Monday, October 30, 2017

Kennington Memorial Field, 28th October 2017

This Saturday we were back at Kennington Memorial Field for our bi-annual scrub-bash and bonfire.  The site falls under the jurisdiction of the Oxford Preservation Trust, and we met again with Rachel Sanderson from said organisation who outlined our itinerary. 

As well as a respectable Green Gym contingent, we were joined by a number of local volunteers who significantly boosted our numbers to over twenty.

With a chilly start, we were keen to get underway - to continue cutting back scrub (mainly hawthorn, blackthorn and brambles, which quickly encroach upon the area if left unmanaged) and to get the bonfire lit!

No sooner had we started, then we were infiltrated by a herd of inquisitive cows that graze the field!  It soon became apparent that they were keen to feed upon the leaves of the shrubs that we had felled, therefore we had to become efficient at removing the cuttings to the bonfire before they tucked-in.  Not that the heat of the bonfire appeared to dim their appetite, and we remained surrounded by our bovine buddies throughout the morning.

After the break, we were instructed by Rachel to stop cutting and to concentrate on burning, at which point the fire was enlarged, with a second area of trimmings being lit.  While initially being slow to get going due to all the green wood and general dampness, following a little coaxing, it roared into life.  This ensured that we were left with nothing but ashes to show for our efforts come the end of the session.
-Andrew



Meeting in the car park.

Transporting tools to the worksite.

Getting the fire started.

Margaret in a tense stand-off with the cattle!

Graham stokes the bonfire.

Scrub bashing.

No smoke without fire.

Carolyn drags some branches to the bonfire.

Some eager participants in the morning's activities.

Rosie is surrounded.

Mooo!

Mark takes charge of the fire.

Taking stock of the scrub clearance.

The bonfire in it's later stage.

Packing-up beyond the embers.

The 'after' photo, with regret there was no 'before' version...

The end of the session. As you were...

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