Monday, December 17, 2012

Cothill Fen, 15th December 2012

For our final session of 2012 we returned to Cothill Fen.  As has been the case on many occasions this year, the heavy rain of the previous day had made way for bright sunshine as we assembled in the car park opposite the Merry Miller pub.  Here we met BBOWT site manager, Martyn Lane who outlined the morning's tasks.  We heard that earlier in the week, reeds had been cut and required raking, and some of the trees and shrubs encroaching upon the edge of the fen - mostly hazel and silver birch, required cutting back.

A short walk along the lane to the site followed, carrying the tools, while negotiating all the mud and many puddles!  Upon arrival, we were shown the area that required raking and the volunteers split into several groups - either raking up and stacking the grass and reeds or cutting back the trees and saplings. 

Due to the nature of the fen and because of all the recent rain, conditions underfoot were soggy to say the least.  Despite our best efforts, it was impossible to avoid getting rather muddy and on some occasions getting out wellies rather stuck in the boggy ground!  However, due to our large numbers and hard work, we made good progress.

A little later on, some further BBOWT volunteers appeared and kept themselves busy raking reeds on the adjoining Parsonage Moor and adding them to a bonfire.

Our tea-break was most welcome at 11am and this time we enjoyed some of Robert's homemade biscuits, which were most welcome.

We continued with our tasks after the interval and appeared to have made good progress.  What better reward than to head to the Merry Miller at the end of the session for our annual Christmas meal, where session leader Margaret had booked us a table.  As well as the work party, we were joined by some additional members for lunch, bringing our number up to 17.  A great way to end the year.

Next up will be our AGM on January 12th.

the group preparing to start work
winter sun
muddy underfoot
Eleanor adding cut reeds to the pile
Lauren enjoying tea and homemade biscuit!
reed raking and bonfire on Parsonage Moor
finishing up and heading back
our Christmas lunch venue - the Merry Miller

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