Sunday, December 1, 2013

Stonehill House, 30th November 2013

On a fine, sunny Saturday morning eight of us met in the courtyard of Stonehill House, a lovely red brick manor house on the southern edge of Abingdon. The house, outbuildings and gardens are used as a Russian cultural centre as well as hosting projects such as theraputic gardening for people suffering from mental illness.

Our task was to clear a footpath through the woods and remove tree guards from the various trees with which the fields had been extensively planted.

We walked through the grounds and the woods into the field with the young trees. Three people stayed in the wood to clear the footpath and the rest of us set to work removing the tree guards, loading them into barrows and taking them to the top of the field to dump by the gate. We had had a pevious session removing the guards back in April and there still seemed to be hundreds left. The footpath rakers soon finished their task and came to join us.

The field has several badger sets near the northern border but as it was broad daylight, we saw no sign of them snuffling around, eating worms, moving goalposts or whatever else badgers are reputed to do.

We enjoyed our coffee break in the pleasant sunshine and then carried on with our task until it was time to pack up. We had made very good progress but there were still some tree guards left and we hadn't even been able to start on the field at the other side of the house, so I expect we will be back some time in the new year.

Dieuwke, Carolyn and Ursula clearing the footpath

Colin removing tree guards

coffee break

pegasus in the courtyard

James removing tree guards

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