Hello and welcome to this first blog update of 2015 about what we’ve been up to here at the Tree Life Centre. It’s been a very busy start to the year with the centre redevelopments really taking pace and plenty of work offsite too, not to mention everything else around the site the volunteers have been doing…I just hope I can remember it all!
If you’re a regular reader you will know we were awarded funding to improve the centre, creating a more public friendly experience including an educational element. Over the course of a week this month a path was laid around the public area to help improve access for pushchairs and wheelchairs as the old woodchip walkways can get very boggy and inaccessible when it rains! The path will form a woodland trail over time as it weaves around our existing trees, giving visitors an insight into native species and the work we do at the centre. The new path’s position and layout has resulted in the volunteers having to drastically rearrange the public area, including moving the sandpit as mentioned in previous blogs, shifting a few hundred trees and re-homing them and demolishing the beds they were in. The area around the path has now also been planted with trees and the seeds have been sown for the wildflowers that are going into the glade areas. Hopefully come spring time when everything is growing again everyone will be able to appreciate all their hard work more as colour arrives to the area! Due to the re-homing of trees we have started to reorganise all the other beds around the site but as you can imagine this is no easy task!
Another part of the redevelopment is increasing the working area in the green woodwork area by erecting a larger shelter. This past month so far has seen the area cleared and the frame put up after battling with the soggy clay in the area with the final strut and roof hopefully put on soon. The aim is to host woodworking workshops, so keep your eyes peeled in the future for these events.
As part of our joining forces with the Bristol conservation team we are now open for volunteering on a Friday! The structure to the week is Monday to Wednesday we are at the Tree Life Centre then Thursday and Friday we are either at the centre or off site doing active Conservation work. If you would like to come down and join in then either pay us a visit Monday to Wednesday or contact us and see where and what we are doing on Thursday and Friday. This past month our off site activities have included planting 500 trees at Weston’s Way, Kingswood with a local Muslim community group and a primary school; hedge laying at Leap Valley, Downend, and path construction at a public space in Stoke Gifford.
Finally, don’t forget February is realistically your last chance to plant bare rooted trees (well, until it starts to get warmer out there anyway!) and you can buy various native varieties of trees and hedgerow plants from us, along with apple trees. All our trees on site have been grown organically and cared for by our volunteers through locally sourced cuttings and seeds, you can even come to the centre and select the trees, so why not pop by and see what we have to offer!
We are currently in the final process of finalising an apple grafting workshop for the beginning of March, probably Friday 6th, so keep a lookout for an announcement if you are interested with all the details.