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Today we cleared a large area of invasive holly on the western side of Spring Wood, and managed to burn most of it despite wet conditions making for a slow start to the bonfire. The fire area was taped off as usual at the end of the session. Chocolate cake and lemon drizzle cake at coffee break.
A cold but dry morning was spent on Nettlebed Commons with several different tasks. Some of us starting by raking up and removing the brush cuttings at the bottom end of the heather patch at Priest Hill. It was a good way to get nice and warm before we joined the gang who were cutting out gorse, and pulling brambles and honeysuckles from between the heather plants. It was an advantage to be doing this now as the ground is so wet that the roots came out so much more easily. Another group were cutting back Blackthorn to make the path wider. We were very well sustained by Lindsay Hasler’s delicious apple cake.”
A seizable group turned out for a first weekend in 2016 on Ewelme. We stuck to our ‘normal’ task of cleaning up the watercress beds, pulling cress and moving it to the banks. Additionally we removed a few heavy plants that contaminated the beds which pleased the caretaker of the watercress beds.Good to see all these fit people putting in an effort to keep the environment clean, tidy and usable.
Cleeve Court Water Meadows
Several willows had been pollarded before our October session at Cleeve Water Meadow, leaving branches in heaps for us to process. We removed the thin material, piling up the heavier branches ready for log burning and the narrower straight poles for future hedging, and carried the brash to the bonfire. Charlotte’s Victoria sponge and rock cakes and Diane’s sticky fruit cake for coffee break, with home-grown grapes and pears as a bonus.
Temple Island Meadows
Gratifying to see how open the meadows are now, especially as the reeds can be cut down by a mower in the autumn unimpeded by masses of felled trees. The remaining branches so painstakingly collected into discrete heaps by the Green Gym over the years had been bulldozed into two large heaps, from which we sorted out larger logs in our October session. These logs are destined to make charcoal for long-term carbon capture.
Fantastic weather and fantastic views on Watlington Hill where our group of 17 volunteers fed 2 bonfires with the brash from felled birches and sycamores. These had been cut down to maintain open downland habitat for the rich variety of wild flowers still blooming there in October, including 2 types of gentian.