There was a depleted team this Saturday owing to the limited amount of volunteers permitted to work on the BBOWT site at Dry Sandford Pit.
So rather than waste the enthusiasm on turning down our devoted members, one of our leaders Eleanor kindly volunteered to take and surplus to Abingdon Southern town park and do some tidying up.
This resulted in seven of us going to dry Sandford. The weather was fine but chilly which is always a good excuse to work up a sweat before refreshment break.
The task was basically to continue with the same job we were doing last time; to clear the area of scrub and brambles below the sand bank, containing the cliff face which exposing the strata layer of marine fossils. The area was once a sea bed, millions of years ago.
What we lost in numbers, we made up with two scythers, Adrian and Sally - who cut a swath through the scrub, whilst the other five - Graham, Colin, Lesley and myself followed up with cutting down larger bushes and shrubs too big for the scythes. Meanwhile Margaret opted for going up closer to the cliff face and clearing the loose soil that had fallen and covered the strata.
Good progress was make, although the roots of the shrubs were a challenge although the use of a root/tree popper (large metal leaver with a clamp at one end to secure round the stem which tightens when you pull on the leaver made it easier.
Refreshment time involved chatting (from a distance) putting the world to rights and enjoying the sun and the view looking out over the fen area. Then it was back for the final effort stopping occasionally to chat to inquisitive walkers with children and dogs about the large holes on the cliff face, possibly made by rabbits? Or perhaps Sand Martins nesting in the spring, with the very small ones made solitary Mason Bees.
This was the last session of this year. We begin again on the 2nd of Jan 2021.
Best Wishes to all
Photos by Margaret: