Orchard Open Day

The Community Orchard Open Day, organised by the Friends of Bourne Wood, was thoroughly enjoyed by the many people who came.  There was live music from Bourne Folk Club, who play regularly at the Masons and Wishing Well, Dyke.  They played two sets of lively music – a real mix of Irish, Folk, Country and traditional tunes.  As there was plenty of sunshine people were able to sit and enjoy the music, which fitted in very well with the relaxed atmosphere of the orchard.

orchard open day
As there was plenty of sunshine people were able to sit and enjoy the music, which fitted in very well with the relaxed atmosphere of the orchard.

At lunch time all the seats were taken with people having picnics, supplemented by the delicious cakes from the cake stall and teas and coffees.

Children could try their hands at pebble painting or picture colouring, and while waiting for these to dry were able to hunt for bugs hidden around the trees!  There was also a lucky dip, and a guess my name competition.

Meanwhile, adults and children alike could investigate the craft stalls, jam stall or the plant stall.

The Friends had also picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Dean Hardy and the other musicians for their entertainment and to all our other volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.

The Friends would be keen to hear from anyone who would like to join our committee to take on administrative and fundraising roles.  Further information can be obtained from Sarah on 07760468052.

Annual Den Building Competition

It was very pleasant day for The Friends of Bourne Wood annual Den Building Competition on Sunday.

The families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken.  John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and reminded people that all of the family should fit in the den and that they should be waterproof, as a heavy shower similar to the one the day before was due to hit the wood at the time the dens were finished!

woodland den with people
The McKeigue den.

The morning session was a bit quiet with two small families battling it out, but they were equally matched and it was difficult to judge between them.  The Copeland family were crowned the winners as their den was slightly more waterproof, when the shower arrived.

In the afternoon, we had four groups, so the competition was much more difficult, with the Reid family winning.  Another family were visiting from Newark, so were able to join in the fun.

woodland den with couple in front
The Scott den.

Thanks go to John for running the event and our helpers, Shirley, Brian, Eleanor and John for helping to judge and look after those taking part.

Mini-beasts and Wild Flowers Walk

Around 25 people, adults and children,  joined entomologist Keith Porter and local botanist, Richard Jefferson for a hunt for mini beasts.

Before setting off, Keith demonstrated the use of insect nets, sweep nets and beating trays for collecting insects. We set off along the main north-south ride armed with this equipment and plenty of pots for collecting and identifying our catches.

Although butterfly numbers were down on last year’s walk, we still manged to see several species, including lots of ringlets, green-veined whites and a peacock. The silver-washed  Fritillary was again evident but no individuals  decided to settle on flowers so we were unable to see this gorgeous orange and brown butterfly close to.

We did though collect a wide range of other insects and spiders. These included  lots of soldier beetles, which has the misleading name of ‘blood sucker’, various species of hover fly, an orange ladybird which has the unusual scientific name of Halzia 16-Guttata, an oak  bush cricket, forest shield bug and a common blue damselfly.

common blue damselfly
Common blue damselfly (Dave Evans)

With regard to flowers, we enjoyed the the drifts of meadowsweet along the ride and Richard pointed out the three species of thistle –  creeping, spear and marsh – all of which are attractive to insects. The frothy creamy white flowers of meadowsweet have a sweet heavy scent and it was once used to flavour mead. We also spotted teasel coming into flower. This rather stately plant was very popular with bumble bees.

teasel bumblebees
Teasel and bumblebees (Richard Jefferson)

We also found corn mint in damp areas. The foliage has been described as smelling of a mixture of apples and ginger bread and, apparently, sprigs of this plant were once placed in corn stacks in Ireland to discourage mice!

Photographs by Dave Evans and Richard Jefferson

Easter Egg Trail

Around 70 children took part in our Easter Trail on Monday, accompanied by their parents or grandparents.  They followed a list of clues to find eggs labelled with letters, making up a Spring word, counting bunnies along the way! Once they completed that, the second quiz was a misplaced article competition – items that should not be in the wood – as expected not many people got them all correct – some items were quite hard to find!  Luckily the small prize at the end was not dependant on getting the right answers.

Three Counties Dog Rescue had a tombola and bric-a-brac stall, and there was also a craft stall and a plant stall along with a chance to have refreshments after looking for all the clues.

easter egg trail stall
Enjoying one of the many stalls.

The weather made the setting up of the event very difficult, but the afternoon turned out fairly pleasant and we are very grateful to those who supported us.

Many thanks to all those that helped make the day possible by helping out in such dismal conditions.

Bourne Town Harriers Donation

Bourne Town Harriers  have been hosting the Grimsthorpe Castle 10k race and fun run alongside the St John Ambulance fun day in the grounds of the estate for 25 years this year.  The fun day and more latterly the Grimsthorpe music festival no longer run and so the race took place independently  on the traditional course. The weather was dire but many hardy souls braved the elements and the race goes on alone.

Bakkavor Bourne Salads and JO Simms have continued the support given over many years for the event  and so the Harriers were able to make a donation from the proceeds of the race.  This year they decided to donate £250 to Friends of Bourne Woods.  Many of the clubs  endurance training sessions take place in the woods, especially in the summer, and  the Harriers regard it  as a very special place to run.

The Friends of Bourne Wood secretary, Sarah Roberts, commented that ‘We are very grateful for the generous donation. We plan to re-new our marquee which we use for our big events (at Easter and in the Orchard) in 2016 and this donation will help fund this plan.  We are aware of how much the Harriers use the wood and think this is a lovely way for them to show their appreciation for our great outdoor space.’

Orchard Open Day

The Community Orchard Open Day was a success, thoroughly enjoyed by those who came.  There was live music from Dean Hardy and his friends from Dyke Folk Club and Spalding Folk Club.  They played two sets of lively music – a real mix of Irish, Folk, Country and good old fashioned tunes.  The weather was so good people were able to sit and enjoy the music and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.

At lunch time all the seats were taken with people having picnics, supplemented by the delicious cakes from the cake stall and teas and coffees.

Children could try their hands at pebble painting or willow weaving, both of which proved very popular.  Nicola Mclean had organised the willow weaving and she had cards and other items for sale, along with her deer and hare willow sculptures on show.

Meanwhile, adults and children alike could investigate the craft stalls, jam stall or the plant stall.

The Friends had also picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Dean Hardy and the other musicians for their entertainment and to Nicola for her help, along with all our other volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.

Den Building Competition Take Three

Despite the rain halfway through the competition those taking part in The Friends of Bourne Wood Den Building on Sunday, had an enjoyable afternoon.

The runner-up were the Lavberts!
The runner-up were the Lavberts!

The five families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken.  John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and reminded people that all of the family should fit in the den and that they should be waterproof!

The winning den, by the Bower family.
The winning den, by the Bower family.

The winning family was Eric Bower, Kat Walters and Rose and Ted Bower-Walters who had a removable door for their cosy den.   The runners-up had two seats, a cooker and a bar, while one family included a dog kennel.

children watching den building
Supervising the build!

Due to the rain, everyone was keen to get into the dens at the end as it was much drier in there!

Our house in the middle of the wood, our house.....
Our house in the middle of the wood, our house…..

Thanks go to John for running the event and our helpers, Cindy, Brian and Valerie for helping to judge and look after those taking part.

Photographs by John Wilcockson

Flowers and Minibeasts Walk

The walk started well, as the leaders, Keith Porter and Richard Jefferson had been on a pre-amble and returned with a Purple Hairstreak – which although found in the wood is not something many of us had seen as they spend their lives right at the top of oak trees – so are difficult to spot!

Setting off; looking for flowers and minibeast!
Setting off; looking for flowers and minibeast!

We set off furnished with butterfly nets and sweep nets, which not only did the children enjoy – but the adults had great fun trying to catch butterflies and even more fun transferring them to the identification pots.

Identifying the latest catch!
Identifying the latest catch!

The star of the last years show returned this year – the Silver Washed Fritillary – a beautiful orange and brown butterfly, quite large and displaying perfectly for us to see.  Someone then caught a White Letter Hairstreak, which is not particularly common, and the young feed on Elm.  In addition we saw Brimstones (this year’s brood), Ringlets, Peacocks, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns from the butterfly world – and then to top the afternoon off we caught a Brown Argus butterfly – recorded previously in the wood – but not seen before by those attending.

On closer inspection....
On closer inspection….

The bugs caught in the sweep nets included Shield Bugs, Lacewings, Soldier Beetles, 14 spot Ladybird, and a Bush Cricket, not to mention the large Spider!

Can you identify the butterfly?
Can you identify the butterfly?

With regard to flowers, we enjoyed the creeping Thistles which were full of butterflies, and this became obvious why when we smelt the flowers – just like honey!  The Angelica flowers were full of Hoverflies as they are easy for insects to get nectar from due to their open flowers.  We saw Ragwort – which although disliked by many is good for insects and home to the Cinnabar moth.  There was also St John’s Wort – used as a medicinal plant, Meadowsweet and Spear Thistle.

Our thanks go Keith and Richard for a lovely afternoon, the weather was exceptionally good, and the walk was very much enjoyed by the 20 or so people attending.

Photographs by Roland Smith.

Weaving Willow Sculptures – Nicola McLean

Weaving willow sculptures in Bourne Community Orchard over the past ten days has proved to be the perfect ‘office’, (as described by my visitors) the perfect setting for this kind of creativity.

Many people have asked me how I began weaving; It all started back in 2008, having graduated with a 2:1 Fine Art Degree from Anglia Ruskin University in 2006. I was awarded a commission, after putting in a proposal to Lincoln County Council, to create a twelve foot standing willow figure.

The Lincolnshire Heritage site near Bardney, hosts the ruins of Tupholme Abbey, home to the white gowned Premonstratensian monks from 1100 to the 1500s. By the moat where residents would have fished for carp and eel, standing almost camouflage against the gnarled willows which line the banks, visitors start at his sudden presence, as they walk across the footbridge

Prior to this, I had just completed a two week solo exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery, by the castle in Drury Lane, Lincoln. I felt tremendously proud that my large canvasses adorned every wall and my sculptures were displayed in the spacious room. The show was the result of a two year body of work which explored a theme which inspires me greatly. Entitled ‘Between Worlds’ I had produced visual thoughts and ideas, feelings, atmospheres, both representational and abstract about aspects of spiritual ancestral beliefs and our beautiful natural world.

Carvings of oak and stone, displayed on the floor, and a suspended installation, called ‘Ancient forest’ of restored and beautified bog oaks hung from the beams. Few people realise that such bog oak findings may predate Stonehenge! I was in my absolute element and imagine my delight when I saw my name and show title advertised in the Guardian listings, with an eloquent description kindly written by a Sam Scorer Treasurer Peter Moss. www.samscorer.

More recently I had been asked to sell willow pieces at a Spring Fair Hester Cresswell was holding at her newly renovated chapel in
Haconby. (Open every Friday to purchase many sumptuous items of furniture, accessories for home and garden, including smaller willow creations) Whilst working on a stag in Somerset, in a field with a beautiful view of Glastonbury Tor, the organiser of the Healing Field at Glastonbury Festival visited and asked if I would produce a willow sculpture garden in the ‘air space’.

I was elated, needless to say I have been walking on air ever since, strange too as several years before I had formed a list of things I wished ‘to do’ before I turned fifty, one of the things on there was to do an Art Installation at Glastonbury Festival.

This brings me to a few weeks ago, when I was stuck for space to work on this willow body of work. I chatted to our Bourne’s lovely Willie McLaughlin’s wife and she had spoken to Willie who said to approach Sarah Roberts. I did rather nervously enter the orchard and approached the lovely Jayne who was so friendly and helpful. She then forwarded my request to Sarah Roberts.

Thanks to Sarah, and her lovely ma and pa, I have been so happy in residency there in the orchard surrounded by hundreds of magnificent tall Ash trees, hearing cuckoo call, watching the swarms take off to their new hives, peaceful and productive. Boxing hare, who look like they are doing the tango, doe and her stag who is yet to be completed have all materialised. I can honestly boast, as seen at Glastofest too…

Thanks to my lovely visitors, Angela Adams and her gift of honey, Bob who enlightened me of a interesting geography website, he took a photo of me making the boxing hare for his grid reference. the lovely Goff leggitts, Sally Pepper and loads of other lovely folk.

Surprisingly, I did discover many towns folk are still unaware of the Orchards existence, what a pity for them. Our Community is very privileged to have this place of beauty to visit, enjoy, relax and contemplate in. I am sure you will see me lending a hand or sculpting again here in the future, what an achievement Friends of Bourne Wood, what a joyful legacy you have made and tend still.

Words by Nicola McLean

To view Tupholme Abbey willow man, Sam Scorer Exhibition as mentioned visit www.nickimclean.co.uk or e-mail nicola.mclean@live.co.uk for commission queries.