EPICH stands for 'Eco People In Croft and Hurworth' - They are a committee that works on projects within the parish concerning green spaces.

You can find out more about their great work on their own website at www.epich.org.uk or click on the Instagram logo below to see some of their recent work and information.

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EPICH Report – July 2021 

AGM

The EPICH AGM is planned for the 15th July.

Lychgate Orchard

Our resident artist, Jaime Westwood, has completed her work on the Lychgate Orchard information panel, and the panel has now been ordered; it had been hoped that it would be ready for installation in June, but due to a longer lead time with the panel supplier, it is now hoped to be installed in July.

Fund Raising

The EPICH volunteers set up a plant stand at the recent opening of the Grange Coffee Pot, and managed to raise just under £150, which will go towards future EPICH projects.

EPICH Report – June 2021 
 

Heritage Orchard

Work has been completed on planting the wildflower and Yellow rattle plugs.

The wildflower plugs had been planned to be planted alongside the woodland walk, but due to an infestation of Ground Elder and the Three Cornered Leek, in this area, it was decided to plant the plugs in the shaded area of the Heritage Orchard.
 

The Yellow Rattle has been planted in preparation for more wildflowers to be planted here next year; Yellow Rattle is a parasitic plant that weakens grass, which in turn allows other plants, such as wildflowers, to grow in grassed areas.
 

The Cowslips, originally planted in the now defunct wildflower meadow, have been lifted and transplanted into the Heritage Orchard area.

Lychgate Orchard
 

The paths have recently been mown and are starting to take shape, planting has been completed, bird boxes have been installed on to every tree.

Our resident artist, Jaime Westwood, has completed her work on the Lychgate Orchard information panel, and the panel has now been ordered; it is hoped that it will be ready for installation in June.

Seed Swap
Epich have set up a seed swap, where people can swap their spare/unwanted seeds.
The stand is located in the Grange entrance.
It's open 10.00am till 12.00pm at the moment.

On Wednesday 26thJune, Judith Redfern and Helen Raine from EPICH, met with Carole and Elizabeth (who is a local botanist) from the Darlington & Teesdale Naturalists Club, to complete a wildflower survey in the meadow area at the Grange.

 

Elizabeth was very impressed with the success rate the EPICH volunteers have achieved. The planting and sowing, over the past 12 months, of Yellow Rattle, which is now flowering, has been very successful; Yellow Rattle is a parasitic plant on meadow grass and so suppresses the growth of the lush grass allowing the meadow flowers to grow more freely.

 

Together, we counted 18 different species of plants including two meadow grasses imaginatively called Crested Dogs Tale and Yorkshire Fog. We also saw a large green dragonfly, which from research appears to be called the “Large Green Dragonfly”!

 

When asked about spring bulbs and flowers to extend the range, Carole and Elizabeth suggested to try Winter Aconite bulbs (which are a very early source of nectar for insects) and Bluebell bulbs, followed by Cowslips; the Cowslips cam initially be bought as plug plants, which would all flower and then reseed before the perennial meadow plants got going.

Their other suggestions, for extra perennial diversity, would be to buy plugs of Meadow Cranesbill and Red Campion, all of which will self seed and spread.

 

Overall, Elizabeth’s opinion was that the meadow is doing well for the short period it has been in existence, as it can often take years to establish.