Manor Farm, Marcham, 8th June 2019

Fourteen of us turned out for today’s session at Manor Farm, Marcham. We parked up, gathered our tools and made our way along the edge of the barley field to set up base in the usual spot. It was extremely windy, with the water rippling across the lake and trees creaking overhead. Initially we thought it might start raining too until we were reassured that the weather was actually forecast to improve throughout the morning.

We’d been here a couple of weeks previously, so knew where the Himalayan Balsam was hiding – or not! It had sprung to great heights, and was widespread around the edges of the lake, all of which made for a very satisfying first half of the session pulling up this invasive plant. To get to these patches we had to cross the stream, and Dan managed to slip up and give himself a soaking!

After the tea break, we split up with Adrian and a few others going back along the field to pull balsam he’d found there, and the rest of us spreading out along the other side of the lake. It was harder going this time, with the main patches now having been pulled, and the remaining balsam further and fewer between and in amongst tall nettles and goosegrass or right at the water’s edge – easier to pull by standing in the stream itself.

A significant amount of balsam was later discovered towards the end of the session by Eleanor. This was along Mill Road, in the stream bed and pulling this will be the focus of our next session here.

Kevin spotted some water vole droppings – a sign of a healthy waterway – and we watched some lovely horses grazing in the field over the lane. By the end of the session the sun was out and we went home happy with our work.

Photos by Andrew (except last photo by Kevin):

Gathering in the farmyard.

Off to work we go.

Eleanor's opening speech.

The very makeshift bridge!

Rich pickings for Joanna.

Lesley and Joan on the pull.

An alder tree and the lake.

Poppies in the adjacent field.

Mug shot.

Beverages decanted.

More colourful than just a green gym.

Kevin takes to the stream.

The second half was harder going.

Some lovely horses.

Eleanor makes a late discovery.

It takes five green gymmers to fold a tarpaulin in the wind!

A damselfly in distress?


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