So we come to February.

A short month that flew by, and that was just the strong winds!

I started the month on Paddington Meadows down in Warrington, as Steve delivered a Hedgelaying AQA session. We taught the attendees all about the history, decline and benefits of hedges, then set about swinging our billhooks at the young trees that we were going to turn into a hedge. Although at one point it looked to the un-trained eye that we had jut made a mess and lain trees across a path, it all came together nicely at the end of the day and the volunteers were happy to see that all their hard work had resulted in a great hedge. As a bonus, I have now completed enough hours to get my Hedgelaying AQA!

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Most of my outdoors time this month was spent at Whitehead Hall Meadows. Here we have been tackling 2 task – hedgelaying and meadow clearing. It was great to see so many volunteer come out to learn the art of hedgelaying as we turned an overgrown patch into a nice hedge. We have also been clearing scrub from the meadow as part of the management that will hopefully allow this wildflower meadow to flourish again. Despite having to cancel a couple of sessions due to safety concerns from the various storms rolling through, our volunteers have made a big difference to this meadow.

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Last year I was part of the Friends of Chat Moss‘ tree planting at Little Woolden, as we planted 1600 native trees to create a Willow Tit corridor and buffer zone. City of Trees run a great ‘Tree for a Tree’ scheme, meaning that we were able to receive a load of free trees! I went along to support Mossland Placement Eve on the main planting day. Despite pretty miserable weather, most people still showed up and we were able to plant around 1000 of the trees which will create a delicious understory for birds and insects.

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I returned to Little Woolden Moss a couple of days later to co-guide a group of students from Salford University on a tour of the site. We showed them the past, present and hopefully future of the mossland and then got out onto the peat to take some peat cores. This is a process that removes a small cylinder of peat in a way that allows scientists to examine material from thousands of years ago.

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Towards the end of the month I joined the rest of the office, plus a few people from our partners, at a Roundview facilitator training session. RoundView is a framework to aid sustainability learning, decision-making and redesign. I had not taken part in a session before, so it was interesting to both learn about what it is and think about how it could be used.

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This month I also introduced our Restoration Officer to Princes Park Garden Centre, where we checked out the bog plants and sphagnum that they’ve been growing. We were impressed, so will be planting 2000 of these out on the 10th March on Chat Moss, why not join us?

– Jamie

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