Welcome back as the group takes it's first steps back in a covid world. Please bring hand sanitiser with you to tasks and be aware of touching shared items and tools. Please use disinfectant provided when you have finished with a tool. Try and keep the same tools all day and stay socially distanced.
The first event will be tool sharpening at Paul. Let him know if you can make it so plans can be made for socially distancing everybody. There is space in the garage, a shed and out in the garden. Scythe blades will be sharpened for the next mowing event and billhooks for the forthcoming coppicing and hedge laying season.
Sundayl 3rd September is the final day of public opening of the butterfly park for the season and as such there will be no parking at the park that day. Plenty of free parking nearby. Here, with freshly sharpened scythe blades and BBQ stand, grassland will be mown in the morning before the public come at Ipm and Charlie's Field mown in the afternoon so working volunteers are out of the way of the public for safety purposes. There will be an end of season event at the end of the task: bring your own refreshment. This will have finished by 6pm, when NFBP will hold its AGM, to which you are welcome to stay as you contribute so much to the success of the park.
Sat 1 9th September we will be at Thornton Wood nurturing the coppices. This will be done by cutting access to them, allowing more light to the coppice floor, by some crown lifting and removing some shading vegetation, and layering some hazel further up the bank where they will receive more light. There will also be some path clearance/defining of paths for the spring tours in 2021 as well as enhancing Oak regeneration within the wood.
In October at NFBP, the herb-
Mickle Trafford, near Chester, is a new site for the group and has a perfect beginner's hedge. Contact Steve for details and arrangements.
There is a weekend of hedgerow restoration with hedge laying and hedge planting in November. It is a small hedge, with two different lengths. Length one was planted 12 years ago and the other length has been coppiced resulting in thinnish regrowth. In the middle section there is a gap, the site of a former marl pit. This was under water in the spring. The farmer will create a hedge bank and the volunteers will plant up the bank with mainly hawthorn whips and surround the new plantings with cardboard mulch matts.
In December, the group makes a return visit to the Sand hole hedge, Waverton, near Chester to finish off the last few lengths of a challenging hedge. Let Paul know if you are coming. Hawthorn whips will be planted into the hedgerow to supplement the hedge laying.
At the butterfly park we will be scything the acid grassland then plug planting of sheep's sorrel to boost the small copper butterfly populations at the park, as well as carrying on with hedge laying / hedge trimming.
The Thornton Common two-
One plant which recently has increased in number at the common is Marsh cinquefoil. The only known location where it is found in Wirral is Thornton Common. An alternative name is the bog strawberry reflecting its deep magenta colour flower which comes out in June.