Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cothill Fen and Christmas Lunch at the Merry Miller, 14th December 2013

We gathered in the car park opposite the Merry Miller for our session at Cothill Fen, led by Dr Judy Webb. Once again, we were very lucky with the weather as it was fine and sunny. We walked along the footpath to the fen and Judy pointed out the new fencing that has been installed to keep the ponies in, which are being introduced early next year to graze the fen.

We could not do our originally planned task of reed raking as they had not been cut so instead we set to work cutting back any vegetation that was encroaching on the fen and cutting back any shoots that were sprouting from the tree stumps. If trees and shrubs are allowed to grow on the fen, they will take over and the fen will become scrub, thus destroying the unique ecosystem of an alkaline fen. There were orange tapes tied to some of the stumps where rare plants were growing, such as a rare fern and a dark-leaved willow.

During our tea break and sampled some of Robert's home made cinnamon biscuits and Judy showed us the fungi she had collected. Then it was back to work and even though we thought we had finished cutting back the sprouting stumps, we kept finding more.

We made our way back to the car park and thence across the road for our pre Christmas lunch at the Merry Miller, which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

That was our last session before the Christmas and New Year break. The next session on 11th January will be the A.G.M. but before that some of us will be going to see the Creation Theatre production "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".


Sally and Kate cutting back encroaching vegetation

Kevin and Margaret hard at work

Tea Break

Enjoying Robert's cinnamon biscuits

Judy shows off her blewits

Festive cheer at the Merry Miller

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