my actions… lol


But we got there, and the new and improved benches have longer legs so are a little bit more comfortable. Not that the other benches are not, due to them being on a slope so the leg shortness is offset, somewhat. All part of the multiple learning curves that we are on at present.

Great turn-out today with Aaron, Dave, Reece, Marcus, Mick and myself. A big thanks to Reece, who has taken charge of getting the benches actually in the ground.

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Whilst the rest of us cleared the area ready for wildflower seeds in March.

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And made habitat piles for all sorts of creatures.

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A very welcome cuppa at the mid-point.

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We have created four hubs, north of the bird-feeder clearing. We have one more to put in but more about that in a second. What we now need to do is make a decent clearing around each bench and put wildflower seeds down. In the summer these hubs will be amazing for people to sit and simply enjoy the wildlife that the wildflowers will bring.

Now that the bench building process has kinda got to where it needs to be, thanks to Marcus, we are now able to move forward with this aspect.

We have set up a group that encourages young adults on the autism spectrum to make the benches. We will pay them for doing this, and it is hoped that it gives people something that they can be proud of and teaches them new skills.

We have our first bench building workshop on Wednesday 4th March and it is on the greenway. I will get the tarp up so we have cover if the weather is not good. We are creating our fifth hub and “youth” area – a quadrant of four benches aimed at groups to hang-out and chill, away from adults.

For me, the greenway has always been about making the path as accessible to as many different groups as possible.

If anyone would like to support either of these strands, please let me know.

And to finish, our very own wildlife superhero, Mick, trying out the bench.


Next week we are clearing the ground ivy by the Rotherham Close entrance. Hopefully, the violets that used to come up will reappear.


Great day today.


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