We have been in several ponds lately, notably those on Boars Hill and in Sunningwell. On Saturday November the 3rd we dipped our wellies for the first time in a new one, namely the village pond in Cumnor.
This pond is right beside the road so we were able to park by the roadside next to the pond. The benefit of this was that we did not have to carry our tools any distance.
We had been asked by Lorraine if we would cut back the reeds that covered about one third of the pond. Lorraine, ably assisted by Gordon her husband, has been responsible for the maintenance of the pond for some years but requested the services of the Abingdon Green Gym to undertake some work on the reed-bed. We were asked to cut them back, not to remove them.
The area where we were working was deceptive in that most of it was under about six to nine inches of water but there were some patches where the depth was nearer four feet. These patches were not obvious and some of us, even those wearing waders, suddenly found ourselves hip-deep.
The main area of the pond, away from the reeds, needed the surface weeds to be cleared so Rosie and Gordon set sail in a small dinghy in which they cruised the pond and, in spite of running aground at least once, managed to complete the task and return safely to harbour.
The rest of us working with slashers, sickles, shears and loppers, managed to produce large heaps of cut reeds on the banks of the pond. To remove these, Gordon fetched his trailer onto which we stacked the reeds, now in drag-bags. At first it seemed that Gordon would have to make two trips but, just like Dr Who’s Tardis, the trailer proved to have far more capacity than it appeared to have and, eventually, all the reeds were piled on and Gordon drove off. We didn't ask where!
|Rosie and Gordon setting sail.|
|Not quite the Grand Union Canal!|
|Kevin, Kate and James among the reeds.|
|Lorraine and Robert surveying the scene.|
|Loading the Tardis.|
|Tardis ready for launch.|