The first part of the visit was to demonstrate how valuable a froe is for splitting wood. There are several ovens which the group collectively built here, all of which can burn wood as a fuel. Currently, a small hand axe is used to split the wood. I suggested they try a froe last time I visited, so I brought one along this time. Both Jenny and Matt were instand converts. We use the froe a lot when working with children as it is a safe and accurate way of splitting wood. It is also very useful if you are trying to make a more uniform charcoal, which no doubt the group will attempt at some point in time. I blew off my froeing cobwebs to make sure all was well, then demonstrated it to Jenny and Matt.
Once they both got into it, they could hardly stop with Matt especially the RCMA whackarat grand champion as the following picture shows:
The second part of the day was to support the Cardiff Orchard Project in a high tech way. Some time ago, I mentioned to Jenny that I'd GPS waymarked an apple tree for her Cardiff Orchard Project. I started using a GPS years ago when performing woodland survey work at Westonbirt Arboretum, then footpath mapping with Monmouthshire County Council and Japanese knotweed surveying for Torfaen County Borough Council. It is a very quick and accurate way of reporting a multitude of data which can be easily incorporated into GIS systems, or for me now more likely Google Maps for marking fly tipping, litter collection points or just meeting points for events. The Cardiff Orchard Project aims to show us just how much food is growing around us in Cardiff. There is a website here and a Googlemap here and I said I would help to see if GPS technology could augment the Cardiff Orchard Project. The first part of the session was to see if a GPS would be a practical asset for the project, so we walked along and waymarked 4 fruit trees on the allotment site. We returned to the laptop and uploaded the data into Garmin's basic Mapsource software and exported them into Google Earth. The accuracy of the GPS on such a cloudy day stunned them. From Google Earth we then exported the trees as a .kml file to the hard drive, then uploaded the .kml file into a back-up of the Cardiff Orchard Google Map. The Results are below and they were bang on and simple to do:
All in all a great afternoon. The Riverside Community Allotments in Pontcanna are open Wednesdays and Fridays at this time of the year and anyone is welcome to pop along. For more info visit their website here or look them up on Facebook.
For those of you still reading, the third prong was meant to be photographing bumblebees that have nested in one of the sheds that the group have been diligently policing since we had a joint clean up operation earlier in the year. Possitive identification of the bumblebee will help them to work out what best to do with the nest.