Our first Groundforce Day was a great success. 12 volunteers set to, clearing and raking the Churchyard at St. Peter’s, pruning trees, removing some thuggish weeds and saplings and making a start on some weeding.
Before winter sets in we need to finish off the basic tasks that will put the churchyard on course to be a managed conservation area as well as providing access to graves and a place to be peaceful and reflect.
So, 0n Saturday 8th October betwen 9am and 1pm, if you can spare some time to give us a hand it would be much appreciated. The main jobs are:
Mowing the churchyard and fully raking off the grass
Weeding around the church walls
Removing ivy from the churchyard walls
Tidying around graves
Tools and equipment will be supplied and refreshments will also be on hand. For more information please give me a call on 01603 754250 or email email@example.com
Hopefully we’ll have a dry day; I look forward to seeing you!
Around 150 people of all ages joined together for a celebration of the growing year at St. Peter’s Church on Sunday.
It was a glorious sunny day as the Aylsham Band played in the Tractor run from Cawston. Following a brief welcoming service in the open air (featuring some well known harvest hymns), people tucked into a range of activities as well as some scrumptious refreshments!
As well as making their own bread and butter children (and some adults) were able to make their own tractors, do some colouring in, sow broadbean seeds and search for worms in the Master Composter wormery. We also had a few interesting standing steam engines on display.
Local history displays accompanied the cakes and teas inside the Church and the churchyard looked suitably ‘spruced up’ after ‘Haveringland Groundforce Day #1’! Beautiful Quilts donated by Gisela Auckland raised £30 in a raffle which, along with other donations on the day, will go towards the upkeep of the church. The afternoon concluded with another brief service at which food stuffs were donated for a local Food Bank.
Thanks to sponsors Ben Burgess and to all who brought equipment, gave money, time and ideas towards the event!
On Saturday a group of about a dozen volunteers set about transforming the space around our local church, St. Peter’s Church, Haveringland; from a wildlife friendly, but rather dishevelled churchyard into the first stage of creating a more ‘managed’ space.
The newly established ‘Friends of Haveringland Parish Church’arranged the event following a visit from Norfolk Wildlife Trust who gave us some very helpful advice, and my own efforts at producing a Management Plan for the churchyard. The overall aims of this are to achieve a space which is a balance of:
Accessibility to recent graves
A place for reflection and calm
Prevents deterioration of the church building and grounds
Easy accessibility to the Church (and some surrounds to church?) for wheelchair users
The overall layout features:
Blocks of ‘meadow’ (major perennial weeds dug out, strimmed annually and raked off) surrounded by regularly close mown paths.
Areas of regularly close mown grass around recent graves and close to the Church; possibly including seating and ‘photo opportunity’ spaces.
Perimeter trees (firs) pruned from ground to above churchyard wall height, and an entrance avenue maintained to it’s established crown height.
Other major deciduous trees pruned to raise crowns; elders and hawthorns removed.
Regular removal of invasive ivy, grass and weeds on perimeter walls and next to church walls (drainage trench).
A few days before the event, this is what the place looked like.
Our first ‘Groundforce Day’ focused on strimming and mowing the rough grass and then raking the cuttings off to avoid fertilising the soil (so as to encourage wildflowers to thrive and spread), removing thistles, Ragwort and sapling trees from poor locations and trimming back trees along the front wall of the churchyard to open up the churchyard to the outside and to improve views out to the surrounding fields. One of our team also made a start on weeding the pebble drainage trench surrounding the church walls- a painstaking job. Here’s a layout plan that will guide our work.
We made good progress until ‘rain stopped play’ around 3pm, by which time the strimming was done, most of the cuttings had been raked away, some of the ‘weed thugs’ removed and the front row of trees trimmed to provide great views in and out of the churchyard. We also planted our sign showing we are members of the Churchyard Conservation Scheme run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Norwich Diocese…
HUGE thanks to Deborah (refreshments), Gisela, Andre (and for the cakes too), Andrew, Brian, David, Fred, Les, Neil, Norman, and Richard (and Nancy for the delicious lemon drizzle cake).
…and also thanks to Peter Richardson and Dick Rowse for the loan of two special strimmers!
Here’s to Haveringland Groundforce Day #2 (date to be confirmed, but probably mid October- watch this website)! We will finish off the weeding round the church walls and tackle the ivy on the churchyard walls.
For now, the Church looks ready for the special Harvest Festival event this Sunday, 11th September when a vintage tractor run, the Aylsham Band, children’s activities, standing steam engines, refreshments (and toilet facilities), and an informal Harvest Service (hopefully outside) will be on offer- please come and visit us from 2.30-pm to 5pm (St. Peter’s is set in fields just off of the Haveringland Road, between Cawston and Felthorpe).