Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Sustainable Christmas

We have been running a series of Christmas tree planting workshops to encourage everyone to grow their own Christmas tree instead of buying and disposing of a tree each year. We use Norway Spruce, a traditional choice for Christmas tree, and recommend you plant them in a pot (unless you have a large garden) as Norway Spruce can grow 7 metres tall and 4 metres across if planted in the ground.

If you plant your tree in a large pot (at least 10-15 litres in volume) the tree will grow to approx 120cm tall. The larger the pot the larger your tree will grow. You can then choose to bring the tree inside each year to decorate for Christmas, or decorate it outside. You can care for your tree by adding organic material throughout the year, for example, seaweed, which will add nutrients to the soil in the pot.

Merry Christmas!

Andrew, Conrad & Tabby Ferguson

Monday, 14 December 2015

'Friends Of' December task

Our final task for the year was clearing cherry laurel from the site. Cherry laurel is an invasive species which grows quickly and if left uncut can block out all other plant species with its twining branches. 

Invasive species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.

The friends programme has proved popular and will continue to run on the second Saturday of each month.

The first task day of the New Year is Saturday 9th January, meeting at Oakfield Community Centre 10am (to 1pm) 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Hearty Walks - Carrickfergus Mill Ponds

Great weather and a great turn out for the first Hearty Walk which took place at Carrickfergus Mill Ponds on Sunday 6th December. 

Walk leaders Denise McVeigh, Ann Doherty & Alison Diver pictured
Walking is great for your physical and mental health and a there are additional benefits to walking in natural environments, such as parks, woods and other green spaces.  Walking in nature can have a positive effect on depression, memory, creativity and problem solving skills. 

Why not get out and celebrate winter walking?

The next Hearty Walk is on Sunday 10th January, 2.30pm-3.30pm, at Blackhead Path, Whitehead. Meeting in Blackhead Path car park.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Tree Planting and Wreath Making

Tree Week activities continued with a tree planting day in Carrickfergus Mill Ponds on Friday 4th December. Central Primary School's P1, P2, P3 & P4 classes planted a range of native tree species, including oak, hazel and rowan.

Tree Dressing Day was then celebrated on Saturday 5th December at Oakfield Community Centre, Carrickfergus. Participants collected materials including dog wood, holly and ivy, and made beautiful natural wreaths, bird feeders and decorations to dress their favourite tree.

Thanks to all who took part. Every tree counts!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Hard Working Hedge Layers

Participants learnt the ancient skill of hedge laying this Saturday (28th Nov) at Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead as part of National Tree Week. Hedge laying is the practice of partly cutting through each stem close to ground level, so the stem can be bent over without breaking and continues to grow. The stems are laid and staked into place where necessary to stabilise the hedge. This rejuvenates hedges and encourages new growth, ensuring a stock-proof boundary.

Coming up:

Tree Dressing Day
Bashfordsland Wood & Oakfield Glen Carrickfergus
 Saturday 5th December, 2pm-4pm
 Wreath making, arts and crafts, and biodiversity activities to celebrate our native trees 
Meeting at Oakfield Community Centre, Oakfield Drive