What a delight to meet in the Car Park in bright sunshine on Wednesday. It definitely put the team in buoyant mood, with plenty of good humoured chatter whilst awaiting our full number to arrive. With 11 volunteers expected, I had high hopes for great progress on our next section of ride widening in The Plants. The Sunday Work Party had coppiced a huge amount of material previously, so our first job was to burn this in order to leave the area obstruction free for maximum benefit.

We quickly mobilised our crack fire starters, who rapidly had a hearty fire set.

The rest of us set to cutting some brash for initial feeding until the fire had enough heart for the big stuff.

Colin, Joe & Nigel cut brash to size for the fire.

Charlotte & Gary conduct a high level editorial meeting for their forthcoming publication-The Great British Hostelry!

Alison & Jane arrive in time for a well earned tea break having been on The Reserve since 08.00 conducting a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker survey.


Many hands make for great progress with the ride now appreciatively wider and open to the sun.

There's even time for Charlotte to coach Gareth in the art of javelin throwing......

Up the hill, down the hill.....

The ground remains saturated so it's still a challenge tramping up and down a single path dragging brash as your feet get sucked into the mud, but we got there, although it did look like a herd of cattle had marauded through!

After lunch, we split into two teams, one to coppice the remaining stands nearest the fire and the rest to continue the final stretch of ride widening up towards Half Moon Lane. With a second fire in that location, we soon made short work of the new brash.

Fortunately the dark clouds at one point only resulted in the briefest of showers otherwise it was a fantastic day to be out on The Reserve, the spring atmosphere was tangible with sublime light and plenty of bird call and song, the buzzards were out in force too.

So thank you to Alison, Charlotte, Dave, Gareth, Gary, Jane, Joe, and Matt. A warm welcome to Nigel and thank you to Peter for chief photographic duties.