Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sunday 10th November work day

This, very sunny, Sunday we worked with worked with 'Froglife' to build 'Hibernacula' for reptiles wintering within the park. We built 2 in sunny, south facing, spots. These are basically piles of logs covered with vegetation that will provide a place for reptiles such as snakes and lizards, and amphibians that do not hibernate in water, such as newts and toads to over winter safely. These areas will also warm up quickly in the sun to enable snakes to bask and raise their temperature quickly.

A grass snake was spotted nearby while we were working so should be a good spot.

Also spotted in the park, or more accurately, over the park was a Red Kite, one Sparrowhawk, one Kestrel and 4 Common Buzzards. The Buzzards are regularly seen over the park. Also Common Darter Dragonflies were still on the wing.

                                                                      Red Kite

                                                     Common Darter Dragonfly

Monday, 21 October 2013

'Apple Day' Sunday 20th October 2013

Essex Wildlife Trust had their annual Apple Day today. There were apples for sale and you could taste and try before you buy! Also apple juice on sale. The apples and juice were supplied by Lathcoats Farm ( )  in Galleywood, Chelmsford.

The Walled Kitchen Garden was also open and fresh produce was on sale. Produce will also be on sale on Thursdays from around 10 am.

We had a visit from a group from the  Havering Museum who arrived in style - in a 1960's Routemaster Bus, complete with ticket collector! They had included Bedfords Park in a tour of the Borough and visited the Deer Enclosure, the Visitors' Center and the Walled Garden. Apart from the heavy rain, which delayed their departure, they appeared to have a good time.

Work day Sunday 13th October 2013

Unfortunately due to the very wet weather this work day was cancelled

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Latest in the Walled Garden

Saturday 21st September was a great success. Lots of 'new' visitors to the garden. BBQ'd sweetcorn were really tasty. Was great to see so many people enjoying just walking around and looking at what's been achieved in a relatively short time. The garden was only accessible for planting in April this year. We had several stalls, one from Stewart Avenue Allotments in Upminster selling their wonderful jams, chutneys, soups and crumbles. There were teas and cakes and soup on sale. All proceeds were either for The Walled Garden Project or The Friends of Bedfords Park. Also our 'resident' beekeeper was present explaining about the bees and he also had several types of honey  for tasting. Several members of the Walled Garden 'team' were available to answer questions. We also had a group from the 'Challenge Network' giving away free seeds and going taste tests!

All in all a good day.

This week has seen several hundred school children in the park. A collaboration between Havering Council, Essex Wildlife Trust, Clear Village (walled garden) and the Friends of Bedfords Park has seen Heavy Horse log pulling demonstration and talks, petting zoo with various animals, talk with E.W.T and a tour and talk around the Walled Garden. Again a great success.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Bedfords Park Walled Kitchen Garden open 21st September

There is an Edible Gardens Open Day as part of The Capital Growth programme of national events, at the restoration of the Georgian  Bedfords Park Walled Garden Local Foods project on Saturday 21st September.  2pm noon until 8pm.    Come Long and see what we have been up to since the Spring!    Visit our amazing Maize Maze and see 'Cinderella' our huge pumpkin growing quietly getting ready for Halloween.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Work party Sunday 8th September 2013

About time!" did I hear you say? Many apologies for the lack of information posted. No real excuses. Will try to do better.

During the year we've been repairing fencing, litter picking, attempting to keep paths clear, repairing dipping platform, planting saplings and hedging etc. etc.

Today we've been weeding,and mulching, one of the recently planted areas near the Essex Wildlife Visitors' Center which we, together with local Scouts, planted with native shrubs.

This Sunday we had help from 'The Challenge Network' ( who run youth and community programmes that have the central aim of mixing diverse groups of people with each other. Not only did they help us with the weeding and mulching they also helped in the Walled Kitchen Garden.

We also did an inspection of the 'Round Pond' which has, thanks to all the rain, turned back from a 'bomb crater' into a pond once again. We plan to put a seat, for the use of the public, near to the pond using the money we were granted from Havering Council for successfully retaining our 'Official Friends Group' status with the Council once again.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Easter Sunday 31st March 2013

Apologies, due to a technical hitch, whose name shall remain a secret, this should have been published in March but remained in 'draft' form !?

Sunday 31st March 2013.  Not our usual work day but we were asked to plant some additional trees in the newly cleared area near to the deer pen and visitors’ centre. 5 of us planted approx 50 trees although we were hampered by the stones and old ‘pathway’. Mattocks were used to break through but some of the area was not suitable. We will have to rethink this.

Also the Essex Wildlife Trust held their  very successful ‘Easter Eggstravaganza’ with crafts and an Easter Egg hunt. We had a table at this event selling home made cakes.
We also did a minor repair to the fencing to the east side of the lake and did some ditch clearance and put some hogging on a wet are of one of the footpaths.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Work day Sunday 11th November 2012

Welcome back! Many apologies for the lack of information for the last few months. We have been having our usual monthly meetings at the park. Various jobs have been done: more steps added in our new woodland path. Rogue oak saplings in the process of being removed from the meadow area. This is an ongoing problem and their removal will continue for some time to come. Litter picking is done at every meeting. Fence repairs around the lake where it had been damaged, and burnt !

This work day we had several jobs lined up, all of which we managed to complete. They were: to repair the dipping platform which had been burnt by a bbq, or similar. This meant it was dangerous to use. Below is a picture of the repairs being carried out and also the two pieces that were damaged. We also made part of our woodland path safer for walkers, as due to the very wet weather it was becoming very slippery, especially where a fallen tree trunk has to be negotiated. 'Ground guard' and hoggin was put down to improve the surface grip. Willows were planted at the south east end of the lake which will eventually improve the habitat for nature in this area. The small stream leading into the lake was also cleared of overgrown grass etc to allow water to flow more freely into the lake We then moved on to the meadow to remove more oak saplings. Whilst we were doing all of these tasks two of our volunteers were moving relentlessly around the park litter picking.