Monday, October 13, 2014

Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, 11th October 2014

Once again we were at Abraham's Wood, Boar's Hill to continue with our attempts to eradicate the laurel and bamboo. The previous tasks we have carried out here include making "doughnuts" around newly coppiced hazel to prevent the deer from nibbling the new growth, building a dead hedge and planting oak tree whips.

Unlike last week, the weather was fine and sunny and despite predicted scattered showers, remained dry throughout the morning. As we made our way down through the meadow, with its wonderful view of Oxford, we met a couple of disconsolate mushroom gatherers returning from a fungus foray with about two mushrooms. The weather had been much too dry in September for any worthwhile quantity of mushrooms to have appeared by the second week in October.

Having made our encampment in the wood, one group set to work on the bamboo roots with mattocks and the others attacked the laurel. Bamboo has runners which spread underground, criss crossing in an intricate network so eradicating it is very hard work. Laurel is almost as bad, taking root spreading underground and popping up again everywhere. The aim is to return the wood, which used to be part of a private garden, to native deciduous woodland. Nineteenth century plant hunters have a lot to answer for.

We stopped for a welcome break at 11 o'clock and, fortified by cake, carried on with our tasks. Returning up the hill, we felt we had achieved quite a lot in one morning, though there is still plenty to be done.

-Eleanor


Tackling the bamboo


Cutting back the laurel
Barry sets to work on a laurel branch

Back to work after the tea break

Returning up the hill


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