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News & Events



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New dates will be announced soon.  Don't worry, we haven't gone away!




The the new network of pathways has been completed.  BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) started work on June 9th 2009 and finished in September.  They have done an excellent job and the paths have greatly improved access to the Spinney, particularly in wet weather, when the old trodden paths tended to get very muddy.  The project has been made possible by a grant from the WNDC Stronger Communities Fund, together with Daventry District Council, and we are very grateful for their support.  We are also grateful the BTCV volunteers who have given up their free time to come along and do the job.  Without them donating their time, we would not have been able to raise sufficient funds to complete the project.



February 2009 - tree work

Thanks to grants from the Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Daventry District Council, we were able to go ahead with the first stage of our major tree works in February.  This was carried out by Treemenders and involved felling some dead and dangerous trees and topping others with dead branches to make them safe.  It has opened up the canopy in places, and we may plant some trees later to replace the dead ones.


2008 achievements and plans for 2009

At the end of our second year of work in the Spinney it was time to look back on what we’ve achieved.  2008 has been a year when we’ve really started to make a difference to the look of the Spinney.  The highlights of the year were:

bulletFunding secured from Northants County Council, BTCV, Northants Community Foundation, Daventry District Council.
bulletErected an interpretation board
bulletLaunched the website
bulletRecruited a small army of “Friends”
bulletHeld three very successful work party days with help from Barclaycard and Kingdom Life Church
bulletCleared a large area of bramble and dog-roe and planted and maintained the wildflower meadow
bulletPlanted bluebells
bulletInstalled brown signs pointing to the Spinney
bulletInstalled bat and bird boxes
bulletPurchased a chainsaw and forestry tools with help from Obelisk Rise Residents Association and BTCV.
bulletGot the main right of way footpath resurfaced, with new gates at either end.
bulletCleared the Long Spinney of litter, planted bluebells and had a new fence and gate installed at the Ash Rise end.

 Whew!  But we’re not stopping there.  Here are our plans for 2009:

bulletMajor tree surgery on dead or dying trees, funded by NCF and DDC (see above). 
bulletStart a tree survey, making a record of every tree in the Spinney.
bulletSecure funding to improve the paths through the Spinney.  We hope to get funding from WNDC for this, along with help from Daventry DC.
bulletRepair and relay the hedge along the eastern boundary of the Spinney, with help from the Northants County Council Pocket Park people.
bulletComplete coppicing of trees in at least two sections.
bulletMaintain wildflower meadow.

Committee posts

As we look towards 2009 we are going to need more volunteer help.  We are looking for people to help in the following areas:

bulletPublicity/press liaison
bulletHealth and Safety/risk assessment
bulletWildlife surveying and preservation
bulletWork party organisation

If you have any knowledge or experience of these areas, or even if you’re just enthusiastic and want to get stuck in, please contact us at enquiries@obeliskspinney.org or come along to one of our meetings or work parties.


Tools appeal

We have won a tool grant from BTCV, but we need more tools!  If anyone has any old garden tools lying about in a shed that they have no use for, WE CAN USE THEM!   Please contact us on enquiries@obeliskspinney.org or bring them along to the next work party day.

Dedicate a tree!

Our fund-raising "Dedicate a Tree" campaign has been an amazing success (see here).  Nearly 40 people have donated £5 to have a tree in the Spinney dedicated to them, or bought packs of Christmas cards, and we have raised over £400 to help look after the Spinney.  Many thanks to all who contributed!

19th October 2008 - footpath resurfaced!  
We had been lobbying Northamptonshire County Council Highways department for some time to resurface and improve access on the main right-of-way footpath that runs along the western edge of the Spinney.  It didn't look like it was going to happen any time soon - until last week, when workmen suddenly appeared on the scene and started digging!  The result is a brand new and beautiful footpath - no tree roots to trip you up, no mud, no steep bits, no overhanging branches.  Two new gates, one at either end were installed in December.  A big improvement to access to the Spinney - thank you Highways Dept!

11th October 2008 - brown signs installed  
Today we installed brown signs at both ends of the Spinney (see picture opposite).  And thanks to generous help from the Obelisk Rise Residents' Association we bought a chainsaw, so now we can really get down to the job of coppicing and clearing out the overgrown bits of the Spinney.
27th September 2008 - working party morning  
A momentous event: the interpretation board was installed by the side of the path near the Obelisk.  Steve C did all the digging - well done Steve.  Now at last everyone can see what we're about.  A large unsightly patch of bramble and dog-rose next to it was cleared and a start was made on cutting down the dead trees, coppicing saplings and cutting up fallen branches with our borrowed chainsaw and man (thank you Simon!).  A really great morning's work - we are starting to see some progress now.  Brown direction signs and bat boxes will appear shortly...
30th August 2008 - working party day  
Another worthwhile morning - we cut down some more ivy from the trees, picked lots of litter, mowed the grass, cleared brambles and overgrown paths and filled in a hole that had been dug in the path for a bike jump.
17th May 2008 - working party day  
A very good turnout - especially from the younger element -  and a good morning's work was done.  We cleared overgrown paths, picket up litter, cut ivy from some of the worst affected trees, cleared out some old dead trees and generally tidied things up.  The Spinney looks a lot smarter as a result.  A photographer from the Chronicle & Echo came along too - see the report here.  Click here to see pictures of the day.