We’ve done so well and made such progress, but now we need another £10,000 to finish the job and make Brewery Field truly a place that everyone can enjoy.
First, we need to complete 2 sections of the gravel path to connect with the circular path; one from the Elms Close entrance and the other from the decking under the rain/sun shelter adjacent to the pond. This will enable the less mobile among us to enjoy all areas of the site. We need around £2,500 to complete these 2 sections.
Secondly, we want to bring drinking water on site, so that visitors can fill their reusable bottles and to help keep Brewery Field plastics free into the future. Cambridge water have quoted just under £5,000 to connect the field to the mains, but we need another £1,500 to lay the pipes on site.
We are applying for funding for these 2 jobs, but if you could get friends to join as members and do all your shopping on line using the easyfundraising links, we could raise quite a lot ourselves. Please don’t underestimate the importance of these small ways to add to our coffers. Please ask your friends to sign up and always shop on line using our link! Thank you.
Today the orchard trees arrived and with the help of a few very determined volunteers, we managed to get them planted just as the sun was setting. We put in apples, pears, gages and plums, some of them of a really good size, so it shouldn’t be too long until Duxford has its own apple days.
The remaining planting will take place in the coming weeks and is mainly small bare rooted saplings that will go in around the mound and some plants for the nectar garden. We will put out another call for volunteers and try to make it on a weekend this time.
The Swale (the dip next to the pond) has been lined with plastic and will hopefully be topped up in the coming weeks to cover the edges of the liner. This will create a wet/dry area which should attract some interesting flora.
Today we saw a whole troupe of peewits, heard our large flock of sparrows and saw signs of a hedgehog! As we add to the planting, we will attract more and more wildlife and the Chair of the Cambs & Essex Branch of Butterfly Conservation is advising us on how to attract as many different butterflies as possible.
It’s been a busy few weeks and we managed to get most of the free trees planted on Tuesday 19th November, with the help of a determined group of volunteers – thanks so much to all of you!
There are 100 free trees in this bag!
Free box plants on the nectar garden
Hard at work planting
A good day’s work!
We have a some alder and hornbeam remaining and these will go in on either Brewery Field or elsewhere around the village – if you know a good spot for a tree, let us know!
Thanks to a generous neighbour in Trumpington, we were given a number of free box plants that were quickly transplanted into the nectar garden.
The children at the school planted trees during their Well-being Day on 29th November. Many thanks to the school Head, to our 3 experts Emma, Sarah and Ashley for leading the activities, and of course to all the junior Eco-warriers – hopefully your trees will thrive and grow as you do!
On Monday 2nd December, the bigger trees arrived from our supplier. We were lucky enough to have volunteers from local company SMT and with their help and Sarah’s direction, we got all the large trees planted. It was a beautiful but chilly morning, but digging the holes warmed us up in no time! What a difference these trees make to the look of the field! Thanks so much to SMT and to everyone who generously gave their time and very strenuous effort!
The trees have landed!
Doing our bit on tree planting week
Our hardworking SMT volunteers
It’s not easy getting the stakes in!
Some of the team
View with some of the newly planted trees
Over the day, we were lucky enough to be watched over by a pair of red kites, to be entertained by an ice-skating pied wagtail on the pond, and to hear a concert from a large and very vocal group of sparrows. At the end of the day there was a troupe of long-tailed tits feeding and making their way along the hedgerow bordering Hunts road – Brewery Field is already a wildlife paradise!
Our next planting day is Wednesday 4th December, when we will be planting the bare root shrubs and plants including the hazels. Bare root plants have to go in as soon as possible to give them the best chance of survival, but we may have some left to plant at the weekend (7/8 December), so if you are interested and can help, click the contact us tab, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
First off, apologies for the lack of progress reports recently. When almost complete, work on the structure came to a halt in October, due partly to lack of funds but also to the inclement weather. The much-needed rain wet the mound so much that we could not safely bring a digger onto it to shape it, so this will be done as soon as weather allows.
The pond will remain within its temporary orange fencing, until either the plants have grown up around it, or a more permanent solution can be financed. However, the connecting path between the gravel path and the rainwater harvesting shelter will soon be added, as will a safety barrier to the dipping deck.
We have 100 bare root trees (small whips) arriving on the 18th November, and will be looking for some willing hands with a spade to plant these during that week. No digging of large holes will be needed, just a slot within which the whip is placed and closed up. Do get in touch (email email@example.com) or check the Facebook page (Duxfordgreen) for when we will be on site if you have a spade and can help.
Bigger trees and shrubs have been ordered and will arrive in early December and will be planted the same week. There are also 6 more memorial trees that will be planted in the coming weeks.
Some excellent news that is not Brewery Field related – our young naturalist who put the bat boxes up on the Biggen has confirmed that they are definitely being used and also that there are definite signs of otter on site. She is going to install a wildlife camera and report back – very exciting!
The entrances are done and look great – we will shortly adjust the gates so that they don’t open outwards and will plant some more hedging.
We’ll also add a post at the Elms Close end – at the moment there remains a big gap next to the gate. Sadly, we haven’t been able to connect the Elms Close corner footpath to this entrance, as there was a risk of de-stabilising the adjacent telegraph pole and fencing. We hope to do this in the future.
If you are wondering why the maintenance vehicle entrance gate isn’t set back into the field, this was a specific instruction from Highways, who said there must be no possibility that the space will be used by school traffic.
The vehicle entrance will remain secured, with keys held only by the appointed contractors and Duxford Parish Council. Additional hedging will be planted where there are gaps.
The spoils from the digging out have been moved to the area of the proposed habitat mound.
Construction of paths and further landscaping will only commence towards the end of July, so although there are now safer entrances onto the field, please note that there will be no connecting paths for a while yet.
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Finally! We have had the nod from Highways that the construction of the entrances can begin, and our appointed construction company has confirmed that these should be completed by the end of April/ first week in May.
In early March, the Brewery Field working party held the first project planning meeting with the designer and the landscaper, to agree a schedule for the works.
As soon as Highways give the go-ahead to construct the entrances on to the field, work will begin to create a secure maintenance vehicle entrance, one fully accessible pedestrian entrance and one pedestrian entrance. These will be completed before the Spring IWM airshow (25/26 May).
Our appointed landscaper, local company Hortiservices, will begin work on the interior structure of the site only after the Summer IWM airshow (13/14 July), ensuring that the site is ready for planting in the Autumn, the optimum season.
Although work is likely to be in full swing, we will endeavour to ensure that at least part of the field is accessible to the village over the weekend of the Autumn IWM airshow (21/22 September).
Exciting news! The Parish Council heard last week that they have been successful in their application to Amey for a grant of £50,000 to transform Brewery Field into the magical place that the whole community can enjoy – now we have the promise of funding, we can really get going.
The deadline for completion of the project is end of April 2020 so it’s all systems go.
SCDC Planning have now discharged the conditions that DPC is required to meet prior to beginning work – we are now waiting for the approval for the works on the highway and then we will instruct the contractor to go ahead with the construction of the vehicle entrance so that work on the site can begin.
DPC has this month agreed to pay invoices for the Brewery Field works that Amey have offered to fund, as detailed in the Amey grant offer letter, on the condition that these will be repaid in full to DPC as soon as the Amey grant is made. We need to do this because although DPC has been successful in its application for £50,000, the grant is payable in arrears, only after work is complete.
Don’t forget our easyfundraising page, where you can raise free donations by shopping on line with over 3000 major retailers. Please consider using this for your on-line shopping – we could raise considerable funds this way.
With just a few people using it, we have already raised over £150 – imagine if everyone in the village used it for their online shopping how much money we could raise for e.g. some extra special woodcraft, sculpture, or art installations – your ideas are invited!
It’s easy and costs nothing – simply follow the link below: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/duxfordgreen/
The Amey Community Fund awards grants to support community, environmental and heritage projects run by non-profit organisations based in Cambridgeshire, within 10 miles of a landfill site. The fund is managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and is part of a voluntary environmental tax credit scheme called the Landfill Communities Fund. For more information please visit www.cambscf.org.uk/amey-community-fund.html