The fen had recently been mown and required raking. Since one of the club's courses was closed on this particular day, we could work without too much fear of being hit by a golf ball! That said, there was an active fairway close by, so we still had to be careful.
Natural England have an active role in looking after this site, and the session was once again supervised by Dr Judy Webb from that organisation. The fen is home to a number of locally-rare plants including sphagnum mosses and orchids, and therefore requires some maintenance to ensure its survival within the golf course.
Seven volunteers turned out - an impressive number for a Monday, and just as well, for there was plenty of raking to be done. The cuttings were raked into piles, with the material later loaded into builders' drag-bags and transported to one end of the fen for later collection by the club's ground staff.
Around 80 golf balls were retreived during our work, and a number of orchids and other plants were identified by Judy as we worked. Most of these will not flower until June, which is a pity as we will not get to see them. It is good however to know that our work is successful in safeguarding this fragile habitat.
|A busy car park upon arrival|
|Raking gets underway|
|A resident snail|
|The leaf of a common spotted orchid|
|Patches of sphagnum moss are marked on the fen to avoid disturbance|
|The leaves of twayblade orchids|
|Kristine and Kate take it easy!|
|A stream runs through the fen, although the area is drier than it would ideally be|
|Cuckooflower or Lady's Smock|
|The volunteers relax on the pile of rakings at the end of the session!|
|All the golf balls we found on the fen during the session - can you count them all?!|
|Two Pine Fen as seen within the golf course environment|