Yesterday’s sunny, warm-ish tree-dressing, tree-planting, and woodland walking event was both lots of fun and enjoyed by many.
Parks Ranger Penny Marriott and a small crew of energetic volunteers cleared the ground and planted some 25 hawthorn whips alongside the allotments fence, then came over to the festivities tent and helped celebrate!
Caroline Jariwala set up a flag-and-bunting stall, where young and old made decorative drawings on coloured fabrics, then hung them from branches and lines. One person, Naima, went so far as to knit purple flowers as well (very speedily, considering the size of them)! These decorations will remain through the holidays. When they are taken down, we are thinking of doing something with lights. This would be on Sunday January 30, as it’s close to various festivals of light, like Candlemas and Imbolc. If you’d like to take part, please get in touch.
The green man, aka Barry Patterson, drew fascinated people in from across the park with his pipe-playing and festive garb. Again, both young and old were mesmerised and entertained by his appearance and performances.
In addition, we managed to provide hot drink, roasted chestnuts, peanuts, and potatoes, which served as handwarmers and tasty treats for passers by. As people gathered round, we talked about the play area proposal, the woodland conservation projects, volunteer activities, repairs and restoration work. The hot food was such hit that we’ll be doing it again at the next Highbury Community Partnerships work day on Sunday the 19th, and where possible, on the Wednesday coppicing sessions. So if you want to drop by the community orchard site on Sunday the 19th, we’ll be there from early afternoon for a couple of hours, perhaps longer.
The play area feedback was largely positive, with a few caveats. A summary will be set out here in a following post. This project has a small budget and a very short timeline, so if you want to add a comment, it must arrive within the next day or so. You can contact us or a local councillor to collate your input. There’ll be a web-based form available shortly. Check the following post for details.
Woodland tours included site visits to the coppicing areas and the new footpaths being created below Chamberlain House. An early word had it that another tree had been decorated, and sure enough, there it was! This one looks like it could do with some gifts under it, if one were inspired to leave things for the decorators and people who pass through this area .