Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Boars Hill, 11th February 2017

This was our second session of the year working with the Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) at Jarn Mound and Wild Garden.  A couple of weeks previously we had mainly been concerned with planting a hedge alongside the road here, but today, the main task was to continue with the clearance of trees and shrubs from the slopes of the mound itself.  This is hoped to improve the general environment, making it more welcoming and opening up the views across the surrounding area.

As we arrived, snow had begun falling and a light covering had formed upon the ground.  What with the chilly temperature, we were keen to commence operations!

Rachel Sanderson from OPT again led the session and instructed us on the finer points of the work before we began.  The majority of the group took bow saws and loppers to the mound to continue the clearance that had got underway last year.  The area to the right of the steps (as you stand at the base of the mound looking up) had already largely been dealt with, thus we concentrated on the area to the left.  The vegetation was cut back and then dragged down the slope to a bonfire, before being burned.

Meanwhile, a second group were concerned with cutting back holly trees that had rather taken over in the garden, close to the entry gate.  The thinning of the trees will allow more light in and provide a more sociable space.  The cuttings from this area were also destined for the bonfire.

By the end of the session, the morning's work had been successfully completed and the bonfire had been a roaring success!  All that remained were some of the taller ash trees on the mound, but these were beyond the capabilities of our hand-tools.  A local volunteer will be along in the coming days to fell these with a chainsaw, while also removing some of the holly stumps to ground-level.  

We will no doubt return to the site, but perhaps not until the Autumn.
-Andrew


A snowy start!

Rachel issues instructions.

A dusting of snow upon the mound.

Preparing the bonfire at the base of the mound.

Action stations.

Let lopping commence...

A plume of bonfire smoke.

Sally and Kate H cut back the bracken.

Meanwhile, the holly in the wild garden is trimmed.

Ian takes on the fire!

Andrew clears some of the holly.

A well-earned break.

Mound clearance almost complete.

Open space in what was previously a dense holly thicket.

Snowdrops.

Violets.


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