Creating Creative Work
Tuesday, February 21st 2017
It was a busy day on the reserve, but it was all worth the efforts of all groups that came in either as a contractor or volunteer.
The day started earlier than normal for us with last minute security passes and liaising with the two contractors who were on the site today.
Willie, a regular contractor, was briefed on the work he had to do down in the Scrapes; some improvements to clogged ditches and clearing of ponds choked by excessive vegetation. This required a little work by our volunteers to clear a route for his digger - fortunately we have boardwalk sections which are designed to be lifted!
We had noticed after last year’s lush growing season that the ponds were becoming more like marsh than pond. The frogs and toads are on route back to their spawning ponds (like this chap below), so to minimise any disturbance we had to get Willie in to do the necessary work before spawning starts.
It was not long before the work had begun.
Meanwhile Sean and Simon were on Risedale Bank removing deadwood and limbs from trees which had begun to shade out the undergrowth.
A small team began clearing the sized logs to the path edge ready for removal to a more structured place and therefore allowing any ground flora to flourish.
One of the main activities today was the willow spiling which was a continuation of past work on Risedale Beck. This is using the willow from the recent coppice block work to re-enforce the beck bank, which suffers from erosion when the stream is in spate. A lot of hard graft goes into this kind of work. The day previously I had coppiced some willow to get the team rolling first thing this morning; this was processed then carted to the Beck.
While this was happening another team were readying the upright posts of the spiling….
and knocking them into the rocky stream bed.
Once the uprights were in place the team were able to weave the horizontal willow lengths.
What a great job!
Thank you to all 27 volunteers who came in to a very busy reserve and helped us today in various ways. Foxglove was a humming hive of activity!
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