The Palatine Projects Pathway To Happiness :)

In the middle of October, the Palatine Projects welcomed 12 young people from the Prince’s Trust Volunteers to Palatine. Their mission was to help us pull out all the buddleia, brambles and silver birch saplings and to begin to dig out a woodland path through our community garden area.

Thankfully, the weather was kind. It was lovely to see so many members of the community coming by to see what was going on and to offer encouragement. We even received a home-made cake to keep everyone’s energy levels up! We worked with the young people and project workers Charlie and Lily from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for 8 days. It was heavy work as the whole court is full of root systems which have been growing for the last decade. You need to watch the film below to see the extensive lopping, chopping and digging which went on down there. Since the film, the young people have transferred loads of earth that they’d dug to form the pathway and created a path slope which comes down from Palatine Avenue into the garden. It looks fab!

The City Council is now going to help us by coming and putting a more permanent surface down to define the space. They are hopeful that that work can be carried out in early December so we can invite the Prince’s Trust Volunteers back to see how the space is coming along. The Council have been very supportive over the last couple of weeks, supplying us with a range of tools, gloves and wheelbarrows! Thanks 🙂

Once the young people had finished the path clearance, they also planted bulbs around the garden which were funded by the Palatine Projects and the City Council. By spring we should be seeing some real colour in that garden.

A fortnight’s digging was hard work! It was exhausting! However, in these COVID days, it was also lovely to be working with other people in a safe outdoor space. We all got fitter and had something really good to show from the fruits of our work together.

If you would like to know when we are having more working parties at Palatine, sign up to our mailing list and get involved! Once you’ve broken through the pain barrier, it’s really good fun! Contact Us

If you want to find out more about the Prince’s Trust Volunteers, check out their website –

During the fortnight, Duncan Moore came over from the Beyond Radio Studio to interview the young people about the work they had been doing to improve the site. It went out during his lunchtime show – have a listen below. Thanks Duncan 🙂

Blessed are the cake makers…!

We’ve worked again today to rake up some of the brambles and budleia branches and just finish clearing the space in preparation for the next phase which will be the installation of the pathway which creates a woodland walk through the space onto Palatine Avenue.

Despite the icy gale force winds, we kept going and realised that raking is a lot more physical than lopping and chopping! So when the cakes arrived during our break, they were very welcome 🙂 Thanks to our bakers and to Rebecca who nipped home to brew up for everyone! It was good to meet more new volunteers today 🙂

So, watch this space for our next working party in the nature area. and if you have anything to contribute to the Palatine Projects in terms of starting up a little project (even if it’s erecting bird boxes on the silver birches), let us know and if we can, we’ll call for more help!

Rakes and Cakes Session!

Sunday 1st March 2020 at 10:30 – 12:00

We’ve checked the weather and there is a big Sun shining over Lancaster next Sunday, so come and join us at the top court on Palatine to indulge in a free cardio-vascular workout whilst improving our area!!

As you’ll see from the picture, we have summoned up our finest Photoshop skills to show you the vision of the pathway which will eventually run through the court and onto Palatine Avenue. That’s just the start though: Just imagine a bit of seating, some wildflowers, bird boxes, insect hotels – the list goes on and on…:)

What we would like to do:

  • Rake the area and just get rid of the last bits of brambles
  • Dig up those tree stumps

How can you help? (it’s simple actually)

  • Rock up with a rake or a big axe
  • get digging and raking
  • bring a cake (optional but always good for morale!)

Since last week, the City Council has been and chipped all of the things that were chopped down and they’ve helped us with the access point from the site onto Palatine.

Slowly, but surely, it’s all heading in the right direction 🙂 Come and join in!

If you would like to receive updates of events and working sessions at Palatine, sign up to our mailing list here

Seeing the Wood for the Trees @ Palatine

Seeing the Wood for the Trees @ Palatine

Thanks to the small, but perfectly formed group of loppers and choppers who pitched up this morning to help with some woodland management at the top court at Palatine.

First thing, there was a bit of rain, but then the sun shone down on us all. This is very fortunate as it seems as though there has been nothing but rain for every weekend this year! If that weren’t enough, it seems that Storm Ellen will be visiting tomorrow, so this window of good weather has served us well.

Thanks also to Andy, one of the City Council Rangers who brought a range of amazing hand tools with him. The good thing about going and working on the land is that it’s an opportunity to chat with people about just what’s possible. And there was a lot of chatting.

It’s hard to believe that until David Redmore, our landscape designer and friend, came along with his chainsaw and worked with us to thin out the area about four winters ago, that this space was completely impenetrable. Back then, the only way we were able to access the space was to crawl in on our hands and knees! Now, it’s an open, light space – and the silver birch look quite magnificent in there.

What Next?

Now the preliminary cut back is done, we’d like to meet again to rake through the area. The City Council are going to help us to forge a path through the wood onto Palatine Avenue using materials which are sympathetic to the natural environment. Then comes the fun bit of putting in some wild flowers, seats and bird boxes

What can you do to help?

Well, you can just come and get involved – there’s always a job to do! If you are a dab hand at making bird boxes, then you could could get building and installing them. If you don’t think you’ve got the physical strength to join in, come and bring cake for the workers! If you’ve got an axe, there’s a number of tree stumps which are still standing proud which need taking out. It’s slow progress, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we really get a sense that we are building something strong community foundations.

We actually enjoyed ourselves – sign up to our mailing list and come and join us next time 🙂 You’re very welcome.