Another perfect spring day greeted us on Wednesday. As habitat management has given way to the breeding season, we turned our attention to general maintenance tasks. I was joined by 7 volunteers which enabled me to divide the morning's tasks so we could work simultaneously in pairs. As we try to keep the approach road  to the Car Park looking presentable, Dave, Michael, Peter and I buddied up on litter picking duty.

Brian and Jean had been part of the Sunday team who wove the beautiful hazel hurdle around the Car Park island bed. Unfortunately this sustained some damage recently, so they set about reinstating broken upright supports and re-weaving the damaged section. They even went on to add additional reinforcement where needed to the rest of the hurdles.

Brian removed the existing weave and replaced broken uprights.

Meanwhile, Jean sourced additional material

Ship shape after their excellent endeavours. We're waiting with anticipation to see which cornfield annuals re-appear in this, the meadow bed's second year, and which perennial species make a show for the first time...

Gareth and Gary teamed up to repair a section of damaged roadside dead-hedging. They too removed the existing material, replaced uprights as necessary before re-weaving. Dead-hedging is an excellent way of establishing a boundary. Once the uprights are securely in place, you simply weave in lengths of non brittle brash and freshly cut rod, pushing ground-wards as you go to consolidate the horizontals and continuing until you reach the top of the uprights. You achieve an instant, cost effective, aesthetically pleasing boundary that also has habitat potential.

Gareth securing the uprights with his amazing handmade log mallet!

Weaving the horizontals. Contractors recently coppiced the area beyond, which is now flooded with light, we'll keep an eye on how the flora and fauna develop there.

The finished article.

We transferred to The Plants in time for a spot of lunch. The setting was idyllic, dappled sunshine and carpets of bluebells. We then set about clearing the trail of winter storm debris.

Michael and Peter take one of the fallen trees to task.

We always emphasise the sociable nature of our Work Parties.

Progress being made.

Brian and Jean clear the next  problem area.

Clear passage through.

What a great team. 4 tasks, 2 locations and sill smiling....

Thank you to Brain, Dave, Gareth, Gary, Jean, Michael and Peter for another productive day on The Reserve, such a lovely place to be in the spring sunshine. An additional, special thank you to Gary for his early start and wheelbarrow loan, to assist Tom and I with the removal of fly tip to enable entrance to the Car Park.

We have reduced our Work Parties for the summer to ensure we make the best possible use of our Volunteer's time, the next Work Party will take place on Wednesday, 7th May 2014.

  • I reported to the fly tipping help line on 9 March that estate/letting agents signs had been dumped by the roadside near the entrance of the reserve.  I would like to hope that they weren't still there by the time of this week's work party. But maybe I am over-optimistic!