Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fungi Forays

This week, since Saturday, has seen lots of people coming along to attend Fungi Forays around the property. We still have two to go but so far have found a few woodland species, nothing exciting or out the ordinary but interesting for the kids that come along.

We have tried to provide the link between the fruiting bodies and what is going off underground. Also the effects on standing and dead trees.

Fungi being the great recyclers that they are, can be seen  turning a fallen silver birch into usable nutrients and a medium to be used by other plants in the woodland environment.

Seeing a fallen alder in the river covered in alder brackets is a good visual way of demonstrating how we have to act when we see fungi on trees. They are a good indication of what's happening inside the tree and we can use these in our inspections of trees, especially on roadsides or near buildings.

Hopefully some of the information will be carried away from the estate and may even spark a life long interest in the outdoors or even just fungi? That would be nice.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Barclays Build a Play Area.

Barclays Bank sent along 15 of its bank managers to carry out a task on the Estate. Building from scratch a playground in the upper garden.

The day was thankfully dry as the weather forecast had given a yellow warning for rain all day!

The addition to this day was a filming team who were commissioned to film the event for a forthcoming two day conference, where it will be shown in four parts over the two days.

I gave the team the brief and they set to digging holes like a bunch of rabbits! They very soon had balance beams upright and stepping logs in place.

The next challenge was to put in a chain balance and log jump. All of this was done in the day, with the team working very hard.

The new play area will be opened in March as part of the opening of the upper garden.

So we still have opportunity to include a few more items for the kids to play on.

Geocaching Taster Sessions

Sat & Sun saw drop in taster sessions for geocaching. Garmin had given us as part of sponsorship 4 GPS units that people could borrow. We hid 5 caches around the property for people to find.

Saturday was a lovely sunny day with lots of people on site.The GPS units were out all the time. People who had not used them before suddenly found they could use them easily with a little tuition.

Most people found the caches including a chap who had located over 2000 including some underwater as part of his scubadiving activities!

Lots of parents said it was a 'great way to get the children out walking without moaning'. At least two were going to buy GPS units on the back of this event. 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

ASE Path Laying

The weather had changed from wet, overcast, like walking about in a cloud kind of weather to dry and getting brighter. I was beginning to worry at the start of the week when all about was sodden.

Friday we had 88 employees of ASE from Manchester come blitz the Apprentice path and part of our path through the Southern woods.

The task was to move 42 Tonnes of stone along the path after first installing  the edging boards.

After an initial briefing the team set to in their respective teams and got cracking on their sections. By the Mid morning coffee break, which was had on the hoof, things were already beginning to take shape.

1pm, lunchtime we were able to take stock of what had been achieved thus far and get the roller out to start consolidating the path.

The guys and gals had worked really hard during the morning and it was becoming apparent that we were going to run out of stone at the crucial place so quickly set some on with wheel barrows to start moving it from other bags further up the path.

We also employed our tractor and trailer to move stone from further afield as well. The sloping fields certainly add to the excitement with a full load of stone in the trailer!

By 3pm a full hour ahead of time the task was almost complete. The full 42t had been taken to it's respective place and the path look resplendent in the sun which was now coming out.

A brilliant day, lots achieved and everyone had a good time. I think we will invite ASE to come back and do some of the more challenging areas of path resurfacing we have. I have a feeling they would eat it up!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Children's play space

On Friday we had a team of 25 from HSBC come to carry out work to create a new play space for kids at Quarry Bank. Tucked away at the top of the car park is a small triangular wood. They cleared this out of all undergrowth and thorns. Installed a fence around the site (to keep kids in) and put in a couple of bench seats.

The idea of the space is to allow kids to create dens and have a space in which they can use their imagination to play. It's not yet complete but will be very soon.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Hedge Laying Time

Getting ready today for hedge laying over the next two days. We have a day where the public can come and get involved, have a go with us. Then on Wednesday we have a Team from Barclay's Bank coming to assist.

It is the first time any of them will have done anything like this so will be an interesting learning curve on both sides!

After the lovely weather we have been enjoying it has forecast rain all day so looks like we'll be getting wet?