We have been working at Kennington Memorial Field for a number of years now, clearing scrub from the slopes so that the valley remains an area of grassland and wild flowers. This time Rachel from Oxford Preservation Trust was in charge and led us down to the lower end of the field, where we were to cut back the trees and bushes by several metres and burn the scrub on a bonfire.
We were joined by some families with children of varying ages, the youngest only three, who had answered a local appeal for volunteers. We set to work and soon we had a bonfire going. Even the children who were too young to use loppers and saws joined in, carrying branches to the bonfire pile. Despite the drizzly weather they all worked cheerfully.
At tea break time we enjoyed some delicious snacks that Rachel had brought and a tin of chocolates supplied by Michele.
We found two old birds' nests in the course of the morning and cutting back the scrub revealed a log pile with a rabbit hole underneath and we spotted a frog and a mouse, also quite a few spiders and other creepy crawlies.
By the end of the session we were agreeably surprised to see how much we had cut back.
We will be back at the end of February to work on a different area.
photos to follow...