Tag Archives: green spaces

Clean Green Ouseburn – February 2015

We’ve been very lucky with the weather for our Clean Green Ouseburn project, and the relatively mild autumn and winter has enabled us to get on faster than we had hoped.

The hedge laying has been more or less completed now. We have also been busy coppicing the hedge we didn’t lay so it creates a denser, bushier layer that will provide more cover and better nesting possibilities for small birds, more blossom for bees and other insects – and eventually more hips, haws and sloes for wildlife and people.

Some of our volunteers have been working hard to clear the soil and mud that floods had washed onto paths and paved areas during the past few years. The path going up through the Metro viaduct arches is much wider now with its full width uncovered.

We have also thinned some of the woodland so you can see ahead on the paths and so the bulbs and plants under the trees get enough light to grow, creating a greener and more bio-diverse ground layer.

We’ve made a great start on the new path from the end of Stepney Road to the orchard and fields, and to Stepney Bank via the Arch 4 car park. We still have a lot more to do in these areas, and around the river.

Amongst other items, an extraordinary number of tyres have been retrieved from the fields and woodlands by our volunteers, sometimes from areas where we had already cleared tyres away just last summer. All kinds of rubbish has been dumped in the valley, and some of it is hazardous to people, pets, and wildlife as well as looking a mess and attracting rats. There are some litter bins in the valley – and the Byker waste and recycling centre isn’t far away.

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has joined in so far – you’ve achieved so much!

We’re really looking forward to planting new trees, shrubs, and plants over the next couple of months – as well as seeing what plants pop up where the ground between trees now gets more light.

We’d love to see more people joining us to do it. Even if you can just manage an hour or two. Lots of people giving an hour or two of their time can make a huge difference to Ouseburn Valley. Sign up for a session via our online form or email or text/phone.

Join in our July Clean Up!

Rubbish in Ouseburn June 2014

Rubbish in Ouseburn June 2014

There will be lots of visitors to the valley for the Ouseburn Festival (including NARC. Fest) on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July 2014 so we would like to do our best to make paths passable and safe for everyone.

Do join us – the more of us the better! We can provide not only equipment and tools but also lunch at Ouseburn Farm.

Meet us outside Ouseburn Farm at 10.30am – or if you can only join us for the afternoon, meet us at Ouseburn Farm at 1.30pm.

Please come dressed suitably for sharp and thorny conditions (long sleeves and trousers tend to be best where there are thorns and nettles).

If you’re interested in getting involved in our new Ouseburn environment project and learning some new skills, find out more at our general meeting at 5.30pm on Wednesday 25th June 2014 at Ernest, Boyd Street, Ouseburn. If you can’t come to that meeting and are not already on our mailing list, please email environment@ouseburnfutures.org.uk to ask to be included.


A sunny Clean Up in February

We were lucky with the weather on the February Clean Up day organised by our Environment Group on Thursday 20th February. The grey clouds soon cleared so we had blue sky, sunshine and warmth most of the time.

We started picking up the litter on and around the Foundry Lane car park, and found some daffodils when we cleared the food bags and paper cups. Then three more volunteers joined us (including two of the youngest) as we headed uphill to the pathway that runs through the feet of the Metro viaduct. There was plenty of rubbish to keep us all busy, and some trimming back of the thorny and prickly branches growing out over the path. We were surprised to find purple crocuses flowering.

Our youngest volunteers were great at finding odd things that had been chucked or blown into the woodland by the path, including a bicycle tyre and tyre-less wheels.

Some of our volunteers finished at lunchtime, and some stayed for lunch (delicious lentil and veg soup at Ouseburn Farm). We headed back up to the path through the Metro viaduct to trim back more thorny branches and pick up lots more rubbish, including cans, bottles, and broken bottles. There were lots of small birds in the trees watching what we were doing.

We ended up with a pile of bags of rubbish (about two dozen) – and left a much cleaner path and woodland for people, animals and birds to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming more volunteers at our next Clean Up day on Saturday 15th March 2014!


2014 Environment Group Clean Up days

Ouseburn Bridge and Farm, January 2014.

Ouseburn Bridge and Farm, January 2014.

We are so pleased with the difference that our volunteers have made to the Ouseburn Valley in 2013 that we want to do it again!

We take on a variety of tasks that suit the interests of those attending, usually a bit of weeding, some litter picking and sometimes one of the bigger jobs with dense undergrowth.

We’ll provide the materials – and a hot lunch on the day events. Volunteers can join in for a whole day or just for an hour or two and can pick the tasks that are the most appealing or satisfying.

First clean up of 2014

The first snowdrops have poked their heads through the undergrowth in the Ouseburn Valley, so this Sunday would be a good time remove any litter, so that they can be appreciated.

There are lots of nice looking little ferns popping up along the paths – but they’re deceptive – they’re the beginnings of summer’s giant hogweed or cow parsley which block the pathways! So it would also be good to pull some of them out now.

Two and a half hours is long enough for most people on a winter weekend, but we do hope you can join us for a little time on Sunday. We meet at Ouseburn Farm at 1:00pm. Wear warm clothing and footwear that can cope with mud and sharp things (such as thorns and broken glass).

Clean up dates for 2014 are:

Sunday January 26th afternoon (1pm – 3:30pm)

Thursday Feb 20th (all day 10:30am – 3:30pm – join for the morning or afternoon)

Saturday March 15th (all day 10:30am – 3:30pm – join for the morning or afternoon)

Monday April 14th (all day 10:30am – 3:30pm – join for the morning or afternoon)

Thursday May 22nd morning (10am – 12:30pm)

Thursday June 5th afternoon (1:30pm – 4:00pm)

Saturday July 5th (all day 10:30am – 3:30pm – join for the morning or afternoon)

We hope you’ll want to join us then (and we WILL send you reminders if you’re on our Environment Group mailing list!). Sometimes we have to postpone clean up events due to weather. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, we put updates on there if this is likely.

To join the Ouseburn Futures Environment Group, email us at environment@ouseburnfutures.org.uk – and tell us if you’d like to hear news about our clean up events.