Cothill Fen, 3rd December 2016

December already and our penultimate session of the year - the first of two successive trips to Cothill Fen to continue our work at the nature reserve there.  The preceding week had been cold and frosty, but Saturday morning was a little milder at least.  Just as well since Dieuwke and Barry had been keen enough to cycle in!

Before our arrival another work-party had visited and removed some more of the (mostly Alder) trees at the edge of the fen.  These had encroached upon the site in recent years, slowly destroying this rare habitat.  The group had also cut the reeds back.  Therefore our two tasks were to rake up the reeds and transport them to piles by the main footpath in, and also to remove as much as the brash remaining from the aforementioned tree-felling operations.

As always here, Judy Webb was on hand to provide guidance and carry out some of her usual species identification.  Some of the photos below show some of the interesting plants and fungi seen on this visit.

There was more than enough work to keep us busy for the morning, and plenty remaining once we reached our 12:30pm deadline.  We will endeavour to get stuck into this next week upon our return.  However, with the site (as might be expected for a wetland), rather soggy, it could make for an interesting challenge as we have only tackled the driest areas thus far!

A special mention should be made for both Sally who provided  chocolate rolls and sausage rolls, and to Eleanor who brought along some of her homemade cake to ensure that we were well looked-after at the intermission!  Next week we will have to hope that we are less well-fed at the break so that we retain our appetites for the Christmas lunch at the Merry Miller pub!  

Meeting in the car park.

Some of the tree-felling on site.

The tree stumps indicate how much of the fen has recently been reclaimed. 
Judy surveys the scene upon arrival.
The warm-up.

The morning's main weaponry.
Sally, Margaret and Dieuwke rake.

Barry takes on the brash.

Self-portrait of soggy mishap!

Taking a break and pondering our next move.

Common Bonnets.

Bank Haircap Moss.

Some remaining tree debris to clear on our next visit.

The colourful interior of an alder tree.
One of the ever-expanding reed piles.

Dog Lichen.


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