Blue Flower

Monday 17/10/22  We had an extra day at the mill to mow the grass and work on our projects. I took the mower and cut the corner of the entry track around the wildflower meadow as weeds had regrown since it was strimmed. I took the cycle rack away from the small lawn to prevent damage when the container is moved at the weekend and to allow the grass to be cut.

Eddie spent most of the day emptying sandbags stacked beside the container and shovelling loose sand that fell out of split bags into two large builders bags, upturned brooms and fenceposts held the bags open. We need sand for mortar when we repair the loose brickwork. Eddie also cut the grass on the large and small lawns after letting the sun dry it out, this will probably be the last cut this year. 

I swapped the small plastic shelves in the visitor centre for the new metal ones and fitted lights to them. I sat outside drinking tea at the table while making a wiring loom with busbars, an extra light to go under the screen to light up the top shelf, extended display screen power cable, shelf light hubs and crocodile clips to connect the battery. This enabled the wiring loom to be put in trunking on the floor and wall, which tidied up the installation, which is part of our Green Grant. I used the table we made recently as a workbench for cutting the trunking to size.

Emma weeded the cornfield flower area and put back one of the CDs which had fallen off, these keep birds off the newly seeded area. Emma noticed new growth coming through on the wildflower meadow

Emma made tea and coffee for us through the day and invited Ken, Roger, Peter and Eddie across from the footpath. They were on holiday from Scunthorpe, I showed them round the mill and visitor centre, which was untidy as I was in the middle of doing the electrics. They gave a generous gift in our donation box, we offered tea and biscuits but they had their own flasks and supplies. They had lunch at our picnic table, then continued their circular walk back to the village. 

The three volunteers also had lunch outside, we saw a Wren on the grindstone blocks and Eddie spotted a Hare at the far side of the field behind the mill which stayed there for a long time. We were unable to get any good pictures of it and decided we need binoculars and a bird book at the mill for identifying wildlife.

I took the USB stick from the small display screen back home to add the latest pictures of making the wildflower meadow to the slideshow. We then covered up the sand, put everything away, swung our footbridge back over and took the mower back to The Maltings.

Thursday 20/10/22  We saw a Cow on the footpath the other side of the river which was reported to the farmer. There was heavy rain in the morning so we worked indoors, Eddie had sharpened the axe at his house, so I tested it by opening a carton of milk with it and having a cup of tea.

We unpacked and assembled the metal shelving rack for the shed, we built it in the visitor centre as there was more room, then took it to the shed and transferred everything from the plastic shelves to it including our new pack of gloves. 

Anne Marie moved all the finds from the small plastic shelves in the visitor centre to the new metal shelves which I put there last time, then cleaned all the bird feeders using our new sanitizer and brushes, as bird flu is rife in Norfolk at the moment. Anne Marie then topped up the bird feeders using the new scoop, all of these are part of our Green Grant.

I tidied up the visitor centre by stacking chairs and information signs together and moving the sack barrows back in position. I then put the updated slideshow of making the wildflower meadow into the small display screen in the new area and viewed it. When the meadow is in flower I will add more pictures. 

Anne Marie donated a British Bird identification book so we can look up birds we see at the mill, she also spotted a Cygnet and Swans in the river by the mill, this was the only Cygnet seen at the mill this year, although there are some nesting downstream. A Wren was flying around inside the visitor centre but it flew out and landed near the grindstones.

I strimmed the edges of the lawn which was mown last time. We put bricks on the new table and wedges under one leg to try to remove the twist, the weight should pull it back straight again. Eddie got the ladder out of the container and we fitted brackets behind the visitor centre to hang it on. Eddie then cleared out the last few scrap items in the container which we took to the skip on our way back.

Saturday 22/10/22  We prepared the riverside track for moving the container tomorrow as there were overgrown hedges and overhanging branches which would prevent the container getting past. There were 6 of us, Ryan took chainsaws and hedgecutters in the Gator, I took the digger, Fred and David worked from the digger bucket pruning overhanging branches with chainsaws, they also trimmed back hedges. Debra, Emma and Ryan cleared away the cuttings. Cows came across their field to watch us working at one point and a pair of Swans swam past. We had lunch outside at the mill and saw a Heron fly over.

Sunday 23/10/22  There were 8 of us and it was raining hard. Today's task was removing the shipping container. Andrew took the loader and long trailer to the mill and I took the digger again, the track was slippery with all the rain. At the mill we had trouble un-hitching the loader from the trailer, both of which were on loan, Graeme had to resort to the loader instruction book. Andrew then lifted the container while Fred hooked up the trailer on the digger and moved it beside the container, which was loaded on the trailer and strapped down. We struggled getting it up the slope which was very muddy, the digger was pushing from behind, then re-positioned to try pulling the loader up the slope, but it was too slippery.

Debra lit the fire in the railway wagon when we arrived and made tea and coffee for everyone. We had our lunch in the warm, dry wagon while thinking of solutions for getting the trailer moving.

Toby came and helped us with his loader, but after another attempt at pulling the trailer up the slope, we decided to take it back and go across Toby’s field and onto the road instead of trying to get it up the slope and along the track. This worked well and the container is now at The Maltings near the fishing lake. We had planned to fit solar panels to our visitor centre today, we took an armoured cable to the mill for this, but due to the problems and severe weather we will have to postpone that.

UPDATE: The container has now been moved out of sight behind trees and the area around the railway piers has been tidied up giving much better views of the fishing lake area.

Graham Bartlett  

Interactive Plan   Activity  Heritage Open Days  Green Grant   Wildflower Meadow   Volunteer  Previous  Next

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