Welcome everyone to the meeting and thanks all for attending.
Actions from last meeting
- Andy investigating T-Shirts and hoodies for volunteers with Grozone logo on.
- Tarpaulins still need to be put up over the forest school area.
- Sponsored walk: will now be included in the Love My River programme. Date and exact route to be organised by Pete and Andy.
- Work continuing steadily on the wheelchair ramp for the toilets, posts are now cut to height and work has started on the kick boards - we aim to be finished by Christmas. Regular work will need to be done to keep it from getting slippery. Scrubbing and mopping algae off the boards will become a regular job.
- Lots of leaf raking has taken place, with lots more still to come!
- Volunteers have embraced getting the site ready for the upcoming toddler sessions and have been making a mud kitchen, mending two sheds, putting up a swing and generally tidying up and making Grozone more toddler friendly.
- We all appreciate the regular routines volunteers have got into regarding the completion of day to day tasks, such as watering, leaf raking and kindling preparation.
- BJ has created a new growing bed in the ‘zone of tranquilty’.
- Arts and crafts have been rife with Rachel weaving an incredible bean picking basket and a spiders web (complete with spider), and Percy weaving planters.
- The stream is being cleared of overgrown vegetation to ensure it flows smoothly in the winter months.
- More seed collection and sorting has been taking place. We are working to get that finished now so the seeds can be stored in the dry. In the early spring we are planning to put together “Grozone Wild Flower Mixes” with the seeds we have collected.
- Thanks, as always, to everyone for all your hard work and enthusiasm.
- Tree Pruning.
- More work at the Groundwork office to do, clearing, cutting back and eventually working on preparing a raised salad bed for the office staff to enjoy fresh greens in the summer.
- Work on the Grozone pond.
- Preparing the ground and then planting the Forest Garden, when the trees arrive.
- Grozone Open Day. The event wasn’t as well attended as we’d originally hoped, but it has fired up lots of interest in the project and lots of discussions have been opened up with local partners.
- Workshop Programme. Still no attendance, despite increased Facebook campaign.
- Roots to Wellbeing Practical Horticulture Award. Beginning on the 16th of November (approx. 9.30am-4pm) and running on Wednesdays for 10 weeks. First block of ten weeks will focus on trees. If any Grozone Volunteers want to join they are welcome, but must ensure that they can attend the full ten weeks. Qualification on completion is “City and Guilds Award in Practical Horticulture.” It is organised by the Work Zone, but run by Pete at Grozone. You must be 19 or over, out of work and live in Cheshire West.
- Tytherington School, Macclesfield. The school has received Tesco Bags of Help funding. A group from the school came to Grozone to see what we had in the garden that they might be able to apply to their school, enjoy the space and eat pizza. The school will pay Grozone to create a school garden and outdoor classroom, this will take place on Fridays for 6 months. In association with Jon, from Project Up.
- Brightlife Project Working with Rudheath and Witton together, to help older people become less isolated. They will attend Grozone to do gardening and we will do some outreach work in the community. Look out for the double decker bus!
- Love My River. This is a project that is funded by the Environment Agency all over the North West. The project will involve volunteers helping to survey parts of the river Dane and the river Weaver, identifying pollution hot spots and spotting and recording wildlife. This will result in regular volunteer sessions going out to the rivers on a Grozone day to walk the river banks, network with river users and do some citizen science (e.g. take water samples). This is all part of the Water Framework Directive, to get a better understanding of our rivers and their condition, and address issues of non-native species invading the rivers, what is put down peoples’ drains and getting engaged with local anglers. We will also work to improve access to rivers and improve the local habitats and extend this activity into the local community.
- Discussed changing the timetable to have music and environmental arts on the same day, every other Tuesday, to alternate with the cooking sessions.
- Talk of creating a separate Friends of Grozone group to be able to access other pots of funding that Groundwork can’t and make a step towards Grozone being more volunteer led.
- Discussed the possibility of closing on Saturdays – the main reasons to close on a Saturday are low attendance and low productivity. We are open on a Saturday to enable those who can’t come during the week to access the garden, but we haven’t really inspired any new people to come at the weekend. Closing on Saturdays would allow Pete (and to some extent Caroline) extra time to run all the new projects in the week. To be discussed further at a later date due to some strong volunteer opposition/concerns.
Tuesday 6th December 1.30pm (change of day due to the Roots to Wellbeing sessions that will be running on Wednesdays from November).