Good afternoon and welcome to a fresh new work into the busy life of Alex Ashworth and is voluntary commitments in and around the Lancashire district.
Last Monday Steve Smith ( senior ranger at Preston Parks ) asked if I'd like to come in on Bank Holiday Monday, without any reluctance I immediately said an affirmative yes.
So here I am writing about this mornings activities on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2016.
I arrived at the Pavilion base at approximately 9.45am. As I made my way up the path towards the base, Steve asked if I could hear the kettle. This was a clear indication that a brew was on it's way.
I reached the base and waited a couple of minutes before I gladly received a warm cup of coffee and by the looks of how the weather was outside I needed it as fuel before the hour of litter clearance was upon us.
Litter picker at the ready? Check. Bin bags in order ( two in total)? Check. Fully clothed with waterproof resistant gear on? Check. Then we're both ready to tackle the onslaught of torrential rain, wind, the occasional dog walkers and the resilient joggers. Let's do it.
We got back more drenched than when we started but the good news is that the park is clean for another week and above anything that is vital for the Park to run efficiently and in clean working order.
After a quarter of an hour having a rest and brew we continued with part two of our morning activity. Last week, if you remember I helped Steve do a series of weeding to the right of the park, this week we concluded that area of weeding into two wheelbarrows.
We then did some wildflower sowing in the community fruit garden with seeds from the "Grow Wild" charity from Kew Gardens. The seeds contained ;- common knapweed, cornflower, corn chamomile, corn cockle, corn marigold, corn poppy, hedge bedstraw, meadow buttercup, oxeye daisy, red campion, ribwort plantain, viper's bugloss and yarrow.
Steve did a demonstration as to how to plant them. Simply open the seal of the package, place into your hand and scatter them across the fruity garden. I got the first part right but I forgot to place it in my hand and instead scattered it from the package. After a reminder from Steve I corrected my mistake and did it as demonstrated. The seeds were obtained by the ranger on behalf of the Friends of Ashton Park.
We'd just about finished and the weather was brightening up. The final task was to take out the weeds we'd collected into the barrows and deposit them into the skip. Steve took care of his barrow and I followed suit with mine.
Time was fast approaching 12noon and we had to say our goodbye's for another session.
I'll be back at Ashton Park on Wednesday for Let's Grow Preston but for now we bid each other farewell and reconvene mid week.
This is Alex Ashworth signing off for another productive morning with Preston Parks and senior ranger Steve Smith, a work colleague whose kind encouragement is exemplary.