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Monday at Preston Parks

Good day to you all and welcome to the latest update reporting the various volunteering pursuits young Alex Ashworth is committing to in and around the district of Preston.

On Monday 8th August I volunteered my time with Preston Parks at Ashton Park. I've been coming here since November last year and in that time I have learnt some valuable skills and information regarding various plants.

Monday however, focused on planting some oak trees around Ashton Park area. I met Senior Park Ranger Steve Smith at 10am and we got into a relaxed conversation whilst drinking our brew before we endured the mornings work.

At 10.20am we left the Pavilion HQ and made our way to Steve's van. In addition to planting oak trees we also took the time to sow some grass seeds on areas around the park that were dry and lacked grass. I learnt how to use a rake properly at this stage with Steve's expert help.

We then began planting a variety of oak trees. The first one was Steve's daughter's. We did the work collaboratively. Steve would create the outline border with the trench spade then I would dig the hole then carefully placing the oak tree in the designated spot. We filled the hole with soil unearthed from our digging.

A particular highlight of our mornings work happened when Steve spotted a tiny oak tree. Without missing an opportunity he dug round it then I scooped it up with the spade. He kindly asked if I'd like to take it home, I said yes. Steve christened it after himself, adding a touch a comical brilliance to the day.

We continued planting the oak trees and covering areas of destitute grassy areas with grass seeds to make the park more welcoming both for dog walkers, young children, teens and adults.

The mornings proceedings concluded at 12.10pm. Steve had a series of other jobs to do and it was getting towards lunchtime so my stomach was calling me.

It was another peaceful and enjoyable morning with Steve. I'll be back there in a couple of weeks. For now though, this is Alex Ashworth signing off for time well spent with Steve Smith at Ashton Park.

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