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Goose Green, Yoxall

On Sunday 19th Sept, we completed the first of two sessions this month working at Goose Green, Yoxall’s new outdoor community and wildlife area alongside the River Swarbourn. Tasks included opening up a further area of the wildlife pond which we started last year (although it’s all very dry at the moment), removing weeds from the tree saplings around the site to encourage growth, and clearing invasive Himalayan balsam from the river bank.

We have another session there on Sunday 26th Sept from 10.30am, when local people will be very welcome to come along and help, as part of a launch day for a local conservation group in Yoxall.

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Autumn Footprints: Amber Valley & Erewash walking festival

If anyone is interested in guided walks slightly outside our area, we have received details of an Autumn Footprints walking festival in the Amber Valley/Erewash area, which is currently on and runs until Sunday 26th September. Details are on the Autumn Footprints website. All of the walks are free of charge, but you need to book in advance via the website.

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Burton Big Green Week: September 18th to 26th

Burton Conservation Volunteers are teaming up with East Staffordshire Fairtrade group and Plastic Free Burton for Burton’s Big Green Week, 18th-26th September.

Why is Fairtrade involved? Because Climate Change is disproportionately impacting on the poorer farmers and workers, the Fairtrade Foundation is working to support. Many are losing their land and homes to flash flooding, or finding that their traditional crops will not grow, leaving families destitute and starving.

Here are the activities for the week so far:

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Path work on the National Forest Way

We spent a day doing some footpath repair work near Yoxall on the National Forest Way, including some cutting back of vegetation, and the fixing of a loose stile which was a bit of a challenge as we were competing with a huge oak root on one side!

We did the work to improve access ahead of a 75-mile charity challenge trek along the trail, which takes place over the weekend Sept 17th to 19th.

Repairing a stile on the National Forest Way
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Llwyn Celyn week

Here are a few pictures from our recent week away working at Llwyn Celyn in the grounds of a 600-year-old farmhouse which has been extensively restored over the last ten years by the Landmark Trust.

We did some mowing and strimming in the adjoining meadow and orchard, and cleared a permissive access path of bracken and nettles, and installed an interpretation board to welcome visitors to the site, plus some fence repair work. This was all in preparation for an open weekend when visitors will have a chance to have a look around the site.

The site is situated in the beautiful Black Mountains, on the road to Llanthony Priory. On the days off we had trips into nearby Abergavenny, a wine tasting session at the local vineyard, and walks around the local area including the Skirrid.

We stayed in the bunkhouse which was really comfortable and has good cooking facilities – useful for preparing soups and stews from the mountain of veg we had from the allotments!

Llwyn Celyn farmhouse, museum barn and bunkhouse
Mowing and strimming the meadow, with the Skirrid hill in the background
Installing an interpretation board
A walk around a Welsh vineyard
A small museum in the “Beast House” barn.
Inside the old farmhouse
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BCV BBQ

It was another lovely day at the allotment today, in fact it was really lovely day as the group had a BBQ. The weather stayed nice for the most part with just the odd spot of rain at times.

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Honey Harvesting

The harvest of honey is referred to as extraction, which typically takes place once a year.

Over the weekend honey harvesting took place at the BCV allotment. Happily the weather stayed fairly nice during the process and approximately 170 lbs of honey was extracted from the hives.

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Rosliston Forestry Centre

BCV were back at Rosliston Forestry Centre today doing more meadow management work. It was another good turn out of volunteers and the result of their efforts was good too.

Happily the weather was kind to the group today and it remained sunny right up until they had finished working, at which point it started to rain. How lucky was that!

It’s off to work we go
Getting ready to use the strimmer
Sorting out a broken belt on the power scythe

Taking a break with an ice cream
Part of the finished product
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Bramshall Park, Uttoxeter.

BCV were back at Bramshall Park in Uttoxeter today. It was another case of on with the waders and wellies and ‘off to work we go’ for another session of clearing the invasive Himalayan Balsam.

At first the weather was changeable to say the least and everyone needed to head for BCV’s make shift shelter when it rained. Later on the weather improved and it became quite a lovely summers day which dried everyone off nicely before leaving the site.

A lot was achieved today not just by BCV but also the fantastic turn out from the Friends of Bramshall Road Park.

Taking a break by the make shift shelter
Getting stuck in
And here’s what happens when nothing is done

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Bramshall Park, Uttoxeter

25th July 2021

Today we were at Bramshall, Uttoxeter to clear our favourite enemy, the invasive Himalayan Balsam. There was a good turnout from the volunteers including a few Uttoxeter locals. The Mayor was around to say hello and promised that he would help at the next Balsam clearance session. The photos below show much space this stuff takes up!