Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cothill Fen, 9th December 2017

Thirteen Green Gymmers gathered on a bright, frosty morning for our session at Cothill Fen, the last one before our Christmas/New Year break. Our tasks were to rake and stack up cut vegetation from the fen and to cut up and stack felled trees under the direction of Judy Webb and Alison Muldal. The frost was sparkling on the fen and it was pretty cold but at least we could see where we had raked.

We had to be careful where we trod as there was a thin crust of ice on the boggy areas. We worked hard and were glad when it was time for our break and we could warm up. At least it was better than working in the rain.

After the break, some of us began the task of cutting up the felled branches. We were shadowed by two hungry robins. It was surprising to see two coexisting peacefully outside the nesting season. By this time we were all looking forward to making our way to the Merry Miller pub and our festive lunch. We were joined there by a few more Green Gymmers who had been unable or unwilling to brave the cold. Some of us ordered the very welcome and warming mulled wine and we all enjoyed the excellent food.

We look forward to seeing each other again in January.
-Eleanor



Photos by Margaret and Judy (group photo of tea break):












Monday, December 4, 2017

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 2nd December 2017

We were back at Boundary House Fen, Frilford Heath Golf Club for our penultimate session of the year, workin site supervisor Rod d'Ayala who directed our tasks.

Essentially, we continued with raking the cut reeds from the fen.  In common with our session here back in October, we concentrated on transporting the reeds to the stream running through the centre of the area. Rod has added a number of dams to the stream to encourage the water to flood out onto the fen and improve the wetland habitat.  By piling the reeds into the stream between the dams, this exaggerates the effect. Similarly, there are two ponds bordering the fen and these were to be filled with reeds also.

No sooner had we assembled and received instruction, before the fen claimed it's first casualty of the morning.  Michelle lost her footing beside the stream and got a soaking.  A volunteer down, we continued on, but not without further incident. Three more of us filled our wellies with water as we attempted to trample reeds down into the water.

Squelchy boots aside, we continued apace and raked the reeds into piles before carting them off via drag bag and pitchfork to the specified locations. 

By the time that the break came, we were ready for the delicious Anzac biscuits that Carolyn had baked to go along with our tea and coffee.

For the second half we concentrated on shifting all the reeds closest to the stream, and raking the ones at the outer edges into piles for collecting on a subsequent occasion. This we completed just before packing up at 12:30pm, ready for the march back across the golf course and home.
-Andrew



Heading to the fen.

A large bug hotel spotted on the golf course! Not our handiwork though.

Raking begins!

Part of the stream.

Graham and Dieuwke empty a drag bag of reeds into the stream.

The state of play before the interval.

Golf ball haul.

Kevin passes around the biscuits.

Andrew's welly mishap.

The partially dammed stream.

Reedstacks!

Matt raking.

Turkeytail fungus.

A pine tree standing tall in the middle of the site.

Packing up.

Preparing for departure.