Abraham Wood, Boars Hill, 25th January 2020

It was another big turn out from Green Gym members for our session at Abraham Wood on Boars Hill this morning. As usual for our work here, we all had to sign an attendance sheet as the work in the woods is funded by Network Rail and volunteer numbers need to be known. There were 23 of us, led by Margaret and there was lots of work for us to do.

Lindsay of OPT gave us our tasks for the day, the main one being hazel coppicing near to the path through the woods, and weaving donuts through stakes set around the freshly coppiced trees to protect new shoots from munching muntjacs and other wildlife. 

Otherwise we were to cut back the laurel which has been vigorously bouncing back, placing the cut material on habitat piles that are now placed throughout the woodland. In addition, at the bottom of the wood there is quite a lot of dead wood that needed clearing and putting on the habitat piles there, and at the top of the wood, the task of digging up the bamboo. 

We set to work with our tools and made good progress throughout the morning, which was overcast and damp but thankfully not too cold. By tea break some of the donuts were really taking shape around the coppiced hazel. We had the usual incredible supply of tea, coffee and biscuits and with our energy replenished we set to work again for the second half of the session. 

By the end, we had some beautiful coppicing to show for our efforts – first prize going to Kate! – and the bamboo bashers had extricated a particularly impressive length of bamboo root from the top of the woods. All in all a very good morning’s work! 

Photos by Andrew (unless otherwise indicated):

Off to battle.

Down the hill to the woods.

Lindsay gives her opening speech.

The bamboo team get started. (photo by Sally)

Adrian and his epic bamboo root. (photo by Sally)

Kevin and Ursula get weaving.

The refreshment team.

A large group of Green Gymmers today!

Andrew beside his hazel doughnut. (photo by Joanna)

Michele, Margaret, Barbara and Ursula proudly display their handiwork.

Lesley and a pile of bamboo roots and shoots. (photo by Sally)

Bare oak branches overhead.

The 'bamboo busters' - Roger, Lesley, Sally and Adrian. (photo by Kevin)

Early signs of spring with some primroses sprouting.


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