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Archive for the ‘Community orchard’ Category

Earth Granny

Earth Granny

Around 100 people congregated just before sunset at the Quadrants in Levenshulme for this year’s wassail on Sunday 6th January.  After wassails in earlier years, then a break in 2018, the Friends decided to celebrate the orchard trees once again. New this year was the Earth Granny, in her pinny, declaiming “Wassail Wassail” – chanting her poem to bless the trees, their roots and the worms. Old Father Time made his usual appearance and the Choir with No Name sang three songs, wonderfully.

Attendees were offered cakes, mulled cider and apple juice, provided by Pam and Angelique and other helpers.  Brenda lent her gazebo and reusable cups. People brought food to share.  We made a ceremonial tour of the orchard to hang toast dipped in cider on the trees to ward off evil spirits and ensure good cropping; and the occasion was completed with a roaring bonfire looked after by Ian and Farooq.  A short firework display brought a sparkling end to proceedings!

Thanks to everyone from the local community who attended and contributed to the lively spirit of the event!

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The FloopFest on Saturday 15th September was a huge success!  A lot of thinking and hard work had been put in by organisers Sustrans and by volunteers to ensure a fantastic day happened.

Bee ride - winners

Sustrans photo: Winners of prizes for their costumes in the Bee Ride (picture: Lorraine Taylor).

There were three hubs of activity along the length of the Loop, each with stalls, arts and crafts activities, local food and drink, live music and more.  A family bicycle Bee Ride also took place, covering the length of the Loop.

Big thanks to Sustrans and all who helped this to happen!

Don’t forget that Sustrans’ online survey, relating to this event and use of the Loop, remains live for contributions until the 30th September.

 

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Members of the Friends have just produced a new and updated “Points of Interest” map!  The map has multiple layers which can be turned on or off by the user, showing the route of the Loop and points of interest on or accessible from it. Current map layers are:

  • Access points
  • Wildlife and natural features
  • Public resources and amenities
  • Landmarks
  • Historical interest
  • The railway 1891-1981

The Friends would like to continue to refine and update this over time so if you have suggestions for places to include on this map or notice any necessary corrections then please let us know!

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Many thanks are due again to Sustrans and the Thursday volunteers who have continued, on the first and third Thursday of every month, to work hard to maintain the Loop and its habitats. Tasks in recent months have included:

  • woodland thinning at Abbey Hey.
  • clearing an area of brambles near Nelstrop Road North, to create a wildflower area.
  • installing the wildlife posts at several Loop entrances.
  • multiple activities at the Levenshulme quadrants (digging out rubble, removing the remaining stumps of small trees, pruning the large hawthorn and cutting back the surrounding undergrowth – all with a view to having a larger open grassy area that can be kept mown short, and so provide a more useful area for community activities).

For the first outing of 2018, the group was out this past Thursday clearing the already-cut brash that was lying around the Athol Road entrance and consolidating it into habitat piles.  As well as making the entrance more attractive, this will give the bulbs planted a year ago a better chance to see the light.

For more information about these task days, which run from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., please contact us, then Sustrans or those co-ordinating the Thursday events will get back in touch!

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Yesterday some of the Friends were out working in and around the community orchard at the Levenshulme Quadrants.  We were joined by members of the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers to help with building two willow arches, using willow harvested from the Loop.  Some weeding and general maintenance around the orchard trees was also done.  Meanwhile, Incredible Edible Levenshulme were also out, working on their raised beds of herbs and fruit.  Many thanks to all helpers!

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Another winter, another wassail today to celebrate the orchard at the Levenshulme Quadrants and wish it a healthy and flourishing year ahead!  As in the previous several years, there was a bonfire, choir-led singing, fireworks, mulled cider, the fixing of ribbons and cider-soaked toast to the fruit trees and the conjuring of a Wassail Queen!

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Today volunteers were out, for one of our regular Thursday work days, to do some work at the Levenshulme Quadrants.  Particular tasks included:

  • weeding out the grass competing with the orchard fruit trees immediately around their trunks.
  • digging out self-seeded willows in the orchard area.
  • giving the grass a general trim in all four quadrants, partly in readiness for the “Treasures Workshop” on the 9th October.
  • the usual general litter pick and tidy.

 

Thanks to all of those who helped with the work – and new volunteers are always welcome to any of our events!

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