Since the last blog entry there has been a decent amount going on for the team.
Firstly, we have been planting an orchard with Lingey House primary school at Oliver Henderson Park in Gateshead. We had a brilliant (if a bit muddy) day with the kids, telling them both how to plant properly and the importance of the trees, both for wildlife and as free food for the locals. We invited local residents to join us and the children designed some signs we staked into the ground.
Unfortunately to our disbelief, about a half of the trees were damaged by vandalism the weekend before Christmas. We had to go back to the site to assess the damage. We spoke to many local residents who were disappointed with what had happened and had in fact been out with a spade to try to replant them. They were also happy that we were there not giving up. One particular resident told me how he remembered the days when the field we were planting in used to be agricultural land and he missed the sound of the skylarks so close to his home. We hope more joyful birds will be attracted to the orchard in the future.
We have also been getting training from David Whyte for our PA6W assessment after Christmas. This is our last bit of training and was a good refresher for the pesticide training we had very early on in the year.
For our last day before Christmas we were out hedge laying at Cross Lane Meadows. A brilliant way to spend the last day despite the showers, we got the hedges finished and it was interesting to see how they were properly laid, doing them both with the chainsaws and billhooks.