Reflections from the Worky Day

Sunday, November 6th 2016

Today for want of a better word, the weather has been horrible!  We were very lucky with the weather yesterday.  The sun shone and the rain showers did not appear and even the wind was kind blowing over the top of the valley and only occasionally swirling along the path.

The beckside is so overgrown it was difficult to know where to start.  Some obvious trees were coppiced which also made room for the brash to be piled up, ready to go on the fire.

Getting started

An old fire site was found and the fire was lit.

Lighting the fire

Unfortunately even our fire lighting experts could not get the fire to burn.  All the while brash was building up around them. Eventually flames!

The fire burning

The bankside is a very sensitive area where our spring flowers flourish.  By the end of the year we will be able to see the new growth of Primrose leaves and not too long after Cuckoo Pint and Bluebell leaves appear.  To keep disturbance to a minimum only two people were carefully coppicing Alder and Hazel, selectively cutting out about two thirds of the growth.  This will allow more light and air onto the bank which will benefit the ground flora.

Coppicing on the bankside

Along the beckside coppicing soon had a lot of brash to move, but the area looked so much better as the autumn light filtered through.

Opening up the beckside

By now the fire was really going and those loading it were beginning to clear the wall of brash that had grown even taller around them!

Burning the brash

Towards late afternoon the setting sun showed through the trees and highlighted the smoke and volunteers.

Burning brash

As the cutting stopped and the brash was all cleared to the fire site, volunteers gathered and watched as the fire was made safe. 

Gathering around the fire

Although the cutting looks severe, come spring and early summer we will reap the rewards of this work.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped yesterday.


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