MCT Activities in March & April 2021

We have spent a lot of volunteer time up to April 14 adding an extra grass verge along the east side of the main path to facilitate safe passing during the pandemic. It involved removing roots of mainly ivy and nettles before laying turfs. At one stage half a dozen turfs were stolen by teenagers making a camp site of sorts on Hob Moor. Fortunately they were caught taking more so thanks to Lesley and Paul we managed to recover them all. Shots below show the verge looking north and south from the opposite bund.

Great session to end March with 6 of our friends from GoodGym helping Louise, Lesley and Malcolm cut up illegally-dumped garden waste at the N.E. corner of Mayfields and moving it round to the composting area. A very pleasant evening session.

March31-2021 (5)Almost the end of March and spring is arriving. Over the past 2 weeks we have done a tree check (thanks to Adam), added more gravel to fill the puddle at the north end of the main path, removed more ivy and nettles to extend the grass verge for safer passing with social distancing, and added a wild violet to our collection of photos of native wild flowers on Mayfields.  In the warm and dry weather we’ve had to do quite a bit of watering of recent shrub and tree addirions.

March 28 2021 (1)

Adam admiring one of many blackthorns

March 28 2021 (2)

Completion of a safe and wide path at the Little Hob Moor end.

March 28 2021 (3)

Watering an Rowan donated  (and planted) by Ian Tomlinson

March 28 2021 (4)

More ivy and nettle roots removed redy for adding more turfs on April 2nd.

March 28 2021 (8)

Lovely to see wild violets coming onto the site.

Paul  & Lesley did a brill job on Tuesday March 9 laying a turf verge between the area they had just helped plant and the main path.  Here’s hoping  cyclists will use their sense and avoid cycling on it unnecessarily.

We added a few pictures to one of the information boards on March 6 explaining about the planting recently done by Lesley, Paul and Malcolm beside the path near the Little Hob Moor end.  We thought they might be of interest.

Someone decided to fill the empty leaflet box with dry leaves over the weekend.  Fortunately we managed to borrow a useful pair of long tweezers from Pam Brown to help get them out before adding new leaflets.

A local resident presented us with a useful oak tree at the end of February to see if we could find a good home for it on Mayfields.  Lesley and Paul helped plant it near the newer bench at the back of the meadow on Sunday.  Malcolm watered it again on Tuesday March 2nd.

MCT Activities in January & February 2021

The photos taken on 24th show Paul and Lesley planting Guelder Rose with advice from the local robin.  We have already planted several blackthorn, hawthorn and hazel in the exposed area.

We have been hard at work in February, once the snow stopped, clearing ivy, brambles and nettles east of the path at the north end.  This was because of the felling of 28 large trees on the adjacent CYC-owned land by the owner of one of the cottages.  This left the rear of the cottages in full view from Mayfields main path.  After consulting the other adjacent residents we decided to establish a dense shrubbery of native species that will screen them from view again.  These should grow well with more light now available.

A bit snowy on Feb. 9th for solo fieldwork this week, so spent some time creating a display of what we have done so far in 2021. At least the dual-carriageway path for passing with safe social distancing seemed to be working well earlier. Good use of 30 bags of gravel.

Dual-carriage way path makes comfortable safe social-distancing passing easier.

On the 23rd Jan. Malcolm bought 10 bags of gravel to create a dry strip for walkers on either side of the main path. He hopes this will mean less folk trample on the snowdrops beside the path. Photos below show what was done.

It was nice to see the snowdrops in the wooded area away from the path were doing well on January 22nd. Sadly though the combination of social distancing and prolonged rain has resulted in hundreds being damaged badly by trampling on either side of the main path at the Little Hob Moor end.

We were disappointed to see the felling of may trees and shrubs immediately adjacent to the northern end on the site managed by MCT, east of the path. This is behind the 20-23 Hob Moor Terrace homes in an area leased to No 22. Sadly, apparently the adjacent home owners were not given a chance to object.

MCT Activities in November & December 2020

A new venture for MCT on December 10th.  7 of our good friends from GoodGym came out at 6.30 in the evening to help Malcolm & Louise scrape muddy leaf litter from the path.  This makes the path lighter and safer and reduces the rate of grass encroachment from the verges.  The work went really well, all done by the light of headlamps.

Many thanks to GoodGYm (even for the second photo).

A beautiful afternoon on Mayfields on December 1st 2020.  Malcolm weeded out encroaching grass and mud from the path near one of the MCT information boards before it became too deeply rooted.  Mike Ridealgh dug up some more stones/boulders that had been a problem to mowers and added them to the base of the repaired dead hedge/habitat wood pile.

A photo of the rebuilt dead hedge on 25th November 2020.  We also moved the adjacent mini-dead hedge back by about 30 cm to make it easier to turn in with the trolley.

Mainly leaf clearing from path and verges on November 14th.  But Malcolm also managed to add a few more branches to the dead hedge he’s been repairing with Mike Ridealgh and Lesley Abbott. A solos lock-down session on Saturday, hence the selfie.

Before and after shots above.  You can do a lot in an hour and a half.

Still a bit more to do to the rear of the dead hedge, but it’s now already strong, safe, and a doubling as a useful habitat pile.

MCT is very grateful to Paul & Vanita for the donation of 7 excellent turfs to help improve the eastern edge of the path at the north end.  This will greatly facilitate safe social distancing,

Also on November 7th Lesley and Malcolm did some more work on the dead hedge restoration.  More to do but getting a lot stronger as the work progresses.  A bit slow as we can’t have our normal volunteer groups during lock-down.

You can see above (compared with earlier photos below) we have added a rear row of stronger posts.  Eventually this will double as a habitat pile.

Since the start of November we have been busy rebuilding the dead hedge section that someone had badly damaged while illegally dumping garden waste in the composting area.  Mike, Lesley and Malcolm have been making good progress though there is more to do.  Photos were taken on November 5, 2020.

MCT Activities in September & October 2020

We have been having a lot of trouble recently with people dumping their garden rubbish without permission on MCT’s compost area.  Fly tipping is illegal.  The other day a large pile of green waste was dumped illegally from someones overgrown garden.  It contained a lot of old ivy and other climbing plants.  Much was wrapped around a substantial wrought iron garden arch or gate and some long and heavy wooden posts.  In the process of trying to throw it over the dead hedge they broke down the hedge support posts which will have to be replaced for safety reasons.  Sadly it will take a lot of time and quite a bit of expenditure to restore  the dead hedge.

Mike and Malcolm finished trimming the meadow on 14th October so Malcolm could start gathering leaves from paths and trimming grass around young trees beside Little Hob Moor on 17th October 2020.  It was a lovely morning for the job and the bird song was exquisite.

We had a great session on October 4th 2020 with 7 GoodGym volunteers joining Louise, Lesley, Mike and Malcolm to trim about 80% of the wild-flower meadow getting it ready for winter use.  We used sheers and grass-hooks and also MCT’s 3 scythes to good effect.  We were really impressed by the brilliant work of Good Gym for more than an hour and a half even before they served up cake at the end of the session!

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At our Sunday volunteer session on September 27th Lesley Abbott weeded the remaining path edges at the gaps between the path sections weeded by GoodGym on Tuesday.  Paul and Malcolm mowed the grass area behind Hob Moor Terrace houses and alongside Nelsons Lane.

We had a very useful session with GoodGym  York volunteers on Tuesday evening September 22nd).  Their group of 8 helped Malcolm.Lesley and Louise with path weeding.  Their hard work and excellent spatially distances company made for a very pleasant and helpful evening.

Strong team out on Sunday 20th September 2020.  Lesley, Paul and Adam used the 3 mowers and Malcolm used the strimmer.  Louise and Pam went litter picking.

 

Very upsetting to find that the young oak tree grown on and planted out by MCT behind the new bench a few weeks ago had been pulled up and dumped by mindless vandals.

Fortunately it had been watered on Saturday afternoon so with a good reeot ball may survive after replanting.

Malcolm mowed both sides of the fence along Nelsons Lane on Sunday 13th September while Pam Brown and Louise did some more trimming behind Goodwood Grove houses.

The grass and ground elder was getting a bit too tall around the young trees planted by MCT in recent years so we decided to give it a trim on September 5th.

Before (above) and after (below) trimming on September 5th, 2020.

September1st was a good day for working on the main path edges.  To maintain the path in the long term we need to control the encroaching grass and dandelions (mainly).  If we don’t do this the path gets narrower every year.  These before & after photos show why the work is essential.

MCT Activities in July & August 2020

Managed to start mowing main path verge and cleaning/reorganizing information boards in spite of the rain on August 27, 2020.  Spotted Mike Devil’s Bit Scabious on the way back – good to see benefits of all Mike’s efforts with this species.

Mike and Malcolm planted an Oak tree behind the new bench on August 26th to provide even more shade there in future.  It was grown from an acorn a few years back and passed on to us to grow on and plant out.

We were horrified on the way back to find a bag of illegally dumped medical waste between the playground and the MCT-managed woodland area.  We would be grateful for any information on its origins.

As the grass gets very worn in front of the other 2 benches that MCT has installed on Mayfields North, on August 17th we inserted 4 paving slabs in front of the new bench.  We put a weed barrier under them after stripping away the turf to reduce weeds in the gaps and made them flush with the surface for safety reasons..

Over the week up to August 16 we managed to dig holes for the installation of a new longer bench on Mayfields so that it could be installed on the 16th by Malcolm & Louise, Paul & Lesley Abbott, Mike Ridealgh, Adam Ridgeon Cousins and Pam Brown.  Thanks are due to the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Committee for their financial support towards the bench.

A helpful session with Mike Ridealgh on 5th August.  We managed some more trimming of Crack willow branches overhanging the path and cut these up for composting.  Mike and Malcolm then cut up the branches deposited in the compost area earlier to keep the surface flatter and safer.   Some illegally dumped garden waste deposited there during lock-down was posing a trip risk.

A large branch of Crack willow was left hanging insecurely after recent wind.  As soon as MCT heard Malcolm went out (on July 30th) and cut down the hanging branch in several stages.  Off cuts were dragged to the MCT composting area to be safely cut up later.

Before (above) and after (below) trimming.

Useful session in spite of light rain on July 26th.  Malcolm did some tidying behind the information board at the north end of the site while Pam and Louise did litter picking and more tidying near the main gate.

We also worked on path verges behind houses at the north end of Goodwood Grove.

Malcolm couldn’t resist another quick shot of the wildflower meadow when walking across Mayfields North (just because he thought it looked lovely).

Mike and Malcolm had a valuable 3-h session on Wednesday 22nd, mowing, trimming and strimming at the southern west half of the main path and beside the path across to the railway underpass.  The latter is important to protect the young trees that MCT planted there 3 or 4 years ago.

More trimming on Sunday 19th, this time between the gate and the playground.  Meanwhile Pam and Louise helped dispose of off-cuts and took some excellent photos after a litter-picking session.

A lovely day on July 17th for mowing alongside  main path.

After 3 days of effort from Mike Ridealgh and Malcolm the trimming back of (mainly) nettles, bindweed, brambles and velcro plant behind houses  towards the southern end of Hob Moor Terrace was almost completed on 15th July.

Pam Brown, Louise and Malcolm had a valuable hour-and-a-half session working beside the gate on Sunday 12th July.  We’re deciding what’s best to plant there now.  It’s important as it’s beside the main site entrance.

It has been a productive start to July, with Malcolm, Adam, Mike, Lesley, Paul, Louise and Pam all working on the site at various times with appropriate social distancing.  The meadow is looking excellent just now as are all the path verges (on July 8th).  The grass has recovered well following the rain after being trampled by socially-distancing walkers crossing the site.  We have also been working behind Hob Moor Terrace homes and alongside Nelsons Lane, as well as beside the path to the railway underpass.

Main path verge after mowing to facilitate 2-m social distancing.

Trimming alongside  Nelsons Lane. and some of the wildflowers left there.

Trimming back ivy beside path for re-seeding verge.

Meadow Browns and Ringlets were abundant on July 6 and 7.

MCT Activities in May & June 2020

Paul came out on June 25th to help repair the damaged battery mower.  He realized that a hair dryer was the best way to soften the replacement plastic wheel support by temporarily softening the self-locking lugs that held the axle in position.

Great to have Paul and Lesley Abbott back on Saturday 20th June helping Malcolm trim back the ivy creeping over the path edge.   Mike was back again on Wednesday 24th to help tidy up a pear tree behind Hob Moor Terrace, damaged in bad weather a couple of weeks earlier.  Steve had also done a lot to tidy that area.  Corn flowers and corn marigolds were doing well.

We are starting to have small volunteer sessions at last with appropriate social distancing and all outdoors.  Good to have Mike Ridealgh back to help with mowing at 6 cm while Malcolm used the strimmer around trees and the Yellow Rattle plant area to reduce competition.

We managed to plant some Devil’s Bit Scabious plants Mike had raised for MCT.

We also took some photos of the Poppy and Cornflower and Corn Marigold patches MCT has established.

It has been near drought conditions in York for the past few weeks, but we have been managing to keep the poppy, cornflower and corn marigold patches watered.  Malcolm was rewarded for his efforts by the first poppy flower on May 25th and the sight of several more buds.

The combined impact of social distancing and drought on Matfield over recent weeks has not done a lot for our lovely green path verges!

The Field-work co-ordinator was delighted to get caught in a shower of rain while doing some urgently needed trimming of the rambler rose overhanging the notice board at the Nelsons Lane end.  It reminded him to print some more recruitment leaflets.

A bit more on May 23rd!

An unfortunate impact of the lack of Green Bin collections due to the Corona Virus has been the amount of garden waste being dumped in the Mayfields Compost area.  This will be a bit more difficult to manage while MCT is unable to have group volunteer sessions.

The Field-work Co-ordinator has been using short exercise sessions on the site observing appropriate social distancing.  It has allowed some mowing of verges and strimming alongside Nelsons Lane in Late April, and selective strimming around trees and bluebell clumps.  Social distancing by the public has generally been excellent.

On May 1st Malcolm was delighted to see numerous Yellow Rattle seedling emerging in the area established in December 2019 as part of a Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward Grant from CYC.

MCT Activities in March & April 2020

Not much happening on the site at present in early April because of Corona restrictions, but we are managing to raise a few wild flower plug plants while in isolation, looking forward to better times.  Meanwhile  Keith has wedged the gate open at Nelsons Lane so anyone taking gentle and well spaced exercise can pass through without touching the lever or catch.

We cannot have volunteer group sessions until further notice because of the Corona virus regulations,  but Pam Brown kindly used her short and well-spaced exercise walk on Mayfields on the 29th March to take some excellent photographs in the bluebell dell area.

Cowslips planted by MCT starting to flower again

The Native English daffodils planted in the green in clumps alongside Nelsons Lane are looking particularly good this year.  One group, now in its 3rd year, is shown below.

A pleasant day on Sunday March 8th for work behind Hobmoor Terrace houses.  We also spread 6 bags of gravel on muddy parts of the path behind Goodwood Grove houses.

We took advantage of the lovely sunny weather on 5th March for a litter picking session.  As well as the usual sweet and crisp wrappers several plastic bags had blown in over recent storms and MIke managed to dig out a dumped broken child’s scooter.

It was good to see the 4 clumps of wild daffodils planted in the green by MCT last year starting to flower again by the Nelsons Lane notice board.

Mike and Malcolm also did some more restoration work on the path edges, raking off mud from the recent storms and spreading a thin layer of gravel.  We have a bit of a problem with cyclists going over the verges and transferring mud onto the main path!

Great to see the first of our Wild English Daffodils starting to flower beside Nelsons Lane on March 1st, a perfect start to Spring!  We were actually out working on the path, recycling some turfs dumped on the site to restore the main path edges at the Little Hob Moor end.  We hope this will reduce the number of thoughtless cyclists who go over the verge to avoid shallow puddles.

Well done James!

MCT Activities in January & February 2020

We were out on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 26) scraping the worst of the mud and twigs off of the path near Little Hob Moor  and marking out the path edges with logs, ready to spread a layer of gravel (hopefully on Thursday).

James and Malcolm had a useful day on Sunday 23rd February.  Between showers they started to remove mud and a lot of twiggy material off from the main path.  A lot of this material was the aftermath of storms Ciara and Dennis.

After adding 8 bags of pea gravel as a top dressing there was a considerable improvement.

We have started planting out Poppy, Cornflower, Scabious and White Campion plug plants in and around the meadow.  These were  grown by MCT over winter and hardened off to improve biodiversity in accordance with our Management plan agreed with CYC.

A well-rooted Scabious plug.

Great to have Chloe helping improve the Poppy patch that she helped set up in 2019.

Nice to see the Blackthorns MCT added 3 years ago coming into flower again on February 18th 2020.  We try to have something in flower all through the year for pollinators.

A very successful AGM on Feb 3rd 2020 with 21 attending (and 13 apologies!).  We got 2 new members, pushing our total up to 76.

At the end of January 2020 we are starting to add more shrubs to start screening off the red brick wall extension beside the back path at the N.W. end of the site.  The photo below shows Mike Ridealgh after he had helped Malcolm plant the first of the new trees and shrubs.

This one had been grown on for a year to give it a larger root ball to help it establish more quickly in the heavy clay soil in this area of the site.

It was good to see the snowdrops doing well beside the path on Sunday 19th January.

Cold but sunny on 19th and 20th January.  Good conditions for Malcolm, Adam, Tim and Louise to remove (for safety reasons) a large, dead branch of a willow overhanging the path near Little Hob Moor.  On Monday we also cleaned some graffiti from the back of the information board and rescued a beech tree planted a couple of years ago which had got smothered by bindweed last year.

  Adam using the pole saw at full extension

The rescued beech tree with a new stake fitted.

On January 10th Malcolm & Louise took advantage of the sunshine to fit the new top to the vandalized bench beside the path.

We hope you enjoy our efforts to beautify Mayfields North of Nelsons Lane for both the public and wildlife management.  Annual subscriptions (still only £5) are now due for renewal for 2020 and can be mailed to the MCT Secretary, Louise Cresser, at 30 Goodwood Grove, Dringhouses YO24 1ER.  You can copy the membership form from the Membership page on this web site into Word, or simply provide the appropriate details on plain paper with your payment.

Not much happening on the site in the first week as we have been working on restoring the damaged bench.  A useful job to do in the conservatory we also use for growing wildflower plug plants.  Many thanks to Paul and Lesley for help with bench repairs and to Tony and Frances for a very generous donation towards the bench restoration costs.  It really boosts motivation when people tell us how much they enjoy our  efforts to keep Mayfields beautiful.

A Happy New Year to all.  We were out on January 1st checking possible ways to restore the burned out bench, and also because we had been notified about a dangerous heavy branch that had snapped off and was hanging over the path near Little Hob Moor.  Malcolm managed to pull it down and break it up for removal,  It had been attacked by bracket fungus and was very brittle so we will need to check the rest of the parent tree.

MCT Activities in November & December 2019

Upsetting to find on Decembr 29th that someone had set fire to one of the 2 benches that MCT had installed on the site in earlier years.  They cost over £400 each when new so we will investigate if restoration is possible.

Encouraging to see the primroses starting to flower in mid December’

Heavy morning frost on 1st December 2019 so Malcolm and James concentrated on potting on assorted wildflower seedlings that will be hardened off and planted out next year.

In the afternoon we prepared some strips for establishing Yellow Rattle from seed.  Hopefully the seedlings will appear early in Spring next year.

Beautiful day on Sunday 10th Nov. for Malcolm, Adam, Holly and Louise to do more leaf clearing, mowing beside Nelsons Lane and planting more wild Foxgloves.

Our volunteers are busy with the usual late Autumn/early winter activities.  These include finishing mowing the meadow and removing trimmed material, clearing fallen leaves from paths before they produce mud and pruning overgrown and/or mis-shapen trees.

We keep path overhang under control to reduce litter fall and keep the path lighter.

Before (above) and after (below clearing leaves.