After roughly 12 months of non-stop freezing rain, Sunday at Tudeley felt like the azores. The sun shone for most of the day and the rain was brief and mild. According to the Met Office, it reached 21 degrees! And as our skin worked overtime to stock up on vitamin D for the coming 12 months, our muscles too worked hard coppicing hazel at the intersection of Brakey Bank main ride and the new High Voltage ride. We were working towards creating an 'intersection glade': an area of open ground created by clearing areas where two rides meet. This provides a greater abundance of nectar-producing plants for invertebrates like the pearl-bordered fritillary.
The hazel that was coppiced then had to be dragged uphill to the carpark where we began work on the woven hazel fence. This is a simple and cheap way of making a nice looking (and durable) fence; stakes are driven into the ground and hazel sticks are woven between them. Ours was only around a foot high, but they can be made up to waist height. It felt like it would take forever to make but once the material was in the carpark it went up in a matter of hours.
The fence itself was around our wildflower bed, which was sown in March and already producing hundreds of tiny, anonymous cotyledons. We gave it a helping had by transplanting some clods of earth sown with wilflower seeds in February (below).
So thanks to Jane, Jean, Gabrielle, Anna and Ellie for their hard work on Sunday!
Withies of hazel ready for weaving...
Jane Coppicing some hazel
Gabrielle getting ready for the long journey up to the carpark
Anna and Ellie next to the fence...
Anna's finger following an incident with a saw - luckily we found the finger and managed to sew it back on. This is why we tell people to wear gloves when sawing!!
The craftsmen (or craftswomen) posing in front of their creation. Well done guys - brilliant result!
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