Previous Tasks‎ > ‎

January to June 2000

JANUARY

Sunday 9th

Mile and a quarter footpath, Whitewebbs Park (9)

This was the first task of the new millennium. Nine people had recovered enough from their celebrations to venture out on a sunny day in Whitewebbs Park. This is an ongoing project for ECV. The embankment of the New River (Old Course) has lots of cowslips that will grow and flower if given enough daylight. Regular coppicing and shrub clearance is necessary to keep the light level up at ground level. The Hawthorn bushes that grow here in abundance can be cut back to ground level. They will regrow again into healthy shrubs again and it is quite possible they could be here many decades to come. A few coppiced trees here may even make it through to the next millennium celebrations. A good start to the New Year with a whole new programme of tasks to look forward to.

John Mayo

Sunday 23rd

Pymmes Park (10)

In January 1999, ECV made its first visit to the island in the lake in Pymmes Park and now they returned to continue with the habitat improvement. The ten volunteers, including one new member, were split into teams performing different tasks.
The dead hedge which had been made last year had given protection to the bluebells and whips, which appeared to be thriving, but now it was necessary to extend it, repair it and raise its height. This would restrict the access for trampling geese and ducks and permit further regrowth. One group cut down invasive sycamore, while another recycled the material as stakes and weave for the dead hedge. In the overgrown conditions on the island several dead saplings had fallen part way but snagged on other trees. These were pulled down and sawn up to be put on habitat piles. Finally some hawthorn whips were planted to increase the wildlife diversity on the island.
As the volunteers ferried themselves back to the mainland, they could be pleased with the progress that had been made on this continuing project.

Steve Mathieson

FEBRUARY

Sunday 6th

Gough Park (7)

Following on from our visit to Gough Park on 24th October last year, 7 of us spent a useful and enjoyable day coppicing some of the hazel that we were unable to get around to last time.
With Alan Johnson’s Hedgerow Management Course due to take place on 25th March, suitable material was cut and set aside for use as stakes or heathers for the hedge laying section of the course.
Waste not, want not is our motto!!

Bob Phillips

Sunday 20th

Forty Hall Park (9)

Today we returned for a third visit to the pond that we visited a year ago. The platforms created by the Rangers and us were still standing strong, so we concentrated on creating a living willow hedge around one side of the pond. We made this by cutting willow saplings or offshoots of more mature willows and inserting them into the ground to form interlocking hoops. These were then tied together with more willow off-cuts to make it strong until it has grown, which it will quite quickly since willow easily roots, especially in the wet ground we were putting it in. Eventually these willow hoops will grow vertical branches, which at another visit we will curve down again to create yet more hoops, so making the hedge thicker and stronger.
Whilst we were there we also tidied up around the pond, cutting back overhanging branches and removing litter. All told, we had 8 volunteers plus a Ranger guiding and assisting us.

Robin Herbert

MARCH

Sunday 5th

Whitewebbs

With the demise of elm trees due to Dutch elm disease, we are often left with regrowth from the stumps that are unhealthy and need to be removed. The site can then be replanted with other species such as hazel, which will not be troubled by the elm bark beetle.

Sunday 19th

Trent Park (7)

Sunday 19th March saw Enfield Conservation Volunteers back in the Nature Trail woodland in Trent Country Park. The object of our visit was two-fold. Firstly, to enlarge the lower kissing gate to allow access to children’s buggies and the wheelchairs of people with special needs, and secondly (and perhaps more important), to deal with the sea of mud which had rendered the kissing gate and adjoining footpath impassable to anyone without waterproof footwear.
There were 7 of us involved and between us we quickly dug out the triangular ‘A’ frame of the kissing gate, laid down shuttering either side of the path, and in between spread two complete trailer loads of hogging. This when wet should set like concrete.
To round off the day, we replaced three of the rails that had been forcibly removed from the section of fence next to the kissing gate.
It was hard work but we all enjoyed ourselves and that, after all is what ECV is all about.

Bob Phillips

APRIL

Sunday 2nd

Trent Park (10)

For our second visit this year to the Nature Trail woodland in Trent Country Park we had a somewhat larger than normal team of 10 volunteers. However, because this happened also to be Mothering Sunday, our numbers fell sharply around lunchtime and by the afternoon there were only 4 of us left.
Nevertheless, we managed to affix some 200 meters of stock fencing to the existing post and rail fence, thereby completing the whole of the side nearest the Visitor Centre, right down to the lower kissing gate.
With any luck, the Millennium Year could well see the end of this 5-year fencing programme and the long awaited enclosure of the Nature Trail woodland.

Bob Phillips

Sunday 16th

Houndsden Spinney (8)

This Sunday we re-visited Houndsden Spinney near Grange Park to continue building a boardwalk started a while ago. The boardwalk is covering a footpath used by local residents for recreational (and dog) walking in this small green space. Since the spinney is in a sheltered area as well as being very low, it tends to get very wet, making footpaths impassable at times. With the addition of a boardwalk, people can still walk through the spinney without destroying the surrounding vegetation. Today’s task about doubled the already existing 30 metres of boardwalk. During this task we also cleared back surrounding vegetation that was threatening to overgrow the boardwalk. Today’s attendance was 8 volunteers.

Robin Herbert

Sunday 30th

Trent Park Nature Reserve (5 +4)

On a very wet day 5 ECV volunteers were assisted by 4 members of Greenwork to install a 5-bar gate at the University end of the path. The young Greenwork team led by a member of ECV set up a carpentry shop under the shelter of the trees. They drilled holes and fitted the hinges and closing mechanism to the posts and gate. Cross members of wood were also cut and nailed to the support posts to prevent them moving when in position. The youngsters quickly completed this work and spent some time watching the ECV volunteers working in the rain from their shelter.
The remaining 4 ECV members had begun the task of digging the holes for the gateposts. Because of the rain, this took longer than anticipated. However eventually two large and very deep holes were ready to receive the posts. Once upright, everyone helped to backfill the soil around the posts and firm them in. Then came the moment to hang the gate. A couple of minor adjustments to the hinge mechanism, some levelling of the earth on the path and the latest 5-bar gate in the Trent Park Nature Reserve was operational.
This was the second joint task that ECV have undertaken with the Greenwork team this year and we hope they enjoyed the experience, if not the weather!

Judy Mayo

MAY

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th

Town Park (5)

Walkers who have ventured along the path beside the New River Loop recently would have noticed major works going on. The London Borough of Enfield is restoring the banks, river and footpath, with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A two-day task was carried out on the section of the Loop between Carrs basin and edge of Bush Hill golf course. Before the work started on the Loop our midweek colleagues Groundforce removed reeds and Irises and placed them temporarily in Carrs basin to protect them from damage. The weekend task was to lift the plants and replace them back into their permanent location. The contractors carrying out the main work had been instructed to create a soft bank on this section rather than the hard timber revetment that had been used on the rest of the river. They had achieved this by installing gabion baskets on the line of the bank and then filled them with soil at a depth that would place the baskets partially in the water.
Five members turned out on Saturday and eight members on Sunday. ECV’s task was to place the reeds and irises into the gabion baskets. A Heron was sitting on the new bank and watched us for a while with interest. Were we making it easier to catch fish? To stop the soil floating away into the water a heavy-duty hessian cloth had been laid over the top. The hessian had to be cut to find the mesh. Then a version of microsurgery using adapted tools and fingers were used to remove the soil from the mesh-holes. The plants were then placed into the holes and the soil replaced around them and watered in. A very hot Saturday and a slightly cooler Sunday made for a relaxing if somewhat slow task of replanting the irises and reeds. The end result was a green bank of irises that hopefully will grow into the remaining spaces of the mesh baskets.

John Mayo

Sunday 28th

Whitewebbs

Due to heavy rain, it was too dangerous to clear the aqueduct, so this task will have to be left until a later date.

JUNE

Sunday 11th

Hillyfields (8)

The small Yellow Meadow Ant requires light at ground level, hence the need to keep the undergrowth cut back. Eight volunteers, including a new recruit, ventured out to tackle the silver birch and oak, but a return visit will be required to cut back more of the trees.

Sunday 25th

Forty Hall - dismantling the Battle of Forty Hall Bridge (6)

About seven years ago ECV was asked to put in a temporary footbridge over Turkey Brook to last three days whilst a show was on in the Park. The bridge had survived floods and vandalism. However, because the bridge laid low above the water and caused logjams during flood conditions, the Environment Agency asked for the bridge to be removed. Six members turned out to dismantle the bridge. It soon became clear that even though it was built as a temporary structure the original workmanship was not of a temporary nature.
A concentrated effort of removing screws and bolts allowed for the handrails to be removed. Where possible any materials considered being reusable were loaded onto the London Borough of Enfield landrover to be taken away and stored. Then the removal of the decking was started. With nine nails to each piece of decking, lots of nails had to be removed. All that was left were six very long pine trees that formed the base of the bridge. After a brief reflection of the effort that had gone into positioning the trees in the first place the task of cutting them up took place. Cut up into six-foot lengths these will be reused as log edging for future path construction. With the site cleared a slightly sad but successful task had been carried out.

John Mayo