It was a cloudy and slightly drizzly day, in contrast to the record hot temperatures of the past few days, when fourteen of us met to carry out work on the cliff faces at Dry Sandford Pit, which is a BBOWT nature reserve.
This area is an old quarry and the sand and limestone cliff faces show fossil rich strata from when the area was a warm, shallow sea in the Jurassic era. Our task was to cut back vegetation in front of the cliffs and to clear it from the cliff face to expose the geology of the area. There are many holes on the cliff face, which are home to solitary bees and wasps.
We set to work with a variety of different tools, slashers and loppers for the larger vegetation at the base, and secateurs, trowels and hand forks for the smaller plants growing on the cliff face itself. Soon we were transporting large heaps to the dumping site.
We moved to the shelter of some trees for our tea break as rain was threatening again. After the break we moved to a neighbouring area to begin work there.
There is still a great deal to do and we will be having two more work parties at the site in the near future.
Dry Sandford Pit is home to orchids, marsh helleborines, a variety of mosses as well as rich bird and insect life and is well worth a visit.
First five photos by Sally, second five by Eleanor: