MCT activities in July & August 2021

We decided to add another 8 bags of gravel to fill the puddle at the northern end of the main path on August 27th. We used half 20 mm and half 10 mm gravel to get a smoother surface.

We have been doing a lot of opening up the canopy at the north end of the west bund in August. This is enabling us to select the best trees and give them mores space (less competition) and apply trimmed material as a surface mulch to conserve water in drought periods and help build up soil organic matter to improve moisture retention.

Mike trimmimg back round one of the better oaks at this end.
The more open canopy.

The MCT Fieldwork Manager, Malcolm Cresser, will be making a Zoom presentation on September 23rd about how climate change influences MCT’s management of the northern section of the Mayfields Public Open Space as part of York Environment Week. Contact Malcolm if you would like to participate.

Climate change potentially poses real challenges to groups llike MCT that manage an area of public open space like Mayfields. In our management strategy it’s important to consider what is changing and what we can do about it.

In the 3rd week of August we have done quite a lot more trimming of overgrown vegetation on Mayfields North. Mostly brambles and nettles behind Hob Moor Terrace houses, but also of dead trees (often Alder and Birch drought casualties) and rambling roses on the bund.

Mike and Malcolm felling some of the dead trees and trimming seedling trees under the canopy

With Adam, James and Adam R-C to help on August 10 we were able to do more trimming alongside Nelsons Lane in the morning and, in the afternoon, lower the crown on a Silver Birch that had become too tall for where it was growing. Silver Birch are not particularly drought tolerant so it will be interesting to see if the reduction helps in this respect.

Lowered by about 5 m. Material was used to top part of the dead hedge.

Malcolm managed to trim the mix of brambles and nettles encroaching across the Highways land by Nelsons Lane on Sunday/Monday 8/9th August. Quite a long job by hand weeding and secateur use.

Good to see the concrete edge to the Highways land re-emerging again!

We had a problem with a large branch cracking on an Elder early in Auigust. It was hanging over our newly planted native shrub area. Fortunately Kathryn and Louise were available to help Malcolm remove the branch in sections and cut up for composting and transfer to a dead hedge. With care taken no shrubs were damaged.

Kathry carefully lifting first cut off section of broken branch over shrubs.
Louise and Kathryn helping cut up leafy end of broken branch for composting.

First of August already! We spent a lot of time trimming grass, re[pairing the path and starting to trim overgrown shrubs in July. The increased incidence of periods of drought means we have to remove some of the competing ground cover shrubs etc. so the trees get enough water.

After Trimming the edge to the back path, 31 July 2021

Quicker to cut down than it is to cut up to smaller bits for composting!

Trimming in progress. Material is cut up and composted on site.

Trimming dogwoods.

Malcolm, Kathryn, Lesley, Mike and Adam took advantage of days with better weather to do a lot of mowing, strimming and selective weeding on Mayfields throughout June. The grass on the meadow is taller than expected downslope this year, probably because of the weather so we have been doing some selective clipping there.

Images (from top left) show Kathryn planting Oxeye daisies {produced by Mike), Lesley Abbottt helping treat the fence wyh wood preservative, Adan Cresser helping se;ectively trim vegetation round new shrubs, Adam Cousins and his mum takink down a dead willow to make room for a young oak tree growing behind it, Kathryn and Lesley helping mow round young trees at the start of July, and primroses exposed after selective removal by Malcolm of velcro plant, nettles and ground elder in the Bluebell dell area (where they were smothering more desirable plants).