Sunday, May 7, 2017

Abbey Fishponds, 6th May 2017

It was a slightly gloomy, grey and blustery start to our latest outing at Abbey Fishponds. We were here to work alongside the Earth Trust, with community reserves warden Lucy Tomkinson and of course, local warden Majorie White.  We joined with a number of volunteers from their group.

As always at the Hadland Road entrance to the reserve, car parking is an issue, and some manoeuvring and re-arrangement of vehicles was required to enable Lucy to bring her truck and trailer in, which contained a number of tools and materials for the morning's tasks.

Having assembled, we were then instructed on the various jobs that were to be done.  These included scything and clearing away overgrown vegetation from the path margins, replacing the wooden boards along the central route through the site, Himalayan Balsam picking, lopping of brambles and other overgrown vegetation, litter-picking and constructing a habitat for stag beetles.

After digesting the itinerary, we divided up and got to it. Our tools and tea-kit were transported over the footbridge to the mound and we dispersed from there.

Adrian had already got underway with the scything before we arrived, so that detail was already in an advanced stage, thus many of us Green Gymmers began to clear the cuttings into piles.  Meanwhile, a search for the dreaded Balsam commenced, taking us on a merry dance before finally finding an abundance in some of the Fishpond's further reaches.  Not before uncovering an intriguing-looking den amongst the willows.

Fortunately, litter was not too much of a problem this time, thus allowing more of the group to get involved in the path maintenance tasks.  Good progress was made before the break and continued afterwards, up until the 12:30pm deadline.  A successful morning's graft!
-Andrew


Lucy instructs the assembled volunteers.

Michelle, Ursula and Dieuwke in search of Himalayan Balsam.

Towards the site perimeter.

Plenty of cleavers/goose-grass located!

Finally, an abundance of young Balsam is found.

A den uncovered in the woods.

Ursula contemplates shifting a pile of scythed debris.

Cuckoo flower.

Forget-me-nots.

Graham gives it a hammering.

Some of the newly-replaced path edging.

Victuals. 

Some hops climbing up on reeds.

Much greenery around the steam.

Lesley digs out the steps.

Herb Robert.

Some freshly-scythed path margins.

Almost home-time!

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