Jarn Heath, Boars Hill, 23rd November 2019

A crowd of 22 green gymmers turned up for today’s session at Jarn Heath on Boars Hill, plus two local residents who decided to join the group. It was a mild, muggy morning. We were led by Margaret, with Lindsay Priddle from OPT and Rod D’Ayala giving instructions.

We mainly split into two work parties. The first party were set to laying the hedge along the lane, under the expert guidance of Rod. And the rest of us headed off into the woodland to plant foxgloves, red campion and wood sorrel, which local resident, Camilla, had potted up from her vegetable garden. As the secondary woodland on the heath means it’s quite poor at ground level, these were to be planted ready to give variety and colour when they flower next spring.

Otherwise there was also a lot of clearing of dogwood from the woodland floor, as well as clearing up where contractors had been to cut back trees. We set to work and by tea break all the plants had been planted and the hedge was coming along brilliantly. 

We had our tea and biscuits on the lane, admiring the handiwork of the hedge-layers. A horse came through – very interested in the coffee and walnut cake provided by Eleanor!

After the break, we continued with our tasks. Camilla showed us the stone benches (which we’ve scrubbed in the past) in memory of Sir Arthur Evans and how originally the yew trees around them were meant as windbreaks but over the years have been allowed to grow wild. Perhaps we’ll try chopping them back one day. 

It was a good session and in particular, many of our members welcomed the opportunity to learn the art of hedge-laying!  

The beginnings of the crowd.

Lindsay and Rod provide instruction.

Rod briefs the hedge-laying sub team.

Meanwhile Camilla leads the planting operation.

Off to work we go.

The glade, where the woods have been partially cleared.

Some of the plants.

Andrew digs for victory.
Rosie and Barbara busy laying a hedge.

The hedge at break time.

Margaret on tea making duties.

Meanwhile Sally distributes the cake.

A well-earned break!

The horse in search of cake.

A beautiful wood blewit.

Joanna tidies up.

Some cobbles found on the heath.

The completed hedge.


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