Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Boundary House Fen, 16th November 2019

We were at Boundary House Fen at Frilford for this morning’s session, led by Sally under the aegis of Rod D’Ayala, who has been managing the site, and Judy Webb of Natural England. Seventeen of us turned up, during a lucky break from the previous days’ rain, including newcomer Phineas, who came with his father and will be joining us for sessions for his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

We gathered initially in the Golf Club car park then consolidated into fewer cars and drove round to the site. We took up our tools – mostly rakes - and made our way across the golf course which was pretty busy.

Rod was already hard at work on site, and he gave us our task for the morning which comprised one thing: raking! Rod pointed out where the cut reeds lay strewn about the ground, and where we needed to rake them to, placing them in the centre of the stream running through the site, or in the hedges at the edge of the fen, or in large habitat piles to rot down. Particularly towards the bottom of the fen, there was a pool which needed filling, and also Rod had set up markers between which we were to make a ridge of reeds. Following our instruction, it was time to get started.

At break time, just as we were enjoying our tea and biscuits, we had an unexpected incident. A golfer’s ball had strayed into the rough at the edge of the fen. In trying to hit it back onto the course, it hit a tree and bounced back right into the middle of our group – fortunately not hitting anyone – so the golfer had quite an audience trying to hit it back out again, which he succeeded in doing to a round of applause.

After the break, it was back to more raking. We’d worked hard and made real progress and there wasn’t a huge amount left to do. Meanwhile, Judy scattered some marsh louse wort, a parasitic plant that should keep down the sedge and reeds. She’d also collected a basketful of fungi – quite a variety to be found on the fen. Before we knew it, the session was at an end, and we were making our way dodging golfers back across the course.
-Joanna




Donning hi-vis and almost ready to go.

Joanna takes a 'before' photo of the site.

Rod provides instruction.

A nest of golf balls.

Raking commences.

Roger pitchforks some reeds off towards the stream.

Some toadstools.
Joanna gives us a wave.
Tea time.
A fine selection of biscuits.



The hapless golfer.

Getting there...

Judy sows some marsh lousewort.

Piling up reeds around the boundary of the fen.

Session complete.

Judy's basket of fungi.


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