Cothill Fen, 7th September 2019

There were only nine Green Gymmers for the reed raking session at Cothill under the direction of Steph from Natural England and Judy Webb, so we realised we would have to work extra hard. We made our way to the far side of the fen and set up base camp under the trees. The large ash trees there would, sadly, need to be felled because of ash dieback.

The reeds had been scythed the previous day by the Friday volunteers and our task was to rake them up and stack them alongside the stream to form a barrier and on the other side by the deep water area. Walking on the fen while judging where it was safe to tread without sinking, especially while carrying a pitchfork full of reeds, was quite an adventure. There’s a photo of Roger looking remarkably cheerful considering he stepped in well above wellie height.

After the tea break, Judy took a couple of people off to collect seeds from rare plants, which could be spread around the fen. They found the remarkably large caterpillar, which you can see in the photo.

The rest of us continued raking and transporting the reeds. A path had been cut through the remaining reeds beside the deep water and we spread the cut reeds on it to make it passable without getting wet.
By half past twelve we had managed to clear all of the cut reeds, so we were very satisfied by our morning’s work.  

Photos by Margaret:


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