Cothill Fen, 13th December 2014

This was our final outing of the year and our second consecutive work party at Cothill Fen.  Once again, we were joined by Judy Webb from Natural England, who was directing our activities at the site.

Fifteen-strong, we met in the car park and unloaded the tools before beginning the fairly lengthy trek along the path to the Fen itself.  Upon arrival, Judy set out the morning's tasks, which were primarily to continue thinning the trees that have been encroaching upon the edges of the wetland habitat and also to add to the log path at the around the edge of the site perimeter - using the trunks of some of the felled trees.

Prior to commencing, Green Gym session leader Margaret gave a short presentation on the correct use of tools - namely loppers and saws.  This was mainly for the benefit of our new members, but served as a good refresher for the rest of us.

We set to work and despite the cold and frosty start to the morning, we soon warmed up.  Many small trees were removed and the branches were moved to existing brush piles at the edge of the woods.  Being winter, the sun was low on the horizon and particularly bright, adding an extra, challenging dimension to proceedings.  It was good to see the sun penetrating into the previously dense woodland, however.  This should allow many of the rare fenland plants to thrive in area where previously they struggled to get much light.

Significant progress was made throughout the morning, right up until the close of play.  Being the last session of the year, it was straight to the nearby pub afterwards, the Merry Miller, for our annual Christmas meal.  A great end to another successful year's Green Gym!

Off to work...

A frosty start on the fen

Getting started

Margaret demonstrates the correct use of loppers

Rihanna fells a tree


Gathering together some logs for the path

Path construction underway

Woodland encroaching upon the fen

One of the fenland plants - Spurge Laurel

The tree boundary

Almost done!


The Christmas meal at the Merry Miller


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