A week in the life of the “Tree Man”

The Amelia Trust Farm was awarded £85,274 in 2010. Dave Jones is their community relations and environmental development worker. Here’s his diary of a week on the farm.

My job title is a bit of a tongue twister so I stick to “tree man” for short. (Being 5’5 I’m always short!)

Monday – No such thing as a slow start to the week. Maes Dyfan School came to stay for the week. They always bring the sunshine with them. They came armed with trowels, forks and paint brushes ready to do their bit to brighten up the site. This year the group were set the challenge of sprucing up our amphitheatre.

Tuesday – Maes Dyfan were in full swing at the amphitheatre, so I focused on other groups and volunteers at the farm. A 17 year old joined us for a week from Parc Prison on a ‘Released On Temporary Licence’ scheme. I knew he was a grafter so set him to work on the strimmer cutting back and edging all the long grass on site. I work with vulnerable young people from across South Wales delivering conservation and woodland management sessions. Today we cut and split logs for firewood to sell to raise money for the farm (oh the joys of being a sustainable charity!)

Funded city farm
Funded city farm

Wednesday – The farm is also open to the public for visits. It’s a shame that not everybody comes here to see the animals and enjoy the countryside. I arrived in the morning to find some unscrupulous types had fly tipped building waste in our entrance. Being a charity we’re grateful for donations, but gone off plaster, scrap worktops and a broken telly aren’t much good to us. So once we’d dealt with that it was back to the woods to clear the pathways around the pond.

Thursday – With the amphitheatre gleaming it was time to set new tasks for the volunteers. Maes Dyfan began to weed the main yard while another volunteer removed some old fencing ready for it to be reclaimed and reused around site (remember reduce, reuse and recycle!). I spent the day in the woods reclaiming an old gate and fixing our wood chipper.

Friday – A day of odd jobs. Maes Dyfan packed up and left so the farm was quiet for the first time in a week. As for the young person on ROTL he said his goodbyes and went back to Parc Prison. So that’s another productive week on the farm.

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