Activity Day Sunday 14th May

Displaying The-Meadow-Logo.png

This is an invitation and also, if possible, a request for assistance.  Please feel free to share this information far and wide...

On Sunday the 14th May 2017 Staff and volunteers of Sustrans and the Trans Pennine Trail will be attending the Meadow site in Maghull, Merseyside.  There are various activities taking place through the day and you are invited to come along to the project site.  We have been awarded funding to transform this area of land from a misused, overgrown stretch of path into an area that will be of benefit to the community, path users and also the wildlife of the area.  Over the past year, we have cleared a large majority of the brambles and overgrowth, installed benches, begun to install bird and bug houses and scattered wildflower seeds.  In preparation for the 14th May, we have ordered 500 wildflower plants ready to be planted on the site.  This is your opportunity to come along, visit and discuss the project... take away some information... and if you can, lend a hand!  Please also take this opportunity to walk or cycle along the this area of the Cheshire Lines (NCN 62/Trans Pennine Trail)... It's a beautiful and amazing resource that we have in our area!

Feel free to pop along at any point through the day

Timing for the day:

10am onwards - Scything, raking and clearing the ground in preparation for planting will continue throughout the day. Bring a rake along and help us clear the ground of the spring overgrowth
1-3pm - Wildflower planting, publicity stand and kids activities.

Refreshments:

...are available for purchase from Sefton Meadows Garden Centre and Cafe that are in close proximity to the site area.

Clothing:

If you are attending to participate in any of the raking, clearing and planting, please wear suitable clothing, sturdy footwear and gardening gloves.

Location:

NCN 62, Cheshire Lines/TPT - back of Sefton Drive, Maghull L31 8AQ (Google Maps Link - https://goo.gl/maps/MKCb56cUJ6C2

 
Pictures: The Meadow Site... Before and After
Any support that can be offered is always greatly appreciated, but if you do have any questions or require any further information... please do not hesitate to email me... jc@photoreal.co.uk

Those Brambles Fight Back!

The area of The Meadow to be cleared of brambles and overgrowth.

A slightly daunting task lay ahead on grey and blustery day today.  The focus, to clear the remaining brambles and brush in preparation for wildflower seeding, planting and installation of some of the benches.  The growth of branches and brambles in this section of The Meadow were probably the most established (and probably the reason clearing it has been left until last!).  But we jumped straight in with scythes, brush hooks and bow saws.  Hard but satisfying work and a few hours later (plus a few minor bramble scratches), the majority of the section was clear of the main growth.  One more work day and it should be complete.  Again, it was all positive comments and compliments from those passing by which is a massive encouragement as a volunteer.




Spring is certainly on its way and we will be keeping a close eye as things begin to wake up from their winter sleep.  I think the nettles will probably win the race and so will need careful monitoring and scything control to give the wildflowers the best possible chance.


Work all done for the day!



Active Involvement = Public Awareness!

It's been February half term break this week so I thought it would be worth while starting this blog post off with some pictures of the many activities that have taken place.

Pallet Bug Base Building

Sign Making

Bench Building
Two benches completed ready for installing at the Meadow... Four to go!
It's been a personally reflective time for me this week with The Meadow project. It has also certainly been eventful as the project has moved up a gear as spring quickly approaches.  Over half term I took the opportunity to book some holiday time away from my work.  It has also been an opportunity to tick a few of the Meadow jobs off the list. The increased pace of the project and my active involvement in the project has led me to fully recognise how physical volunteer activity can lead to raising the awareness in the community to the local issues and resources that are available.  On three separate occasions and three separate locations this week the activities have led to talking.  People passing by see the activity taking place resulting in questions being asked...This is then an opportunity to introduce members of the local community to the resources of the paths and cycle routes in our area together with the environmental benefits we are hoping to enhance through The Meadow project.

The week commenced with some bug base building and sign making for The Meadow site.   This was followed by the delivery of a serious amount of timber and some heavy duty cutting taking place.  Part of the timber is being transformed into sleeper benches and the remaining pieces are to be used as Monolith sign posts and display boards.  If you are available over the coming weeks, any assistance that can be offered with the installation of the benches and signs would be greatly appreciated...please let me know when you might be available and I can try and make arrangements to organise some activity... email me jc@photoreal.co.uk

The week concluded on Sunday the 19th of February 2017 as we ventured out on a rather drizzly morning.  Base camp was quickly pitched with the mission of installing the bug base and sign built through the week together with some of the purchased bird houses.  I'm keen to get as many of the bird houses in place for the beginning of march and the nesting season.

Base camp ready for installing the bug base and bird houses.


Installed and waiting for residents!


The list of opportunities for volunteer involvement continues in Merseyside North and the Meadow Project.  If you think you can assist, support or volunteer some of your time with any of the following activities, please do email me and let me know jc@photoreal.co.uk.  I will do my utmost to arrange activities dates and times to be convenient and can supply the tools required for the task (I may also provide some fancy chocolate biscuits!).

Activities taking place over the coming weeks...
  • Bench installation
  • Sign post installation
  • Bird house installation
  • Bug Base building and installation
  • Path edging
  • Vegetation and bramble clearing
  • Wildflower seeding
  • Bush planting
  • Litter picking
  • And the always popular... Poop scooping (Don't worry...I have some long handled poop scoopers and plenty of poop bags).

One Step at a Time Through the Meadow 12/02/17

Another cold day down at the Meadow.  The aim of the day was some brush clearing, litter picking and a bit of path edging.  We pitched up base camp and set up an information point to engage some of the people passing by.

Base camp for the day
Unfortunately two strokes in with the scythe and I managed to snap the handle.  After a brief moment of sadness and grief at my loss, I continued to clear away with the edge of a spade... obviously nowhere near as efficient as the scythe!  All the same, some progress made but not as much as I had hoped to achieve.

A minor bit of brush clearing following the scythe snapping incident... before - after. 

Jam butties by the fire side at Meadow base camp.

Oliver edging the path
Some of the discussions I had on site today gave me time to reflect on the project and why I personally with the assistance of others are creating the Meadow.  As well as many of the compliments I receive about the Meadow project I hear in equal amounts, the negatives about the site or area... 'The dog fouling is awful along here'... 'It's a lovely idea to install benches... but they'll just come along and set fire to them'.  Also sadly today, there were a few signs of anti-social off road motor bikes.  Deep tire marks have ripped up some of the ground.  But I guess this (and other reasons) is why I as many others, venture out as a volunteer for Sustrans and the Trans Pennine Trail... One person drops a piece of litter... another person picks it up... the visible and environmental damage has been counteracted (I always aim to fill at least one bin bag with litter whilst I'm out).  It would be deeply saddening if someone purposefully damaged, destroyed or defaced some of the work we are doing at the Meadow.  In my mind, this would be an opportunity and reason to try even harder, plan bigger, and focus on what I believe is important.  It's always going to be a balancing act, but I hope, after time, the balance will tip in our favour. I can honestly say that I do believe the work that has been done so far has improved the site with the removal of litter.  I also think that the dog fouling has decreased (but there's certainly room for improvement with this!).  Onward to the next day!

Proud of the path edge encroachment clearing! 
If you believe you could spare a little or a lot of time to help out... it would be great to hear from you. I'm not asking you to sign up with Sustrans or the Trans Pennine Trail as a volunteer (although that would be great!)  I'm just hoping for a few extra hands to assist and help the project reach its full potential.  Please email me jc@photoreal.co.uk

Activity Update for Sunday 12th Feb 2017

Unfortunately there has been a slight delay in the delivery of the rail sleepers and wood for the benches and signs. However, there is still plenty to work on a the Meadow. The general clear up will continue on Sunday 12th Feb (litter picking and cutting back etc) and hopefully we can begin to install some of the bird boxes over the coming week.The wood is due for delivery this week so I will update information here as we progress. Once again, if you are able to assist on one of the work days, please ensure you let me know so I can best facilitate. Email jc@photoreal.co.uk

Champion!

Nice little write up in the Champion Newspaper about our Meadow Activities!


29th January 2017 - A Frosty Start to New Years Activities

A fresh early start to today as Oliver and I ventured out to a frosty Meadow.  Mission was vegetation clearing and litter picking.  It's a good time of year to acknowledge and maintain some of the trees that have the potential to encroach on the path when the leaves start growing.

Before
After


 Once the clearing was done, we continued to clear as much of the litter as we could... 3 bags of litter, a toy pram, pool table, refuse bin and a few odd bits and pieces.


Lots of work still to do so if you fancy some fresh air and would like to help support the project, please get in touch and come along to one of our future work days.


The Upcoming Months...

A belated happy new year,

Thank you to those of you who have been keeping us updated of issues on or around our local cycle routes and footpaths.  If you are out and about or do any maintenance, do keep us posted (TPT, Sustrans and myself).  I wanted to update you all with activities that are coming up for the Meadow site.   The Meadow site is clear (thanks to a number of volunteers and rather large group of scouts from the area) and wildflower seeds have been scattered.  Winter is assisting in keeping any weed growth away but unfortunately a small number of  inconsiderate dog walkers have been about.  Light fly-tipping and discarded litter has also taken place.  I'm keen to get things rolling again at the site and cleared up with the Meadow project due for completion.  The near by recycling centre have said that they will assist so litter picking is high on the agenda of activities.  I've 'pencilled in' the following activities for the coming months...

Sunday 29th Jan 2017. 10am-1pm Clearing vegetation around entrance areas to the site in preparation for planting.
Path edging and litter picking.
Saturday 4th Feb 2017. 1pm-3.30pm Photography Walk. Grab your walking boots and that new camera you got for
Christmas to join me in exploring the area around the Meadow.  The aim is to capture images that can potentially
be incorporated into artwork and signage on the Meadow site.  It’s also an opportunity to do a bit of litter picking whilst
we’re out.
Sunday 12th Feb 2017 10am-onwards.  Installing signage sleepers and benches.
Sunday 19th Feb 2017 10am-onwards.  Installing signage sleepers and benches.
Sunday 26th Feb 2017 10am-1pm General site maintenance, litter picking, bird table installation.
Sunday 5th March 2017 10am-1pm Clearing weed growth, planting.
Sunday 12th March 2017 10am-1pm Clearing weed growth, planting and install signage.
Sunday 26th March 2017 10am- onwards.  Edge path, wildflower reseed, Project completion celebration
April Onwards... Activities and maintenance will progress beyond the Meadow site in particular up the Cheshire Lines.

Extra dates will be added as the site activity progresses. You should check this website for revised times, amendments and any further information.  All activities start or take place on the Meadow site.  Any children should be accompanied by an adult.  We suggest you wear sturdy suitable footwear and clothing that you don’t mind getting a little muddy.  Sefton Meadows Garden Centre cafe is close by but I will endeavour to provide some light refreshments on site.  Any assistance that can be provided in the above activities is always welcome.  If you are able to help on any of the above dates, could you email me jc@photoreal.co.uk or text 07713158716 to let me know.  I can also keep you updated if anything changes.

If you have any questions, again please don't hesitate to drop me an email.  Below is a flyer with the above information.

Thanks for all you do and hope to see you all soon

John Callaghan
Merseyside North Volunteers
www.merseysidenorth.uk