Work and Play

Thursday, December 15th 2016

I love Christmas, and to share it with friends underlines this special time of the year. Around fifty folk attended our Christmas Party  last night which included: a quiz; raffle;

a massive three course meal; entertainment from a two piece band; a rare moment of Tony on the pipes;

Martin on guitar;

... as well as Magician James Stott keeping us all entertained with his slight of hand. Thank you James!

Thank you to all who joined us and of course to the chefs, kitchen and waiting staff for a fantastic meal.

With the party spirit still in us we arrived at work this morning for another full day, and anyway the excesses of last night needed to be worked off! We had plenty to get on with continuing the tidying-up of recent habitat management work, as well as taking on unexpected work where one of the cascading pond's water flow had decided to go under as opposed to over its dam requiring immediate attention.

We also cleared a few Holly stems from the conifer plantation.

Mike and Tony were all over the reserve checking water levels and drainage, as well as finding time to put in new marker stakes and create a base for the Field Centre Christmas tree. Jonathan and I did a little chainsaw work in this year's coppice block before lunch.

It has been fairly mild recently and some habitat management work is still needed on parts of the south-facing bank down to Risedale Beck. At present we are limiting the footfall to this area as we do not want to damage new Primula shoots that are starting to prematurely show themselves.

This is a priority job now and the afternoon work was based around this area thinning Hazel coppice and opening up the canopy to allow more light to the ground.

Jennifer and Jackie moved the Exmoor Ponies from Plovers' Pool to the Moorland as grazing was low and their hoof marks were starting to make an impact.

We finally stopped working when the light was nearly gone. A lot of work was carried out today, thank you to all who helped.

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