Happy New Year

aptyeHappy New Year to you!

Time and nature don’t stand still and neither do we.

Members of the committee are busy preparing to join an exhibition and event by the Museum of London later this year. Others were busy planting lots and lots of bulbs over the Christmas season, including a considerable number of native bluebells at Osterley Lock. Some members of the committee are still trying to get Waitrose West Ealing and Green Redeem to release funds we were promised a considerable time ago, and we are busy finalising arrangements for the upcoming planting days detailed below. The levels of activity around watching a few tree grow can be quite astonishing, really. Here’s where you come in:

Piggeries Planting Day
Saturday 21-January, 10:00-14:00

Join us at the Piggeries. Wear sensible clothing and shoes, bring gardening gloves. A pair of secateurs or a spade might be useful. Check this website and our Twitter for last-minute changes. [map]
More about the Piggeries status below.

Brent Meadow Orchard Planting
Saturday 28-January, 10:00-13:00

Help Trees for Cities and Ealing Council plant a new community orchard in Brent Meadow alongside Uxbridge Road, opposite Ealing Hospital. See their web site for details at http://www.treesforcities.org/projects/brent-meadow-ealing/. Let them know you’re coming by registering for the event to ensure sufficient supplies of cake and refreshments: http://bit.ly/2iPa6Fw.

Osterley Lock and Elthorne Waterside Planting
Saturday 4-February, 10:00-14:00

Join us at Osterley Lock, wearing sensible clothing, keeping dogs on leash and small children under supervision as ever. Gardening gloves, watering cans or spades will all come handy. [map]

Last but not least, here’s an update on the piggeries:

The site has now been cleared, the path constructed, the fence installed. We think it looks marvellous, and people often stop and tell us the same. The pond has been excavated and tree planting locations have been identified, dug out and filled with shingles for drainage and top soil for growth.

We discovered that the site suffers from an unexpected and unusually high water table, only a foot beneath the surface. We have now decided to postpone the planting of fruit trees until the situation is understood better. We are working with local authorities and Thames Water to identify cause and solutions. Those include improving pond overflow and site drainage, diversion of water flow, slightly raised trees or identification of more suitable tree planting locations around the perimeter of the site. We are confident that the issue can be solved or worked around in a reasonable manner, it just needs a little more time and investigation.

Until then, we plan to proceed with general site preparations and planting of flower bulbs, hedging along the back wall and towpath, and seeding of a wildflower meadow.