Frilford Heath SSSI, 27th July 2013

Ten of us met at Woodhaven, Frilford Heath, for our third assault on the Himalayan Balsam on the SSSI site. The Met Office had promised us rain in the early afternoon but at 9.30 the weather was still pleasantly sunny.

Having sprayed ourselves liberally with insect repellent in anticipation of the voracious woodland wildlife, we set off for our encampment. We decided that one group should tackle the the balsam on the reed bed at the nearer edge of the site, while others chose various patches further into the site to work on. The Himalayan Balsam had grown very tall and much of it was in flower. We were joined by Dieuwke and later by Lesley, but even with twelve of us hard at work, the task seemed endless.

Sally had provided us with a delicious lemon drizzle cak for our very welcome refreshment break and then we set to work again. The central area we had worked hard on over the past few years was still clear, which was encouraging. Fortunately, there was still no sign of the rain that had been forecast as we packed up to go home.

Sally anxiously contemplates the task ahead

Eleanor among the Himalayan Balsam

Carolyn drowning in Himalayan Balsam

a speckled wood butterfly

Barry holds his balsam aloft

Did Victor eat all the cake?


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