16 October 2011

Apple Pressing at Wilsons’ Orchard

Though I’ve lived in Northampton for over 30 years, and must have past by many times, I never knew about Wilsons’ Orchard until this week.
At Rushmills, trapped between the A45 and modern housing, the orchard dates back 100 years to days when British apples were a major crop. The orchard is named after a Mr Wilson who lived in a cottage by the site and Rev. Wilson who obtain spare apples trees from a local tree nursery man.
The site is now owned by South Court Environmental having been donated to them by Persimmon Homes. Work continues to revive the orchard which last saw commercial use at the end of the 2nd World War.

The warm sunny afternoon brought out a good crowd to view the orchard and sample the freshly squeezed apple juice.

13 October 2011

Reed cutting at Stornton’s Pits

Spent the day at Stornton’s Pits with Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust.

The day’s task was to cut back part of the reed bed which was becoming too dense. Parts of the bed are cut back in on a 9 year rotation so that the new growth will provide improved nesting opportunities for sedge warblers and reed warblers to name but two of the bird that prefer this type of habitat.

Left to nature the bed would become more dense and the dead vegetation would provide the conditions for willow to take hold and in time take over the reed bed.

The reeds were cut down with a brush cutter, piled into long rows and then burnt.

12 October 2011

Work progressing on Connect2 Cycle Way

Work is progressing on the latest phrase of the Northampton Connect2 cycle ways. A new bridge has been installed over the Nene to connect the Briar Hill paths to the one running beside the river behind Cosworth. Work on the foundations and kerbs for the paths between Briar Hill and St James and Duston Mill Lake is under way. On completion this will receive a tarmac surface, giving a continuous tarmac route from Brackmill, though the town by Carlsberg and out to Pineham with off shoots into St James and the southern district.

Foundations are also being constructed for a bridge over the canal and Nene linking Upton Valley Way with Upton Country Park.

8 October 2011

A busy day in the parks

It was a joy to see Delapre Park in full use today with keep fit sessions, 6 a-side football, kite flying, model aeroplane flying, even someone with a model car on the roadway, as well as the usual dog walkers.
It was also a busy one for volunteers, planting snowdrops, crocuses and bluebells in the arboretum. Nothing to see at the moment but we can look forward to extra colour in the spring.
Volunteers busy planting whilst Cllr. Mick Ford
& Brian Bingly MP look on

It was not only Delapre that was out working, Eastfields Park also had volunteers out planting bulbs in an area by the main pond that had previously been prepared by the Groundwork team.

New bedding area

3 October 2011

Last day of Summer?

Today may have been the last chance  I get this year to take a walk in shorts and T Shirt. So made the most of it with a 8km circular stole through some of Northampton's parks and open spaces, with hardly the need to use a road.

Started off from Queen Eleanor Cross and down through the Delapre Woods that separate the London Road from Delapre Golf Course, now with the horse chestnuts dropping their conkers and those that have been diseased shedding their leaves. Cut across Delapre Park for a quick look at the nearly finished restoration of the water garden before heading out to Delapre Lake with sun bathers on the grass and grebes on the water.

Headed around the south side of the lake before cutting through into Beck's Meadow then along to the Canoe Club. Turned west along the Nene Way towards town, with a diversion through Barn's Meadow to get me off the cycle path.

Crossed over into Midsummer Meadow then on to Beckett's Park, the facilities at the marina look almost complete, it will be good to get the park back to normal and be able to walk on the marina island. After refreshments at the cafe, continued on along the river before crossing at the foot bridge and onto the London Road for a short distance before regaining Delapre Wood.

A very pleasant afternoon and all within a couple of miles of the town centre.