Volunteering - Filham Park Scrub Cut

21

October 2021

Lou and I were joined today by five volunteers,  for two of them it was their first time volunteering with the Parks team at Ivybridge Town Council. 

In just a few hours we had cleared a large area of the scrub and opened up the understory of the willow and hazel thicket running along the access track leading to Filham Park. Removing dense scrub allows light into the understory of the trees, all the trees will regrow and will benefit from being coppiced. The cut material was put back into the undergrowth as habitat piles.

On Saturday 30th October, Devon Rural Skill Trust will be running a hedge laying day along this access track, laying the hedge on the allotment side. When laying a hedge the process creates a lot of arising, another reason to cut back the scrub we did today is to create space to lay these brash arising into.

We have a couple of Wildflower meadow creation days next week, on Tuesday at MacAndrews Field and Thursday at Filham Park. These tasks are open to all ages. If you’d like to talk about today’s task, or getting involved with future tasks, then please don’t hesitate to contact me at andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk

Volunteering - Holman Way Meadow Maintenance

14

October 2021

After a week’s break we resumed our autumn volunteer programme with meadow maintenance at Holman Way. This small site, until two years ago, had been cut on a regular basis and been kept as short mown grass. Just before the first lockdown Lou and I planted approx. a dozen small trees, known as whips. Last Thursday we returned to the site to see how these trees are doing. With the help of three volunteers, we checked all the trees, replaced any missing tree guards and installed better ones for the larger trees. The long grass was removed from around the base of each tree, 50 wild native daffodil bulbs were planted, plus we cut back the shrubs that have started to spread into the meadow. We cut most of the long grass and installed a new metal perch bench. The plan will be to return in a month to cut the rest of the meadow and carry out some wildflower seeding and seed bombs.

Next week is half term and we plan to rotovate areas at MacAndrews field and Filham Park. These areas will need to be raked off so then we can seed with more wildflowers.

If you’d like to join in either and/or both tasks next week and need more information, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Andrew Price, Park Ranger andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk

Volunteering - St Peter's Way and Filham Park Green Hay Cut

30

September 2021

Lou and I were joined by 4 volunteers who helped us carry out our first meadow cut of St Peter’s Way, a meadow which the community helped create back in April this year. We have extended the meadow slightly using the hay cut today. The rest of the green hay was removed and taken to Filham Park. At Filham we also carried out a cut and rake of the meadows we started in April, adding to the seed we sowed earlier in the year. As some seeds need a frost, we should see an increase in plant bio-diversity next spring. We also found a couple of frogs in the long grass, showing the importance of leaving more space for nature and that it really works.

The cutting and collecting of green hay is an excellent way to increase a wildflower meadow without having to buy any additional seed. When cutting the hay, we use a brush cutter, so rather than smashing with a strimmer or a mower, the meadow can be cut and collected in a more traditional way. Spreading the hay, which is still rich in seeds, over the meadows at St Peter’s Way and Filham Park will allow this seed to disperse as the hay dries out. In a couple of week we will return and rake off the green hay, as we only want the seed and not the nutrient enrichment from the grass.

Unfortunately we have no volunteering next week, but we will be back with bulb planting and wildflower meadow management on the 14th October, site to be confirmed.

Andrew – Parks Ranger

Volunteering - Orchid Avenue and Filham Park

02

September 2021

Over the last three weeks the local volunteers have been working with the Parks team on a couple of our sites.  

Orchid Avenue is a small site that has become a wildlife haven in the town. Surrounded by houses it provides a great refuge within a built up area. The site has a couple of orchard apple trees, plum trees and blackthorn trees, so a great place to forage for some fruit or sloes.  We have spent a couple of volunteering days improving access and carrying out the annual wildflower meadow cut at this site.

Last week we returned to Filham Park to start this year’s hedge cutting. We don’t want to cut it all in one go, as this allows a better habitat for nature. This week we focused on opening up all the bench viewing points and cut around the bridleway section.

Both these sites have benefited from volunteering over the last few years, and it’s only been possible to complete this work with the help of our volunteers. It’s a great way to meet local people, and enjoy the outdoors, so if you have any questions about volunteering with myself and the parks team on Ivybridge Town Council sites, then please email me at andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk

Filham Park Bio-blitz

12

August 2021

Ivybridge Town Council’s first ever Bio-blitz event was held at Filham Park on 12th August. The main focus of the event was to engage the local community with nature, helping to connect our local community with our natural spaces and also carrying out some citizen science. We started the Bio-blitz the evening before with the invaluable help of the Devon Moths Group (www.devonmoths.org.uk). I joined three of their members setting out 4 moth traps the night before the event, 3 traps from the Devon Moth Group and 1 as part of the Moth to a Flame art event. After a night of collecting moths for the reveal at 8am, we were able to identify 74 different species of moth. The Moth Reveal was also a great success, with a number of people getting up early to see the moths and talk to Dave and Karen from the Moths Group.

During the day, in spite of the rain, we had a number of popular activities including pond dipping and nature identify walks. The walks involved looking at trees, butterflies, birds and a bee talk. Many thanks to our experts, all of whom volunteered their time for free. Thanks to Alan, Richard, Tony, Kim and Michael for leading these walk and talks and giving up your time for the local community.

The Moth to a Flame activity proved very popular (www.mothstoaflame.art). Nearly 50 plastic moths cut out of milk cartons were made and are now heading to COP26 (www.ukcop26.org) as part of a larger art installation. Many thanks to Catherine for taking so much time and effort to run this activity and getting all the supplies together. Ivybridge Bloomers attended the event with a great number of activities, from planting, seed bombs, identity sheets and nature trail, many thanks to Shirley, Morgana and Sara. Other activities included a great story teller, leading families around the park, forest immersion and foraging walks, hedgehog awareness and a food stall selling delicious cakes, locally sourced sausages and vegan options. Many thanks to everyone involved in these activities.

We had a last minute kind offer from two local ecologists, Mel and Kate, to run our evening bat walk. We had a fantastic turnout of 70 people and we managed to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ 5 different species of bat. Everyone had a great evening, and some of the children who attended were heard to say it was so much better than sitting in front of the tv all night!

I’ve not been able to make a final list of species logged for the day yet, but a rough estimate, including bats and moths is nearly 300. Including the numbers attending the bat walk we had around 300 people attend the event, so it shows that the great British weather cannot stop Ivybridge’s hardy folk getting out and enjoying nature.

Thanks you – I’ve listed some names above that helped during the day, but a special thank you to Morgana for all the time and help planning the event, to our volunteers – Clare, Mark, Hattie for planning and helping on the day, to our experts, to our activities Sara, Emma and Myrtle. Also a big thank you to Cllrs Jones, Abbott, Austin and Pringle, who made a kind donation to help run the day, Cllr Jones also kindly made a donation for the Ring and Ride. Thank you to Ring and Ride for providing the bus service and Ivybridge Cricket Club, for supporting the day. Lastly, thank you to you the public for coming along and for all the Town Hall Staff for helping me plan and deliver this day. We will start planning next year’s event shortly.

Andrew – Ivybridge Town Council Parks Ranger

Volunteering - MacAndrew's Field Hedge and Meadow Cut

29

July 2021

Last Thursday myself and 6 volunteers started the annual maintenance of wildflower areas and hedges at MacAndrews Field. Cutting and clearing away the grass on the margins annually helps increase biodiversity and stops the areas becoming rank grass. We managed to clear the grass along the northern boundary and cut back some of the overgrowing vegetation, clearing around the benches and display board. All the grass and shrub cuttings are raked and removed from the area to prevent any nutrients going back into the soil, this helps to promote a wider range of plants.

Later in the year we will return to sow some wildflower seed to increase the rough edges with more colour and pollinator friendly plants. 

Next week we have the Bio-Blitz event being held at Filham Park, starting at 8am with a moth reveal then there will bevarious activities through the day, including a story teller and identification sessions. If you fancy joining us next week, 12th August, at Filham Park then please either contact me for more information or just turn up. The event will be running all day, finishing in the evening with a bat walk around the park.

Andrew Price – Parks Ranger

andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk

Volunteering - Victoria Park meadow cut

22

July 2021

For wildflower meadows to work well, the grass needs to be cut once a year. This works best after the grass has gone to seed and the flowers have finished and dropped their seeds, but before the grass has started to wilt later in the year. Cutting and removing as much of the grass as possible means we can stop most of the nutrients from returning to the soil as wildflowers grow best in nutrient poor ground.

Last week Lou and I were joined by 3 volunteers who helped cut, rake and remove the grass in two thirds of the nature area wildflower meadow. We have left some grass as cover for insects, and where plants are still in flower. We will return in a month to 6 weeks’ time to cut the rest. The volunteers also cut back the hedge, reducing it in height, making it easier to see into the nature area. Luckily the shade kept us all cool during a very hot day. 

Many thanks to Pat, Clare and Mark for all their help.

Anyone wishing to get involved in similar tasks, then please email me on andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk

Volunteering - Filham Park sign and gate installation

15

July 2021

On a very hot, dry day at Filham Park, Lou and I were joined by 3 volunteers to install a lovely oak sign, produced by Marc from Wild-Works (www.wild-work.co.uk). The sign was produced from locally sourced hardwood. Lesley Hughes, Ivybridge Town Council’s recently retired Town Clerk, organised the planting of the trees 20 years ago, the wood has now been named ‘Lesley’s Wood’. You can read more about the woods by clicking here

We also removed the broken bridleway gate on the access track from Filham House into the park, with a new self-closing gate. The old one had been vandalised and was unfortunately beyond repair. Devon Public Rights of Way kindly supplied the replacement gate.

If you would like to get involved locally, then please email me at andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk.

Lesley's Wood

15

July 2021

On Thursday evening staff and councillors attended an event in Filham Park to mark the retirement of the previous Town Clerk, Lesley Hughes. Lesley retired at the end of 2020 but due to Covid restrictions the event had to be postponed.

An area of woodland in the park has been named Lesley's Wood in appreciation the many years Lesley spent serving our Town and community. With the help of the Town Mayor, Cllr Sara Hladkij, a sign for this area was unveiled.

Lesley had provided dynamic leadership of the Council and through her efforts not only was the Town Council awarded the national honour of being named as town council of the year, but also a number of projects such as The Watermark brought to fruition through her drive and perseverance.

Lesley has also ensured those that need some extra help and support are not forgotten, providing the impetus for the Christmas dinners held at The Watermark aimed at providing a memorable day for older people who otherwise would have spent the festive period on their own. She also continues to be involved with Ivybridge Caring, and a strong supporter of sport, particularly football, within the town.

We are pleased to announce that Lesley’s replacement is Jonathan Parsons who in his role as Business Manager within the Council has been responsible for the successful management and development of The Watermark.

Volunteering - St Peter's Way Wildflowers

13

July 2021

Back in April we planted 11 trees and seeded some wildflowers into a newly rotovated area. On the day we created the wildflower meadow we had 20 people from the local community who helped rake and seed the meadow, and after that hard work we can now see the wildflowers have been very successful.

This area is great for pollinators, and will help our struggling wildlife. Later this autumn we will cut and rake the meadow before the seeds drop, then take the ‘green hay’ to another Ivybridge Town Council site and lay the hay. This is a great way to spread the wildflowers in a local area.

Please let me know if you’d like to be involved, or hear more about these types of tasks in the future, my email is andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk

Andrew – Parks Ranger

Ivybridge Community Awards

09

July 2021

THE DAVID BRITTON CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD 2021 AND THE NICK CUMMINS COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR AWARD 2021

Ivybridge Town Council is once again delighted to announce that it is seeking nominations for The David Britton Citizen of the Year Award 2021 and The Nick Cummins Community Group of the Year Award 2021.

These prestigious awards are for individuals and groups and will be given to those whom the Council feel have provided an invaluable input into the community and have made a difference through their involvement in the town. There are many unsung heroes who work away, often behind the scenes, but who are making an impact on the community.

During the Covid-19 pandemic this year we have been amazed by the number of volunteers who have selflessly given up their time to help others, and now is the time to ensure these people are recognised.

The awards are open to individuals and groups who solely volunteer within the community and as in previous years the award does cover people living outside the town although they must have provided a service valued by people in Ivybridge.

If you know of any person or group you feel deserves to be nominated please write to Ivybridge Town Council, Erme Court, Leonards Road, Ivybridge, PL21 0SZ, or email the information to lindsaylane@ivybridge.gov.uk giving full details of name/group, address and reasons why they should be put forward to receive such an award and also include your own name and address. Please provide as much information as possible as this will help the Council to make their decision.

The nominations will be considered by the Town Council at the November meeting and the winners will receive a presentation from the Town Mayor towards the end of the year.

All entries must be received by Friday 15 October 2021.

Volunteering - Longtimber Woods general path tidy

08

July 2021

Last week the volunteers and Town Council Parks staff tackled a couple of overgrown paths at Longtimber Woods. This included the pavement footpath which runs along the side of Station Road. We managed to cut back and also remove the soil building up along the edge. Once completed, the path was almost 2 foot wider in some sections. We also cleared a section of Footpath 6, which runs through the woods towards the viaduct, clearing the soil from the boardwalk and over-hanging vegetation, making the path wider and more accessible.

A great turn out of volunteers last week, having 6 people join Lou and myself meant we could tackle these two jobs. Thanks again to everyone that helped and for all the encouraging comments from members of the public passing by, these are always welcome! If you ever feel like getting involved then please email me at andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk to find out more information.

Andrew Price – Parks Ranger

Volunteering - Pound Farm Lane Path Tidy Up

01

July 2021

On a very hot day last week I was joined by 5 volunteers to help improve the access along the top end of Footpath 1, the sections from Ivydene road to Blachford road. We managed 4 hours in the heat, cutting back the overhanging trees, hedge trimming and clearing over 8 dumpy bags of soils and vegetation from the path surface. The aim is to improve access, without cutting everything back too hard, this still allows nesting bird to go undisturbed, wildflowers and insects to still flourish.

Many thanks once again to everyone helping out the local community, the volunteers did an excellent jobs. If you fancy getting involved in local volunteering tasks, then please either email me at andrewprice@ivybridge.gov.uk or call the Town Hall on 01752 893815 and I’ll get back to you.

Andrew – Ivybridge Town Council Parks Ranger.

Volunteering - Tree Planting at Filham Park

22

June 2021

During early 2021 a team of volunteers took part in a tree planting event in Filham Park. They planted 8 disease resistant elm trees to create an avenue along the path and 12 oaks were added to the existing circle of mature oak trees.

If you are interested in taking part in one of our volunteering events, please have a look at our volunteering page.

Filham Tree Planting Collage.jpg

Ivybridge Street Design Strategy

22

June 2021

Following its first issue in March 2020, Sustrans has now finalised Ivybridge Street Design Strategy. You can view it by clicking here or on PL:21’s website.

Since residents first gave their views, some significant changes have taken place locally and the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruption to people’s behaviour. The report shows that tangible progress is already being made.

Coronavirus - Town Hall Closure

19

March 2020

Town Hall Closure to Visitors - From midday Thursday 19 March until Further Notice

In an effort to limit the Covid-19 virus spreading, and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of the staff and public, the Town Hall is now closed to visitors.

In accordance with Government advice meetings at the Town Council have been suspended until further notice. More information will be posted online, via social media and noticeboards when we are able to recommence holding public meetings.

We are however endeavouring to function as normal and continue with the statutory services of the Council and remain contactable by phone on 01752 893815, or by emailing townclerk@ivybridge.gov.uk. Town Councillors’ details can also be found by visiting www.ivybridge.gov.uk listed under Council Business.

We are endeavouring to provide up to date information and respond to any queries. If your query relates to COVID-19 we will signpost you to the help you require.

Thank you for your understanding.