Site maintenance and Volunteer Group

Elder Stubbs Charity Allotments is quite a large site with an area of approximately 5 hectares (12 acres) which includes a wide range of habitat areas.

Volunteers make a huge contribution in helping to maintain the site. Details about volunteering can be found at the bottom of the page.

To ensure that the site is developing well and looking good there are aspects that require regular attention. These include:

The main and perimeter grass paths and lawn areas: There are about 1 kilometre of paths that require cutting during the growing season every 1 -2 weeks. We are very fortunate that members of Steppin’ Stones assist with quite a lot of this work. The rest of the main paths on the Cowley side of the site is cut using a ride on mower which also cuts a few of the larger lawn areas.

Hedges: There are about 650 meters of hedge which provide a welcome home to our local bird population. These are cut along the roadside before the festival in August and on the inside during the winter. Occasionally it is also necessary to reduce the height of the hedge to ensure that it remains manageable. Volunteers assist with ensuring that the hedge receives sufficient light and any encroaching trees and shrubs are cut back.

Woodland areas and trees: The woodland occupies about 1 acre of the site. We engage the services of tree surgeons to cut back and pollard some of our larger trees that require attention. Routinely as the woodland matures it is necessary to thin the trees. Small trees that can be cut using hand tools – pole saws and pruning saws are undertaken throughout the winter and is a task that volunteers are involved with.

Heritage Orchard: This is located on Oxford Field (Bhandari Close side of site). The apple trees are of an interesting range of varieties including some of the more unusual – Count Pendu Plat, Keswick Codlin, Pittmaston Pineapple, Lord Derby as well as the more well known Bramleys, James Grieve, Worcester Pearmain and Egremont Russet. Volunteers  enjoy participating in this worthwhile but demanding task.

Pond: This is located on the main, Cowley side of Elder Stubbs. It presents a positive contribution to our habitat range encouraging many vertebrates and invertebrates to benefit, including frogs, toads, dragonflies and numerous insect species. The ponds water level fluctuates during the year replenishing during Winter and early Spring and falling during the Summer and Autumn. It would appear to follow water table levels which falls when the woodland is in leaf and the trees taking up large volumes of water. Annual maintenance requires the trees to be maintained around the pond as well as reducing pond weed when necessary.

Osier bed: This is located on Oxford Field (Bhandari Close side of site). This needs to be cut from time to time to encourage new growth. Cut willow has been used to make various willow structures around the site.

Wildflower meadow: This is located on Oxford Field (Bhandari Close side of site). Another of our beneficial habitat areas which annually has a population of about 3-400 Fritillary blooms.

Elder Stubbs Volunteer Sessions: These take place normally on a Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9.30 – 1 pm with volunteers offering what time they have available. Their contribution is of enormous benefit in making the site look good and enhancing its environmental potential.

New volunteers are welcome to participate: Please contact Phil Creme to find out more details.

You are also welcome be included in the Volunteer Session bulletins which are E-mailed on a weekly basis outlining the main areas of work which we will be attending to.

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