Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, 14th February 2015

A cold start awaited the twelve Green Gymmers that assembled at Boars Hill, outside the Open University buildings for another session at Abrahams Wood, on Valentine's Day.  The fog that had greeted us early on soon gave way to sunny conditions, interspersed with some cloudiness and drizzle.

Tools and tea kit were distributed among the group for the lengthy transit through the kissing gate, down the hill and into the woods.  It was the usual set of tasks at this location, namely continuing the struggle to eradicate the invasive, non-native laurel trees and shrubs that have become so rampant here and to make 'willow doughnuts' - protective rings woven around the base of hazel trees to discourage the damaging grazing antics of local deer.

Some of our newer members were keen to try the doughnut making, with Ursula instructing them on technique.  Others got underway with another bout of laurel clearance and adding the cuttings to the 'dead hedge' that we established on a previous occasion and have added to since.

It is difficult to see if we are making any real progress with the laurel here however, owing to the fact that the cuttings continually put down new roots and sprout anew!  We can at least attempt to manage the situation and give the native trees such as the oak, hazel and holly the best chances of survival.

Regardless, the site is a beautiful spot in which to work and we enjoy our sessions here.  Today was no exception, and special mention should be given to Eleanor's wonderful home-made cake that appeared at the tea break as a definite highlight!

A bright start...

Preparing to descend the hill

Arriving at site

Ursula instructs Janet, Kate and Heidi on doughnut making

Taking a break

Eleanor's excellent cake

An area of laurel clearance

Packing up

Emerging from the woods

Through the kissing gate at session's end


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