Dry Sandford Pit, Saturday 25th of July 2022

 This week's blog post was written by the Himalayan-balsam bashing hero, Eleanor D.: 

Our main task at Dry Sandford Pit was to pull up Himalayan Balsam. There was also a bit of scything and cutting back to do to do in order to widen one of the paths.

We set off for the stream and boggy ground where most of the Himalayan Balsam grows. As you can see from the photos. There was a lot of cautious slithering down the steep banks and the crossing point  had to be carefully chosen to avoid sinking down deep into the mud on the stream bed. Even on the other side the ground was very boggy.

We had had a Saturday session of balsam pulling last year as well as some impromptu evening sessions and our hard work had paid off as not very much had sprung up this year. We scoured the area, pulling up what we could find and by tea break time we had done the bulk of it.

Meanwhile, Sally had been scything along the path and after the break some of us went off to cut  back encroaching bushes. We then took a break on a  grassy mound, where we found pyramidal orchids, knapweed, St John’s wort and bladder campion growing. There were a number of meadow brown butterflies, a marbled white, as well as a large skipper on the handle of Sally’s scythe.

Our work was done and it was time to go home.

A helping hand over the stream

Ursula surveys her domain

An pyramidal orchid! 

A marbled white butterfly

A large skipper, who wanted a try at scything

King Graham of Dry Sandford 

The Merry Band

Nature is a playground! Or at least a slide 


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