Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mill Road, Marcham, 15th June 2013

Today we had our first visit of the year to Mill Road, Marcham to start pulling up the abundant Himalayan Balsam. Here, several streams and ditches drain into the Ock , up river from Abingdon, so it is important to eradicate as much balsam as possible before it seeds and gets carried down river.

We parked in the yard at Manor Farm and made our way down the road to inspect the ditch, where there had been a lot of balsam in previous years. We were pleased to see that in this area there wasn't as much as in before and that native wild flowers, such as cow parsley, buttercups and white dead nettle were now dominant, but some of us set about removing any Himalayan plants we spotted.

The biggest task, however, was on the opposite side of the lane in a field occupied by a very friendly horse and two ponies. Here there was a veritable carpet of balsam on the edge of the field and down the banks of the stream so we set to work to get as much cleared as possible.

We were certainly ready for our tea break at eleven back in the farmyard and enjoyed the relative comfort of a barn, where there was an old plastic patio table and several chairs. Then it was back to work until 12.30. We knew from last year that the stream behind the farm needed a lot of attention but we would have to leave that until our next visit.

Dieuwke in the ditch

Victor makes friends with a horse

a carpet of himalayan balsam

tea break in the barn

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