Hello Conservation Volunteers
Well, they do say many hands make light work and this was certainly true on our latest work morning at Forge Dam, on yet again another frosty and sunny winter's morning!
This time our main task was to reduce the beech hedge by the brook opposite the playground to waist height to open up the sight lines as well as widening the current access into the brook itself as part of the overall playground project by improving the green space in front of the cafe.
Steel pins were positioned along the length of the hedge and string attached to mark the height for cutting. As soon as the string was in place the volunteers were off, loppers and bow saws in hand! Being as it is a while since the hedge last had a good "hair cut" there were some thick branches to cut, particularly on the laurel bush which now has a very tall laurel tree growing in the middle of it.
The worst part of any such work is tidying up afterwards and that was certainly the case with the amount of cuttings produced during the morning, having to bag it up and carry away. Ranger Matt's van was nominated as the first port of call for dumping the waste and as can be seen on the photos was crammed full! (He will be taking it for green waste disposal). The rest for now has been temporarily stored behind the shed but will similarly be taken away for green disposal.
There were some interesting finds in the hedge including an old, unopened tin of Heinz beans - we decided to pass on opening it - and instead opted for Mandy's home-made chocolate cake. (Can we have some icing on it next time please!)
It is hoped we can maybe plant some hawthorn whips in the gap where there is a drop down into the brook.
Another task requiring some urgent attention was the goit to Wiremill Dam which had become blocked with debris and hardly any water was finding its way to the dam. A small group who like splashing about in mud made their way along the goit to clear it out. By the end of the morning water was flowing freely once more to the dam.
A special big thank you to all those who turned out and helped on both the hedge cutting and goit clearance.
The next work morning is on Tuesday 28th February 2023. An email will be sent out nearer the time with details.
A Selection of photos from the work morning
The hedge before cutting
Cutting in progress!
Starting to tidy up
Andy and Anna cramming cuttings into Matt's van!
Stephen wondering where the icing is on Mandy's chocolate cake!
Cutting the last section
Chris and Philip "fishing" in the goit