Friends of the Valley and the Little Dene Annual Report
2011 Committee Annual Report
The Valley continues to be well used. 2011 has seen it all (!) – sledging; snowmen making; sunbathing; young people chatting; individuals relaxing; students chilling out before & after exams; football, cricket & rugby games; frisby throwing; plus BBQs – large & small.
Of course, the daily users are the dog walkers and I think that we can reasonably confidently report that the great majority now use the bins!
The trees and shrubs continue to thrive. The surrounds to the Valley are really thickening up in places, which gives the smaller birds a safer nesting environment – blackbirds, thrushes, wrens and dunnocks have all been regularly spotted.
The sparrow hawks were nesting again this year, bats have been spotted and woodpeckers have been seen and heard in the Little Dene. There are several shrubs on the Valley that attract butterflies – perhaps in 2012 we can record the different types.
Community events on The Valley
In chronological order, the “events” were as follows:
30 Jan 2011: The Valley and the Little Dene – annual clean up.
The amount of rubbish collected each year seems to be diminishing. Not only is there less rubbish left on the valley but the volume blown down the backlanes and into the Little Dene appears to be waning. However, we still filled a dozen or more large black bags! Thanks to all those who took part.
Feb – March – April 2011: Spring Bulb Display
Perhaps a little disappointing considering the number of bulbs planted and the communal effort that was involved. However, bulbs get stronger and multiply – and we can add more to continually improve the display.
19 March 2011: Jesmond Festival Parade
Several Committee members acted as voluntary traffic stewards.
Late Spring 2011: Shrub & Tree Planting
Six variegated and plain hollies were donated by residents as well as a magnolia and a maple. The hollies and maple found convenient spots in the Little Dene where they should complement last year’s “whip” planting scheme.
The magnolia found a sheltered location on the Valley. We should start to see the distinctive flowers in 2012 or 2013.
11 June 2011: Community & Family Fun Day!
What a day! One of the wettest days of 2011 failed to dampen the enthusiasm of all those who participated – stallholders, games organizers, musicians and, of course, all those residents and families who turned out and supported the event.
Despite the weather everybody seemed to enjoy it. The bonus was that income exceeded expenditure. A big thank you to all!
September 2011: A request to map all trees & shrubs
We received a request from Newcastle University’s Landscape Department to consider mapping and evaluating all the planting on the Valley & the Little Dene as a student project.
23 October 2011: Bulb Planting
Another 600+ “larger” bulbs were planted in easily visible locations that should complement those planted last year. Despite relatively short notice, the promotional flyer enticed quite a few residents and families to bring bulbs along and join in.
Prospects for 2012
For discussion. Initial priorities may be:
• Annual maintenance day/clean up – mid January
• Ownership of the south side of the Little Dene
• Jesmond Community Festival – April/May. We have been asked whether we could organize an event as part of the Festival.
Committee of Friends of the Valley and Little Dene