Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Boars Hill, 28th January 2017

It was a dry and (relatively) warm start to our session at Jarn Mound and Wild Garden this Saturday.  We were met by Rachel Sanderson from Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT), who own and manage the site.  The first order of the day was to unload a number of holly plants and hawthorn and wild plum tree whips from Rachel's car, along with canes and spiral tree guards.  

The tasks of the morning were then outlined to the sixteen green-gymmers and two additional OPT volunteers.  First and foremost, a hedge was to be planted along the Jarn Way road, on the border of the garden.  The planting plan was unveiled, with the holly divided into groups, and the hawthorn and wild plum to be used to infill the gaps between them on the roadside verge.  There were also some spaces in an existing hedge that required planting.

A second job which required a team of four volunteers, was to attach a wire mesh to part of the fence that runs parallel with the new hedge.  This was supplied by a local farmer who dispatched a roll of mesh shortly after we arrived.  This was unrolled and attached to the wooden fence with secondary sections constructed around the new holly plants, in this instance attached to wooden posts that were erected during the morning.  The wire mesh, and also the tree guards were put in place to prevent muntjac deer from getting in and attacking the hedge and stripping the bark from the young trees. 

At 11am we took our usual tea break.  Today happened to coincide with Lesley's birthday and she had brought along some chocolates to celebrate. Together with Eleanor's chocolate brownies, we were rather spoilt.  We of course sang 'Happy Birthday' to Lesley in finest voice before getting back to our tasks.

While the hedge was being completed,  the additional job of removing some cut vegetation from the mound itself was undertaken.  This is a job that we begun on our last visit and will occupy us on our next session here in a couple of weeks time.  A pile of brash was created at the foot of the mound with the intention of creating a bonfire upon our return.  Hopefully the weather will stay dry for the occasion and the fire will roar!

The gathering.

The tree-planting paraphernalia.

Rachel (in pink hat, centre) instructs the group pre-session.

Let planting commence!

Michelle, Barry and Enid plant some holly.

Some of the hawthorn inside their tree guards.

Michelle and Lesley continue the task.

Tea break and birthday celebrations.

Many volunteers make light work!

One of the gaps in the existing hedge that was filled with tree-whips.

The finished planting layout.

Adrian and OPT volunteer Mark secure some wire mesh around the holly.

Wire mesh attached to the main fence.

Jessica and Ursula remove brash from the mound itself.


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