Saturday, January 21, 2017

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 21st January 2017

This week we returned to Boundary House Fen at Frilford Heath Golf Club.  Earlier in the week, the golf club had been awarded the Sports Turf Research Institute Golf Environment Award 2017 for the best environmental project on a golf course.  This was an acknowledgement of the recent work of the ground staff.  It was also a significant vindication of our ongoing efforts here; a site we have visited regularly since 2011.  During this time a considerable transformation has occurred, with a large area of the fen having been restored.  A number of key indicator species have observed, thus preserving its Site of Special Scientic Interest (SSSI) status.

We met as usual at the main golf club car park before dividing into as few cars as possible for the journey along the road to the groundsman's area.  We were pleased to welcome a new member, Rosie, along for the first time. We were also pleased to find that the gate into the site had been unlocked for us on this occasion unlike on our previous visit!

We numbered 18 in total today, including Judy Webb and Alison Muldal, representing Natural England, who oversee our work here.

After the walk across the frosty fairways and a brief warm-up, we set about our tasks which were to continue raking the cut reeds and to transport them via pitchforks and drag-bags to piles on the perimeter of the fen.  There were also some stray tree branches and logs to gather up and move away from the wetland habitat.

Keen to keep busy and stay warm, we worked hard to get the job finished, which was a realistic prospect given our large turn-out.  Oranges and bananas were offered at the tea break along with the usual biscuits - much-needed half-time fuel given the chilly conditions and fast-pace of the morning!

Another successful session here and we look forward to returning and continuing our jobs at this now award-winning site in the near future!
-Andrew



Gathering at the groundsman's area.

Across the frosty fairways.

Judy leads the warm-up!

Time to begin.

The fen.

A frosty fern.

Log piles

Raking underway.

A large reed pile is formed!

A drag-bag is filled with reeds.

The stream running through site.

The large stack of reeds beside the Boundary House.



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