Frilford Heath Golf Club, 3rd February 2018

A very depleted group of Green Gymmers met in the Frilford Golf Club car park, a number of us having been laid low by illness. We made our way to Boundary House Fen, where our task was to finish off raking up the reeds and dead vegetation under the direction of Judy Webb and Rod d’Ayala. The weather was chilly, grey and slightly drizzly, which meant there were fewer golfers and flying golf balls to avoid as we crossed the course.

On our previous visit before Christmas we had filled the stream flowing through the fen with cut reeds to encourage the water to spread out and Rod had already dammed it in places. This was important as the fen was in danger of drying out. The reeds also help to clean the water and remove nitrates, which damage the fen’s ecosystem.

On our return, we found that the water had spread out considerably and formed pools. You can see in the photos the beautiful colours of a fen in Winter.

There were piles of reeds from our last visit that needed to be moved to the higher ground on the edge of the fen and more reeds to rake up. Rod also began to dig another hollow for the water to collect in. Although there were only seven Green Gymmers there, we worked hard and got a lot done so by the end of the session all the piles had been moved and the fen was much clearer. As a bonus Judy dug up a clump of snowdrops that had been thrown out from a neighbouring garden, not welcome on the fen but worth taking back to our own gardens.

Graham and Janet fill a drag-bag with cut reeds.

Carolyn and Rosie keep busy.

Raking the reeds into piles.

An increasingly flooded fen.

A dammed stream.

Water, everywhere!

Rod digs a hollow.

Turkeytail fungus. On a log.

'tis the season for a snowdrop.


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