Monday, June 2, 2014

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 31st May 2014

We were back at our most-frequented site this weekend - the town end of the Ock Valley Walk, since there was much work outstanding from previous sessions this year.

Having assembled by the footbridge at the weir, and transported our tools to the worksite, it was apparent that the stinging nettles and other vegetation had grown considerably in recent weeks.  So much so that they dwarfed many of the newly-planted trees.  Therefore one of the most important jobs was to clear an area of approximately one metre in radius around each tree in order to permit light to get through and give them the best possible chance of survival.  This was a fairly tricky operation because the nettles were so high that we had difficulty in even finding the saplings.  Coupled with the painful stinging ability of the nettles and the strong sunlight, this took some stamina!  However, the difficult nature of the task was slightly offset by the joy of discovering that the majority of the trees were in good health.

In amongst the wooded area, there was much Himlayan Balsam growth and this also required dealing with.  Thus another group set about uprooting the plant.  Again, dodging the stinging nettles and avoiding the disturbing/startling of the occasional resident muntjac deer required much care.

Meanwhile, the branch of a crack willow tree that had fallen across the woodchip path was removed with the aid of a saw and the woodchip was re-layed over the majority of the path.  Also, a litter-pick was conducted.

With our 10+ strong team, including new member, Adam, we were able to achieve much, although we will be back to continue our work here later in the year.  Hopefully the trees will still be in good health at that time.
-Andrew

The refreshment break

Nettles removed around a Rowan sapling

One of the new Bird Cherry trees in good health



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