Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, 5th March 2016

It was back to Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill on Saturday, where we met with Andy Gunn from Oxford Preservation Trust who was supervising our session.

There were two main jobs - firstly to remove a neglected and potentially dangerous barbed-wire fence from the old golf course area, and secondly to continue felling the non-native and invasive laurel from the woods.  We split into sub-teams and Andy instructed each on the finer points of these tasks.
The fence-removers set about donning safety glasses and taking bolt-cutters and other specialist tools to enable safe removal of the barbed-wire from the fence posts.  The wire was somewhat entangled around shrubs and bushes in the vicinity, thus loppers were also employed to set it free, before winding it up, ready for transporting away.  Next, the fence posts were removed.  Some of these could simply be pulled up, while others required digging out with spades.

Meanwhile, the other group had plenty to keep them occupied in the woods.  Some of the larger laurel trees had recently been felled by Andy and his work colleague and required cutting and stacking into piles.  Smaller trees and branches were also felled and removed.

The fence had been fully removed by break time, and immediately afterwards the wire and posts were transported across to the woods for later collection.  

Everyone was then involved in laurel-removal for the second half, and considerable progress was made in this regard.  It was apparent that a lot more light was making it through to the floor of the woods as we progressed, good news for the native flora and fauna!

Assembling outside the OU buildings
Making our way through the kissing-gate
Andy instructs the group on the morning's tasks
The fence-removal team have a briefing
Fence removal in progress
A recently fallen tree next to the old fence
The fence posts and barbed-wire following removal
Finishing up the fence-removal task
A small stream running through the old golf course site
A well-deserved elevenses
Margaret and Sally get busy clearing laurel
Spot the Green-Gymmer!
The group wending their way back up the hil at session's end...


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