News & Events
The Fairfield Association organises a broad range of events throughout the year, details of which appear on the website and on our notice boards at the Sibsey Street end of Fairfield Green (the children's playground), the Orchard and in Fauna.
Additionally, the Association's Twitter feed will be updated with brief news items, and you can access our archived Newsletters in PDF format by selecting from the drop-down menu:
(N.B. These files launch in a pop-up window - you may need to adjust your browser settings to allow pop-ups if they don't appear.)
Princes Trust volunteers to repair Orchard paths
From this Monday, 23rd February, to Tuesday 3rd March, Prince’s Trust volunteers will be repairing the Orchard paths. They are 16 - 25 year olds under the supervision of Morecambe Fire Service and will be improving the path quality that will particularly make it easier for wheelchair users.
Fairfield Association Talks
Over the last year or so, many people have enjoyed talks on a variety topics related to the Fairfield Association
which were held at The Storey. These were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the grant received to help buy and prepare the land,
known as Flora, to become a nature reserve.
There was such interest that more talks have been organised, though these events are now funded by the FA so a small donation
to help with the costs of room hire would be appreciated:
A presentation of Fairfield related resources held by the Archives, Thursday 12 March, 7.30pm at The Storey (in The Music Room), Meeting House Lane, Lancaster
Learn how to get the best use out of the Archive service, led by Vicci McCann, Senior Archivist at Lancashire Archives, Preston.
Visit to the Lancashire Archives, Thursday 19 March, 10.30-12 noon, Lancashire Archives, Bow Lane, Preston
Learn about the wide range of historical resources, records and maps relating to the Fairfield Nature Reserve and area held at the Archives, led by Vicci McCann, Senior Archivist at Lancashire Archives, Preston.
Fairfield Association Archive Events Flyer
'Birdwatching in the nature reserve: Which birds to look for and how to recognize them, including their calls', Thursday March 26th, 7.30pm at The Storey, Lecture Theatre
A presentation given by Jon Carter of RSPB and Ian Nieduszynski.
Volunteering/conservation awards with the John Muir Trust
The Fairfield Association is to offer volunteers the exciting opportunity to gain volunteering/conservation awards through the John Muir Trust
of which it is now a member.
The FA will offer existing and new volunteers the opportunity to undertake a John Muir Award, with member Graham Brandwood coordinating the award on behalf of the FA.
Graham will be doing a briefing at coffee break time at the next volunteering session on the 14th March.
Please contact Graham for further information 0785 581 4042 or gabrandwood AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk .
John Muir Volunteering/Conservation Award leaflet
Introduction to Beekeeping, Truckhaven Conference Centre Carnforth, 14th March
If you would like to find out more about honeybees, why not come to the Lancaster Beekeepers’ introductory “Introduction to Basic Beekeeping” course on Saturday 14 March, to be held at Truckhaven Conference Centre Carnforth. If you have ever wondered about keeping bees and are curious as to what is involved then this one-day course for you!
For further information, contact Huston Clements: h.clements AT laposte DOT net or visit the Lancaster Beekeepers website.
On Saturday 17th January, despite frightful weather forecasts, nearly a hundred people gathered in the orchard for the sixth annual Lancaster Wassailing. We've actually organised seven, but one year we had to cancel because of extremely bad weather.
We were determined not to cancel this year, even if the rain was falling upwards. Our resolve was rewarded by a fine and clear afternoon, so those assembled enjoyed the procession through the apple trees banging pots and drums and chanting, a Mummers' play from the Stone the Crows Border Morris side and some treacherous looking morris dancing, given how soft the going was underfoot.
An Oak King and Apple Queen were selected, the trees libated with cider-soaked toast, Knights and Ladies rewarded for their efforts over the year (thanks Tony and Jacqui Finn and David Elliott!) and Ye Olde Raffle took place. Everyone was able to participate in the drinking of the heady wassail brew and we all retreated to the snugness of the bonfire to enjoy singing from The Gladly Solemn Sound.
A grand day out - thanks to all who helped and participated!
Here are some of the photos taken on the day on our Picasa gallery (thanks Helen and Carole!).
Local walk published!
A Fairfield member has written a walk that has been published as part of the Royal Geographical Society 'Discovering Britain' series.
The Walk is called “From Water to Wealth”. ‘Discover how a river and a canal aided Lancaster’s fortunes. See impressive buildings and landmarks funded by waterborne trade. Find out how waterways helped to shape a caring community. Enjoy a vibrant landscape where wealth takes many forms’. The route begins at the Captured Africans’ sculpture on the Quay and travels via the Maritime Museum, the Priory and Castle, the Judges’ Lodgings, Church Street, New Street, the Market Square, Dalton Square, the Cathedral, along the canal past Basin Bridge to the Aldcliffe Road footbridge. Then it enters Fauna via Cromwell Road, and continues along Ashfield Avenue, finishing in Westfield Village. The text speaks of the work of the Fairfield Association being a fine example of Lancaster’s wealth embodied in its people.
Copies of the booklet can be obtained from the Visitor Information Centre at £3.99. It can also be downloaded as a PDF:
Discovering Britain (select the “Walk It” button to download what you want) or you can download an audio guide to your smartphone or iPod for free.
Yak and Nak visit Nepal!
Following on from doing the Kanchenjunga trek, Nepal, in Nov 2011, a Fairfield member, Hermione Roff, has published a delightful children’s picture book (aimed at ages 3-7) that can be sold with profits going to charity. Each copy sold will generate £5 for the Fairfield Association.
If you would like to purchase one or more for your child, grandchild/ren, niece/s, nephew/s then please contact Ruth on membership AT fairfieldassociation DOT org.
You are very welcome to come and look at a copy first with no obligation. You would leave £6.99 per copy (to bank in the Fairfield account) and £1.99 would then be passed to the author to go towards a reprint.
Local Hedge Laying training and competition!
The hedge running alongside the Girls’ Grammar School playing field and walking/cycle path parallel to the railway line from Sylvester Street to Carr House Lane is to be laid.
This is important to create a good wildlife corridor and safe haven for birds.
To make it more interesting, local charity Lancaster Green Spaces have applied for money to fund hedge laying training.
The free expert tuition is taking place on February 27th & 28th, from 9.30am - 3.30pm, with prizes awarded for the most improved teams, donated by Lancaster City Council and Councillor Jon Barry.
You can come along to watch or if you would like to participate and learn this skill please contact Ian Procter, Fairfield Association Volunteer coordinator on
sysaf123-volunteer AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk or on 07811970595.
Carol Singing 2014 update
On Christmas Eve, over thirty people gathered for what was an unseasonably mild foray into the streets of Fairfield for our annual carol singing. In previous years our carol sheets had disintegrated in the rain before we'd cleared the first street, but this year the weather was crisp and clear.
Master of Ceremonies, Stephen Hoyland, lead us with gusto and aplomb and we're very grateful for his organisation and conducting expertise. After about three quarters of an hour of enthusiastic singing, we enjoyed a pitstop at Fraser's cottage on the corner and those assembled were treated to mulled wine and mince pies. Everyone was very grateful.
Fortified, we ploughed on across the playground to the Sibsey St side and continued to be welcomed by those who remained in Lancaster for Christmas. By the end of the evening there was £262 in the buckets and we all retreated to our own hearths to enjoy the festivities.
For many the carol singing - whether as performer or audience - is the true beginning of Christmas, so many thanks to all those who participated or donated.
Wassailing, Fairfield Orchard, Saturday 17th January 3-5 pm
Come and join us in this traditional Old Twelfth Night celebration. Bring drums, pots and pans to bang and clatter as we process through the trees. Both young and old are invited to come dressed as the Oak King or the Apple Queen - we will draw lots to choose the sovereigns of the orchard.
Traditional offerings of toast and cider to the trees. Passing of the Wassail Cup. Dancing. Bonfire. Traditional Wassailing songs taught and performed.
Suggested donation £1 per person. Procession starts at 3pm prompt!
Carol Singing, 24th December
Join us for our annual carol singing around the streets of Fairfield. We meet at Edenbreck Cottage at 5 p.m.
May we take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the past year, and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Fairfield Association 2015 calendar!
All of the calendars have now been sold, but we do still have some cards that feature six photos of Fairfield sites suitable for greeting cards, notelets etc. You can buy a single card & envelope for 80p or a pack of any combination of six for only £4.
Please contact Ruth, 63157, membership AT fairfieldassociation DOT org for details.
Birdwatching Walks, 10th and 30th November
Jon Carter (RSPB) will be leading two bird-watching walks this autumn:
- Monday, November 10th, 9.30 am
- Sunday, November 30th, 8.00 am
"We meet at the Sunnyside Lane entrance to the Orchard. The walk will go through the Orchard and up to Pony Wood then along the canal and back through via Cromwell Road. We will be looking and listening for both resident species and recently arrived winter visitors. Please allow up to 1.5hours, though this can vary depending on amount of activity and weather. Dress appropriately and be prepared for inclement conditions underfoot!"
Green Fair, Saturday 22nd November, 10am – 4pm at the Friends’ Meeting House
The annual Green Fair is on at the Friends' Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, on 22nd November. Come and buy the Fairfield Association 2015 calendar as a Christmas gift for family or friends.We also have cards that feature six photos of Fairfield sites suitable for greeting cards, notelets etc. You can buy a single card & envelope for 80p or a pack of any combination of six for only £4.
The Autumn Programme of Flora Talks
The new programme includes more from the metal detectorists, managing the nature reserve for biodiversity, birds of Fairfield and The Story of Fairfield from Pre-history to Today
All talks run from 7:30 – 8:30 pm at the Storey Institute, with the first starting on Thursday, September 18th.
Flora - Autumn Programme of Events Leaflet
The talks are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund that helped us buy the Flora fields.
If you missed any of the talks, or would like to hear them again, you can go to the education section of the Flora website to see the slides and hear the talks.
Public Exhibition on Flora, St Nicholas Arcade, Friday 26th September (10am-4pm) and Saturday 27th (10am-4pm)
There is to be a Public Exhibition about Flora, the Heritage Lottery Funded project, in St Nicholas' Arcade on Friday 26th September (10am-4pm) and Saturday 27th (10am-4pm). Come along to meet us and find out more about our work.
Here's a link to a lovely video Ray Turner made of one of Graham's recent campfire sessions (thanks Ray and Graham!):
Campfire Session Video
Fun Day 2014 Photos!
Thanks to everyone who helped and everyone who attended this year's Fun Day!
We'll post here when we know how much we raised. But regardless of how much it was, thank you so much for coming along and making it such a special afternoon.
Here's a link to some photos taken on the day:
Fun Day 2014 Picasa album
And here's a link to a short video clip kindly posted by some of our visitors (thanks Stuart and Kirstie!):
Fun Day 2014 video clip
Kwik Cricket Match, Sunday 14th September, 2.00 pm onwards, Girls’ Grammar School Playing Field
A fun, village green type of cricket match for Fairfield members and local people.
Two scorers are still needed - please contact Geoff Orr on catbells5 AT gmail DOT com. Thank you.
Come and watch and cheer them on (bring chairs, cushions, rugs etc to sit on)! ‘Cricket tea’ to be available to purchase throughout the afternoon.
Help needed to make the day go with a swing:
- People to donate a plate of sandwiches, e.g. cheese, tuna, ham, veggie, etc.
- People to donate a cake, buns, scones etc (cut/buttered etc if needed, ready to be served and possibly that could be frozen should rain postpone to the 21st)
- please name your plate/tray & cover with Clingfilm or foil so that at tea time a selection of sandwiches and or cakes etc can be sold – thank you!
- Volunteers (3 or 4 people) to serve the teas to players and spectators.
- Setting up the mini-marquee, tables, urn, kit; sound system for commentary etc before the match and taking it down afterwards.
Please contact Hilary Short on h DOT short AT lancaster DOT ac DOT uk or tel 63890 if you are able to help.
Note: The cricket match will be postponed till Sunday 21st September if wet.
Fun Day, this Saturday, 5th July, 12-5pm, Fairfield Green (play area at the end of Sibsey Street and Wingate Saul Rd)
All the usual stalls, games and activities, food and music - our very own "village fete". This is the largest and most popular event the Fairfield Association runs.
Any help with erecting small marquees and gazebos would be much appreciated – please come to the play area from 9am onwards to help – all needs to be ready by 11.30 for the crowds!
Donations of cakes, buns, biscuits etc for the Refreshment stall would be much appreciated. Please take along on the day.
Please contact Ruth on 63157 or ruth_haigh AT sky DOT com.
Many thanks for your support!
Wildflower Monitoring in Flora, Thursday 26th June, Fauna path/Orchard Entrance, 7pm
Martin Sherlock, who is leading the ‘expedition’ says:
"The focus will be Pony Wood, with other areas depending on time and light.
The intention is to undertake a botanical survey to get numerical data which can be compared to similar data in future years.
It will not be a wildflower walk. Participants should be booted and clad for getting up close to the vegetation (depending on the weather),
but nothing else is required. If anyone has plant books or a hand lens then by all means bring them along."
Bioblitz, Sunday 22nd June, Fauna path/Orchard Entrance, 10am
Bioblitz to monitor the beetle banks and wildflower margins of Flora, led by Chris Workman.
Meet 10.00 am at the noticeboard near the Fauna path/entrance to the orchard - the session is anticipated to take about 2 hours.
You do not have to be knowledgeable –
just interested in assisting with this important monitoring.
Appropriate clothing for weather & walking through long and possibly wet grass and possibly getting dirty/kneeling to search grass and bushes for bugs.
You won’t need paper and pencil but can bring them and cameras if you wish.
Chris hopes to bring some collecting pots, nets, identification guides etc for general use.
'Project Wild Thing’, The Gregson Centre, Tuesday 10th June, 7.30pm
Filmmaker David Bond is a worried man. His kids' waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors - not like it was back in his day. He decides it's time to get back to nature – literally.
Free Screening (donations welcome).
Project Wild Thing Flyer
Fairfield Association AGM, Wednesday 18th June, 7.30, Friends Meeting House
The AGM reports on all the activities and achievements of the past year and the plans for the future.
Re-scheduled Campfire Session, Pony Wood, Thursday May 29th May, 6.30-8.30 pm (part of the ‘GO WILD’ Programme of Events)
Come and learn how to light a fire without matches and cook typical campfire food!
Booking for the re-scheduled date for the adults-only campfire session is possible by contacting Graham on gabrandwood AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk or 07855 814042.
Go Wild Campfire Flyer
Family & Adult Campfire Sessions in Pony Wood, (part of the ‘GO WILD’ Programme of Events)
Come and learn how to light a fire without matches and cook typical campfire food:
|1 (Families)||Monday 12th May||6 – 8pm|
|2 (Families)||Wednesday 14th May||6 – 8pm|
|3 (Families)||Tuesday 20th May||6 – 8pm|
|4* (Adults only)||Thursday 22nd May||6.30 – 8.30pm|
Go Wild Campfire Flyer
Flora Talk, Thursday, May 22nd, 7.30-8.30 pm at the Storey Institute
History Beneath Our Feet. Ian Sharp and Ken Sedgwick will talk about their finds around Lancaster and the Fairfield land in particular. They will bring fascinating objects for us to look at, from Roman coins to present day losses.
One of the Summer Programme of Events (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) of the Fairfield Association Flora Nature Reserve.
Flora - Summer Programme of Events Leaflet
Blossom Picnic, Fairfield Orchard, Saturday May 10th, 1pm onwards (Cancelled)
Message from Ian:
"I am sorry to tell you that, in view of the bad weather firmly forecast for tomorrow, the BLOSSOM PICNIC has been cancelled. We hope this does not disrupt too many plans. The volunteer session continues as normal from 10 am."
Guided Walk Through Flora, Thursday May 8th 7 – 8:30 pm
Guided walk through Flora, led by Andy Lee, Tree Surgeon and Tree Enthusiast. An opportunity to learn about the trees in Flora and to see the newly planted extension to Pony Wood: what we are conserving, planting and why.
Meet at the junction of Lancaster Canal and Long Pads Footpath. Wellies or stout shoes essential.
The first in the Summer Programme of Events (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) of the Fairfield Association Flora Nature Reserve.
Flora - Summer Programme of Events Leaflet
Early Morning Bird Walk, Wednesday 9th April, 7am start, Sunnyside Lane
The walk will be led by Jon Carter, RSPB, who says
‘If the weather is decent you can expect to hear lots of birdsong, and hopefully see and hear several newly arrived migrant species amongst the local residents. Bring binoculars if you have a pair – I will have a spare pair to hand in case anyone needs them. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone that you feel may wish to join us.’
Meet at the end of Sunnyside Lane, where the footpath to the Orchard begins. The walk is likely to be around 2 hours, but anyone can leave at any point if they need to.
There will also be bird walks on:
Wednesday 16th evening - 6:30pm
Wednesday 23rd dawn walk - 7.30am
More information to follow nearer the time.
Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Monday 21st April, 2–4 pm, Fairfield Orchard
Yes, the Easter Bunny will soon be here again! The event will include the very popular egg decorating and the Easter Bonnet competition.
This is a great community event, the success of which very much depends on the invaluable support of those of you who give some of your time on the day to help. Without this help the event would not be able to take place. Thank you to all who helped with the afternoon last year.
This year we need volunteers to help with the following:
- Putting up our marquees and tables - from 12 noon and taking down about 4 pm.
- Serving refreshments. Four helpers required for just one hour each. From 1.45 - 4 pm approx.
- Assisting Tony and Jaci with putting out clues, giving out and checking answer sheets. Three helpers required. From 1.15 – 3.30 pm.
- Cake making. Each year we have a wonderful selection of cakes and biscuits provided by all you Fairfield bakers. If you would like to provide baking this year it will be much appreciated (well, there is never any left over!). It can be taken to the orchard on the day after 1 pm or left with Ruth or Tony.
- We also require 5 ‘Stewards/marshalls’ to be around the orchard and nature reserve path. This is not a difficult task and is in fact, probably the easiest. And you do get to wear a yellow jacket!
If you would like to help with any of the above or need to know exactly what is involved, please contact Tony or Ruth Haigh:
Tony Tel: 36426, email: ajea.finn AT tiscali DOT co DOT uk
Flora Talk, Thursday, March 27th, 7.30-8.30 pm at the Storey Institute
Organisms and Ecology of Flora and Fauna. A talk by Dr. Chris Workman - Chris is an active member of the Fairfield Association and will
talk about the ecology of grasslands and the organisms which make them work.
The fifth in the Spring Programme of Events (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) of the Fairfield Association Flora Nature Reserve.
Flora - Spring Programme of Events Leaflet
Introductory Bee Keepers' Course, 15th March, Carnforth
The Lancaster Beekeepers are running a One-day Introductory Course on Basic Beekeeping, to be held on 15 March 2014 at Truckhaven Conference Centre, Carnforth, from 9.30am to 4pm.
It's a taster day so that anyone interested in keeping bees can find out what is involved before committing themselves. The cost is £60 including lunch, tea and coffee throughout the day and course notes. Further details, including how to register, can be found on the Lancaster Beekeepers website.
Flora Talk, Thursday, March 6th, 7.30-8.30 pm at the Storey Institute
Local History Research. A talk by local historian, Mike Derbyshire, who will introduce us to fascinating source material relevant
to the area. Every-one welcome to bring items of interest.
The third in the Spring Programme of Events (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) of the Fairfield Association Flora Nature Reserve.
Flora - Spring Programme of Events Leaflet
Fauna and Flora Walk, Saturday March 8th, 2pm.
Hedgerows and Hedgerow Trees, their Wildlife and Landscape Value. A guided tour of Fauna and Flora exploring the hedges and hedgerow trees and learning about their management with the landscape and wildlife. Led by Tarja Wilson, Environmental Projects Officer, Lancashire County Council. Meet at the Sunnyside Lane/Orchard end of the Fauna footpath, wellies or boots needed.
The fourth in the Spring Programme of Events (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) of the Fairfield Association Flora Nature Reserve.
Flora - Spring Programme of Events Leaflet
Wassailing, Fairfield Orchard (at the end of Sunnyside Lane), Saturday 18th January, 3pm – 5pm
Come and join us in this traditional Old Twelfth Night celebration - procession starts at 3pm prompt. Bring drums, pots and pans to bang and clatter as we process through the trees!
Both young and old are invited to come dressed as the Oak King or the Apple Queen - we will draw lots to choose the sovereigns of the orchard. Traditional offerings of toast and cider to the trees. Passing of the Wassail Cup. Dancing. Bonfire. Traditional Wassailing songs taught and performed.
Suggested donation £1 per person.
Party in the Paddock, Saturday 5th October 3-8 p.m.
We have been awarded a grant to celebrate the recent success in acquiring the fields to expand the Fauna Nature Reserve, and we are only allowed to spend the money on a party!
Since the local community has played such a large part in making this a success we wanted to thank you and celebrate with you, so for this year, 'Party in the Paddock' will be replacing our usual 'Apple Day' event.
Please download the flyer below for further details of the party:
Party in the Paddock flyer
Flora Learning Programme begins on September 19th at 7.30 pm in the Storey Institute
The Heritage Lottery Fund project which has helped the Association to buy the Flora fields also has a learning component, which will begin on 19th September with a talk and question-and-answer session in the Storey Institute. Hilary and Mick Short, two long-standing Fairfield Association trustees, will give an illustrated talk: The Fairfield Association and Flora: Past, Present, Plans and Possibilities.
This will be the first of a series of Flora-related talks and activities, which will continue until spring 2014. Other parts of the Heritage Lottery Fund-funding will provide:
- Learning activities for children in local primary and secondary schools and in FLORA;
- Training for volunteers to help them to maintain the reserve;
- An end-of-project two-day public exhibition in Lancaster City Centre about FLORA, its heritage and the Fairfield Association’s longer-term plans for conserving and managing the FLORA reserve.
Flora - Autumn Programme of Events Leaflet
Amended Fairfield Association Constitution
At the AGM on June 12th we will be voting on an amended constitution.
This is based on the new model constitution provided by the Charities
Commission. If you wish to read the new constitution prior to the vote, please
download it from the link below. We have also provided a jargon-free (as far as possible!) commentary on the document in order to explain what the changes mean and why they're necessary.
Fairfield Association Amended Constitution.
Fairfield Association Amended Constitution - Commentary
The play area and the Orchard continue to be immensely popular and successful. Unfortunately, from time to time groups of underage drinkers (mainly from outside the Fairfield area) congregate in the area because they have been moved on from elsewhere. The Association takes seriously all incidents of anti-social behaviour, bullying or anything else, and works closely with schools and the police to make sure that the play area and the Orchard continue to be accessible and friendly places for everyone to meet and enjoy themselves.
The whole of Fairfield is now an Alcohol-Free Zone.
i) if you see young people drinking, particularly in the early evening, if you see anybody vandalising the area or any other anti-social behaviour, please ring the police on (01524) 596649 (voicemail), or email email@example.com. If you would prefer not to draw attention to yourself by a visit from the police, simply say so when you make the call.
ii) If you see empty bottles on the Green, please put them in the bin.
iii) Please support the efforts of the police, by attending the monthly PACT meetings and making your experiences and views known. Our Police Community Safety Officer, Cath Elliott.
Please report damage to the play equipment to Andrew Brennand: (01524) 542795.
Keeping Up our Numbers…
We have raised a lot of money to provide the play area, Millennium Orchard and Fauna. But we still need your support if we are to build on our successes. In particular we need more active members. Under ‘Membership’ you will find a downloadable membership form and details of the scheme to pay annual subscriptions by standing order if you prefer. In the meantime, to join the Association please contact our Membership Secretary - see the Contact Us page.