We assembled in the farmyard at Manor Farm in Marcham for our second assault on the Himalayan Balsam along the roadside and on the farm land. Kristine had brought her grandson, William so with our oldest members also present, we ranged in age from 17 to 87.
Kate M volunteered to work in the ditch at the side of Mill Road and was soon joined by Dieuwke, who had cycled from Abingdon in an environmentally friendly fashion. We are anxious to keep this ditch clear of balsam and our hard work over the years has paid off as there are now quite a variety of native wild flowers growing there. The rest of us went through the gate into the neighbouring field to work along the field edge and Barry and Enid decided to walk up the footpath beside the field. The Himalayan Balsam in the field had grown very tall and we had soon made some very satisfactory heaps.
We had our break in the relative luxury of the barn with plastic chairs to sit on and a large concrete slab to serve as a table. Then it was back to work in the very pleasant sunshine, though we had no hope of getting rid of it all. We decided that what we needed was a chain gang of convicts but even that wouldn't solve the problem of the plants growing between the barbed wire fence and the steep sided stream.
At last it was time to tear ourselves away from the very obsessive task and return to the farmyard with the opportunity to buy meat, eggs and honey from the farm shop.
Photos by Sally: