Archive for November, 2011

Xmas Decorations Event

Make Your Own

seasonal decorations

with natural materials

in the woods.

Held at Griffin Wood on
Saturday 3rd December from 10:00am to 2:00pm

This is a Free event complete with an Artist

Shuttle service from The LEAF Centre, Chester Lane, WA9 4DE – 9.45 a.m.;
Clock Face Colliery Country Park Car Park, Gorsey Lane – 10.00 a.m.

Further pick-ups by arrangement. Deadline 3 p.m., 30th November 2011 Contact Paul at paul.bamber@merseyforest.org.uk or 07770735333

Organised by the Friends of Griffin Wood and the Access To Nature Project

Busy November start

Discussing meadow creation and the benefits of GPS

Discussing meadow creation and the benefits of GPS

It’s been a busy fortnight at Griffin Wood, starting with our monthly task day (on the first Saturday of the month if you wish to come along). We began by arranging for Ian Wright from Forever Meadows to come along with his petrol brushcutter to make a start on the first cut of our newly designated wildflower meadow areas. This cutting and subsequent clearance gives any wildflowers sown a better chance of out competing the grasses and taller scrub. The cut areas were then left for a couple of days to allow the dried seeds to fall before being raked up and removed.

Our New Meadow

On Monday we took the chance to rake up the newly cut hay and use it as a mulch around the bases of our orchard trees. A technique we had learned on a previous ‘Trees matter’ course held at Trafford Hall earlier in the year. The idea being to suppress grasses around the base of the trees, therefore encouraging better growth. If the weather stays fine we hope to clear more areas (hopefully ours) using Ian’s strimmer. Before spreading some new wildflower seeds.

Bill working hard

Not quite a Haywain

Not quite a Haywain

On Friday TFOGW and Ian Wright met up again but this time with added help from some Key Stage Three students and teachers from St Helens Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) who have been using the woods for ‘survival skills training’ with them offering to ‘repay’ this opportunity by carrying out woodland maintenance tasks. Never ones to turn down free labour we began by seeding the previously cut meadow with ‘Yellow Rattle’ a semi parasitic annual wild flower whose roots when coming into contact with grass roots remove nutrients for its own use. In this way Yellow rattle can actively stunt and suppress grass growth. The students then had a go at slashing the taller growth using hand slashers, before stopping for toasted cheese sandwiches around a raised campfire. The group was then split, with one group clearing a section of the stream by dragging out the large logs and debris using ropes. The other group made a start on clearing the brambles growing along the newly planted hedge as you enter the site. The two groups then met up again for a bit of ‘fun’ as some of the students attempted a high ladder climb up a tree while harnessed up.

Seeding the Yellow Rattle

Seeding the Yellow Rattle

Tree Climbing fun!!

Tree Climbing fun!!

Saturday was our Hurdle Making training day. Organised with the help of BTCV. Don Whiting was our instructor for the day and showed us two different ways of making the coppices hazel wands into panels. The plan is to use these around the site. Splitting some of the thicker wands was especially difficult to master but Don made it look easy. Everybody had a good time and manually splitting the hazel or forcing the Hazel into position helped to keep everybody warm aided of course by the constantly boiling Storm Kettle.

Beginning our first Hurdle

Beginning our first Hurdle

Finished Hurdle MKII