Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

In recent weeks the Thursday volunteers have completed, together with Sustrans maintenance staff, the installation of the wildlife posts by entrances to the Loop!  There are nine timber posts, each of which is carved with a different wildlife picture which can be used like a brass rubbing. The posts will also display information posters about the route.

The sleepers were bought with a Green Grant from TransPennine Express and the Forestry Commission. They were carved and sponsored by M3 Industries in Salford, and the drawings for the carvings were done by volunteer Vicky Holden. Thank you to all involved!

New volunteers are always welcome to join the Thursday group so if anyone would like to come along and help from time to time (it doesn’t have to be every  Thursday) then please get in touch!





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Over the past several months volunteers from the Friends and Sustrans have continued their excellent efforts to maintain and improve the Loop.  Recent activities have included a spring litter-pick, managing the saplings along the Loop edges, wildflower sowing and improving the grassed area at the Levenshulme quadrants!

New volunteers are always welcome so if anyone would like to come along and help from time to time (it doesn’t have to be every  Thursday) then please get 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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Work at the Quadrants

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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Sustrans has published a news item describing how people with disabilities, parents cycling with children, tandem riders, and standard bicycle riders have overwhelmingly welcomed the trial opening of barriers on the Fallowfield Loop!  Read more on this here.

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Scything on the Loop

Members of the Friends were this weekend learning about scything on the Loop, with the sessions led by tutor Simon Tomlin who has written about the weekend here.  Attendees learnt that cutting with a scythe is quiet, clean, and safe to use, and we hope that these skills will continue to be put to use in future management of the Loop!

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Further to the recent post about the trial opening of Loop barriers, a final version of the feasibility study for the trial is now available, to incorporate some updates and corrections. A timeline of the planned trial is also available.  The trial is now in progress, with the first 6-week phase having started on 10th April 2016.  The Friends will keep users informed of the trial’s progress!

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Many members have found negotiating the barriers along the Loop to be a cumbersome experience, and the barriers can also prevent certain categories of potential users from venturing onto the route at all, whether in wheelchairs, tricycles, trailer bikes, or tandems. Together with Sustrans we are planning a trial opening of all the internal barriers along the Loop on six successive weekends starting shortly. Actually this will be on each Sunday and the following Monday, so that those using the route for travel to work or school can experience the change as well as leisure users. Subject to review, the barriers will then be open continuously for a three-month period following the weekend trials. The start date of the weekend openings will be confirmed as soon as small posts have been installed so that the barriers can be locked open safely – we hope by early April 2016.

Lorenza Casini, who jointly organised two successful Kidical Mass rides last autumn, with the barriers open, has drawn up an extensive plan and schedule for the openings in a feasibility report for the trial.  Our thanks are due to her for an impressive document. She sees opening the barriers as offering the opportunity for a step-change in the use of the Loop, bringing new users in, and better linking up the different communities through which the route passes.

Different events will be planned to take place while the barriers are open, culminating in a ‘Fallowfield Loop Festival’ some time in the early summer. Towards the end of the period we will conduct a survey of users, to gauge their reactions to the opening.

There are many things that volunteers can do to contribute to the success of this programme.  Please contact us if you can help with any of the following (or have any other suggestions!):

  • Helping with the opening of the barriers at the start of a Sunday and closing again on Monday evening.
  • Coming up with ideas for events to take place while the barriers are open.
  • Giving feedback, once the trial has started, on how you find the experience of the barrier openings.

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Fortnightly Thursday task days!

Sustrans have this month started regular fortnightly task days on the Fallowfield Loop, kicking off with regular woodland management sessions. These tasks are now (from February 2016) on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. All tools and equipment are provided, including for those who want to tackle litter on the  Loop.

Everybody is welcome to come and help!  Please ensure you wear layered warm clothing, waterproofs and sturdy footwear!

Contact Abigail at volunteers-nw@sustrans.org.uk or telephone 0161 923 6050 for more information or to find out the meeting point for the next task day.Thursday Floop Task Day Poster

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Two trees came down on the Loop last Friday evening and were right across the path (a little west of Bridge 27, Princess Road).  It seems that Friday’s heavy rain caused a strong deep flow along the channel parallel to the track and probably undermined the trees’ roots.  No damage was done, though, and the trees probably fell slowly, judging by the small number of broken branches.

Thanks to quick work by Sustrans (with a little help from volunteers!), the trees were cleared and the route was well open again by 9.30 a.m. on Saturday!

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