We walked down the meadow to the wood, where there was a lot of balsam growing. This type of balsam is not as large and invasive as Himalayan Balsam and has a yellow flower, but it is still worth getting rid of, so that was one of the tasks. The other task, pulling up bamboo, was much more challenging.
Abraham's Wood was once part of a private garden and consequently has a lot of ornamental non native shrubs such as laurel and bamboo. We used forks and spades to try and dig up the roots, which run for many metres underground. Sometimes we were able to pull up a really long root but sometimes we had to give up and cut them off close to the ground.
After our coffee break some of us swapped tasks, but the bamboo pullers had really got stuck in and would not give up easily. Steadily, the piles of bamboo roots and balsam grew. By the end of the session we had achieved quite a lot but there is still plenty to do. We found what may be some badger sets. The hazelnuts on the abundant hazel trees were developing and in the spring, the woods will be a sea of bluebells.
|Pulling up balsam|
|more balsam pulling|
|Robert digging up bamboo roots|
|A prize-winning bamboo root!|