Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

We are planning to plant the remaining hedging shrubs (left over from our previous planting event) along the wooden fence at the Sherwood Street entrance in Fallowfield on the afternoon of Monday 30th March 2015. As it’s a weekday, we realize that some Friends will be unable to come along, but if you can and would like to help, we will be starting at 2 p.m. Please bring a spade if you have one! The working location is shown on the map below.

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Today the Friends were out, together with members of the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers, to plant a new hedgerow on the edge of the Loop, adjacent to the Sherwood Street entrance and on the corner with Wellington Road.  The planted hedgerow contains a mix of native plants, predominantly hawthorn but also wild cherry, field maple, dog rose, hazel and blackthorn.

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Cleaning the Loop

The Friends of the Fallowfield Loop will be holding a rolling clean-up on the Loop on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November 2013.  All are welcome to come along and help out!  Please see our Events page for further details.

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On the first May bank holiday weekend (Saturday 4th to Monday 6th), the Friends attempted the most ambitious clean-up we have ever organised, working along the whole length of the Loop from Debdale to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and taking advantage of the late spring to reach well into the undergrowth on the side banks. Although the agreed timetable slipped due to the weight of rubbish towards the eastern end, we managed to cover almost all the sections eventually. 27 helpers took part over the three days, as well as the Whalley Range Scouts, and we removed up to ten car-loads of rubbish, separating out cans and bottles for recycling as we went. This was a worthwhile but sometimes unpleasant task, and we received many expressions of appreciation from passers-by. A suggestion from one of them was that we should have our own tailor-made ‘Who’s Working?’ signs to give us greater recognition, and we are looking into this. Again our thanks to all who took part, and especially to Dick Venes for devising and organising the weekend. We hope that it will help Rangers to continue to keep their sections of the Loop cleared, at least on the immediate verges.

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Today members of the Friends, together with the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers, worked on the site of the new community orchard in Fallowfield, close to the Sherwood Street entrance to the Loop.  The work continued from preparatory activities carried out in December: today the planting holes were dug and prepared with compost, and the planting of the orchard will take place in four weeks’ time, on Sunday 17th March.  In addition to the orchard work, preparation for a new boundary hedge on the corner of Sherwood Street and Wellington Road was carried out.  As the pictures show, it was a perfect sunny spring day to be out enhancing the Loop!

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All welcome to this from 10.30 a.m. onwards, either to do a spot of work or just to view the site and chat!  The location is just west of the entrance to the Loop which is on Sherwood Street, Fallowfield.  Here is a map
The main job is to do a preliminary clearance of the undergrowth on the proposed orchard site – brambles, saplings and other growth – and possibly to mark out where the planting holes might go. There is also some rubbish collection from the Sherwood Street entrance to do. Please bring tools relevant to these tasks if you can.  Suggested tools are: saw, cutters, shears, spade, rake.  Please also wear suitable shoes/boots and gloves.  The orchard site is under the Wellington Road bridge and across the bridge over the stream immediately to the right.

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Well, it’s taken us a while to get some pictures here but last month (Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September) local Levenshulme residents, young volunteers from ‘The Challenge’ and members of the Friends got together to continue work on the orchard, in particular putting down the underlay and woodchip for the paths.  A great weekend’s work!

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A reminder that the Friends will be holding a workday at the community orchard tomorrow (Monday 27th August 2012) – all are welcome to help out to continue to enhance this area!  Further details are here.

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On Sunday 20th May the Friends will hold an opening ceremony for the new Levenshulme station community orchard and the refurbished Highfield Park ‘lattice footbridge’, starting at 11 a.m.

The planned programme for the event is:

  • 11 a.m. at the orchard site (Crayfield Road/Kersh Avenue Loop entrance):  opening remarks by Friends Secretary David Beetham, ceremonial tape-cutting by local residents and photo session.
  • 11.30 a.m. (approximately) at the lattice bridge site: some reminiscences from Friends member (and Friends of Highfield Park chair) Alec Cowan, tape-cutting by him and St Andrew’s school representatives and photo session.

The fruit orchard, comprising apple, cherry, plum, greengage and pear trees, has been made possible using funds from the Friends, including a Manchester City Council environment award, with matched funding from the Government’s Big Tree Plant initiative, and sponsorship by local people.  Sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which owns the Fallowfield Loop, provided equipment and manpower for ground preparation, including Community Payback personnel.   The Friends, several local Levenshulme groups and individuals were involved in the actual planting, with help from the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers.  The orchard project also involved two fruit tree grafting workshops, led by members of the Friends.  The grafts are currently being ‘fostered’ by local people until they are large enough to add to the orchard.

The ‘lattice bridge’ is almost the only remaining railway artefact on the Loop.  The footbridge connects the north-west corner of Highfield Country Park with Thorncliffe Grove and is well used by recreational walkers and schoolchildren.  The refurbishment work involved replacing the top surface and several corroded metal plates supporting it, repointing the brickwork, replacing coping stones and repainting the metal latticework in the colours of the railway company that built the line.  The Manchester office of Sustrans sourced a grant for this work from the Department for Transport’s Links to Schools programme and organised the refurbishment, which has been a long-standing aim of the Friends.

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A bird's-eye view of work on the orchard site

Over forty-five people turned up on Sunday for the the planting of the new orchard, at a site on the Loop by Crayfield Road, near the old Levenshulme Station.

The Friends had obtained a grant from the Big Tree Fund, and

Planting in progress

The site in 1965 (picture by T. Brooks)

with the help of members of the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers and local residents, traditional varieties of apple, pear, plum, damson and greengage were planted, staked and watered. In the months and years to come it’s hoped that the blossom will add a welcome aspect to this popular part of the route, with people later able to pick the fruit for making jam and chutney!

While the trees were being dug in at the site, other volunteers were taking part in a workshop at the nearby Sidings pub, learning how to graft rootstock for further planting later on.

More pictures to follow!

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