It was our annual visit to Kennington Memorial Field for this week's session. The meeting place was the car park for the playing field. We arrived just before the Saturday morning kids football teams who use the pitches adjacent to the work site here.
We were met by a couple of local volunteers, who showed us what needed to be done. Namely, to cut back the encroachment of blackthorn and brambles with the idea of encouraging the grass to grow for the summer-grazing cattle. It is the intention that the animals will keep the bushes from returning by nibbling away at any new shoots that may emerge.
We set about the task with loppers to tackle the thick and tough shoots, wearing thorn-proof gloves and eye protection. Otherwise, dragging out the long strands of brambles and needle-sharp spikes on the thorn stems could inflict a painful reminder of our visit!
Once the cut stems had been piled up, it was a question of moving these piles gingerly with pitchforks. The original plan of pushing the springy stems into drag bags proved futile.Normally, the cuttings would be left for the local wildlife to use as shelter, but as is traditional at this site, we instead have a bonfire!
It was good to be able to feel a sense of achievement at the end of the session - we cleared a sizeable area, which hopefully will be extended next time we visit.
|Kate and Robert having a tug of war with the brambles|
|James, Janet and Petra in the thick of it|
|Eleanor starting her task|
|Kate, Michelle and Lesley making short work of one bush that was soon to be fire wood|
|The satisfaction of disposing of it|
|Refreshments (normally we have the luxury of the sports pavilion for our break but it had been taken over by the football spectators for their half time diversion)|
|The finished result|