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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wed 28th Oct 2009 - Haylands Farm.

An excellent turnout of volunteers this week at Haylands Farm in Ryde, which is yet another new site for us. There were three small tasks and one big task, the smaller ones being to clear an area of scrub and bramble, prune some apple trees, uncover a circle of concrete which used to be a pond, and dig over inside the circle. The big task was to clear a very overgrown pond of reeds and lilies, and remove the resident fish population. This was very wet and muddy work, and the children did a sterling job of fish catching with nets; we removed some 30 fish, one frog and some water snails from the pond, which were eventually relocated to a large bath with existing water and plants. We also brought some rocks in wheelbarrows to build a rockery at the side of the pond, which provided a new home for the frog. The plan is to make the pond a better habitat for wildlife, so some of the vegetation was put back in the pond, and the wooden fencing around the outside had a new coat of woodstain.

Haylands Farm project is for people with learning difficulties and run by the Isle of Wight branch of Mencap. It provides work and training services to adults with a learning disability, and aims to provide and maintain an environment which is supportive to the training needs of the students who attend Haylands Farm. There are individual allotments, pigs, free range chickens, goats, a Shetland pony, and they grow lots of beautiful flowers which are for sale to the public.

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