Sunday, November 20, 2016

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 19th November 2016

Another session was held at Boundary House Fen, within Frilford Heath Golf Course on Saturday. It was our first trip here for a few months, and as usual, we gathered in the main club car park before driving the short distance along the road to the ground-staffs' premises to park and walk to the work site.  Or at least that was the plan - instead, our convoy arrived at the turn-off to be greeted with a locked gate, and we had no option but to park on the grass verge beside the main road and carry our tools a longer distance to the fen than usual.  On the way we passed by Two Pine Fen, where we have held a couple of weekday sessions, this year and last.  Unfortunately, the reeds had not been cut as had been hoped, and the area looked rather overgrown and neglected.

The longer walk meant that we didn't arrive at the Boundary House site until 10am.  It was still rather cold and frosty at this time and some warm-up exercises were performed to get us going.  While the session was led by Kevin this week, as usual at this location Judy Webb (representing Natural England) was present to oversee our operations.  Raking the cut reeds was the main task, with the removal of some small trees and log debris also on the agenda.

The raking was intially quite tricky since the ground was frozen, but soon after we started, it thawed quickly and we raked the reeds into piles and then either pitch-forked them to piles at the top of the site, or filled a builders' drag bag with them and hauled them across.

James began to remove some tree growth around the perimeter as the rest of us were occupied with the raking, and was later joined by Carolyn and Lesley.

The rakers worked from one side of the site to another throughout the morning and made impressive headway, but were unable to complete the task in the time available.  We will be back in the new year to continue though, and during the past few years working here, it is clear that we have made considerable progress in restoring this locally rare habitat.
-Andrew


Unexpected car-parking arrangements!

Warm-up exercises.
Frozen ground early-on.

Blewits growing amidst the old reed piles.


Lesley and Carolyn remove branches from an old Ash stump.

A plethora of honey fungus.

Graham and Kevin hauling a drag bag of cut reeds.

Finishing-up.

A view across the fen at the end of the session.


Autumn colours on the walk back.

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