Team Tasks for 2017/18


The garden is always looking for help with all the larger tasks that need doing in the garden on a yearly basis. If you work for a company in the Newcastle area, why not consider spending a day volunteering with us. We provide all tools and instruction needed and have an indoor space where you can have a break and a nice cup of tea. Please see below for the kind of tasks you could get involved in.

For more information please get in touch with Karen, the Project Director :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


(Any time of year)

Weeding Pathways and Cutting Back

This task basically involves removing all the weeds from the pathways, raking them up and then mulching under the trees with them. It could be a half day task, or combined with another task, the group could be split in two. The other task would be cutting back branches that are overhanging pathways. Again raking up and mulching under trees/hedges with the clippings.


(June/July or Nov-March)

Weaving/Maintaining Willow Structures

We have a nunber of willow structures around the garden that need weaving in twice a year. This involves taking the new growth and bending and weaving it back into theoriginal structure shape. This could be a half day job, or again could be done with another task, splitting the group in two and then swapping over.

 Lynn willow fence


(End Nov-March)

Pond Maintenance

The ponds in the garden need some of the weeds/plants thinning out over the winter. This can involve dragging some of the plants out from the side, but also may need a couple of people to go into the water in waders. If the ponds are really overgrown some plants may need digging out around the edge of the water. We have a number of ponds in the garden, so a larger group could be split in two.

 Volunteers clearing pond plants


(Late Sept/ October)

Wildflower Meadow Maintenance

In the autumn we need to cut back our main wildflower meadow. We use scythes and sickles to cut back the areas of long grass and wildflowers. We then rake up the cut material and then leave it for about a week to allow any seed to fall back onto the ground. Then we compost it, or use it to mulch some of the vegetable beds. This task would suit a small group, or a larger group could be split in half.



(Early March)

Traditional Hedge Laying

We have a number of large hedges around the site that we are starting to maintain by using traditional methods. Hedge laying involves stripping back side branches from trees and pilling this material up. Then cutting almost all the way through the main stems and laying them down horizontally. Then we use long thin branches to hold these stem in place and finally push some of the trimmed side branches back into the gaps to form a sort of dead hedge. New growth will then shoot up in between this dead material. Once this process is finished it looks really attractive and is a very good habitiat for a wide range of animals and insects. This is a task that would suit a larger group, as there is a lot of work involved.

 Volunteers hedge laying web



Coppicing Basket Willow Area

This area is used for growing willow for projects and workshops in the garden. Every year the willow needs cutting right back to the ground to encourage new growth each year. Once the willow is cut it is sorted into different lengths and then tied in bundles, to be used for weaving projects. This task would suit a smaller group, or a large group split in half which could work on another area of willow maintenance.



Bee entrance opened

Local MP, Chi Onwurah, opened our brand new entrance.

Bee entrance

Front Garden Design

Last year the 'Wednesday' volunteer group started work on a project to re-design our rather drab front garden. They worked together to come up with ideas for things to include in the design. Then a scale design was created that volunteers could work from to produce the different features. However due to timescale and funding issues we have had to simplify the design and are no longer doing some of the hard landscaping features. The main feature of the design is a large pebble mosaic. Regular volunteer, Lynn, came up with the idea for this, which is in the shape ofa dragonfly. The mosaic will act as a apth that visitors can walk on to view the garden. Volunteers started making pebble mosaic by digging out the shape of the dragonfly and filling the area with hardcore. Once the hardcore was stamped down it was ready for the pebbles to go in. Volunteer, Dave Gibb, mixed cement in a mixer with the help from Jenny, while Lynn, Lucille, Keith and Dave Bowey added extra hard core where it was needed. Then Kate, Karen, Ken and Julia created the design using a range of pebbles and glass beads. now the mosaic is finished we plan to plant the whole area with shrubs, perennials and spring bulbs that are suitable for attracting wildlife into the garden. When the garden is finished we hope that it will help to attract visitors into the rest of the garden and also show what can be done in a relatively small space.

 web 1      web 2

Sadly one of the volunteers, Les Armstrong, who worked on the initial design part of the project died recently. We are planning to remember him by putting a seat with a plaque on in the garden and will have a grand opening in his honour.

Green Flag Award 2018/ 2019

We have again been successful in receiving the Green Flag Community Award this year (2018-2019).

Many thanks go to all of our volunteers, who, under Sean and Leanne's guidance, keep the garden in such a well maintained condition for you to visit and enjoy.

Join us on Facebook and help to keep the flag flying!


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