Thursday, January 5th 2017
There was a heavy frost and a chill which was with us for the whole day. What was good was the blue sky and the low winter sun warming to the soul. Being Thursday Volunteer Day we had a small but determined group of folk who just got on with the various jobs of the day. Tony Cooper was in the Field Centre doing the monthly stock check; Mike was monitoring water levels around the reserve, while the rest of us finished off tidying the brash from yesterday’s final push on the Wetland Bank.
There is a lot of work that goes into what may sound like a simple quick job, but the effort and time spent by our Tuesday and Thursday volunteers is astonishing. The results speak for themselves with sunlight gracing the bank unshaded by the overgrown Hazel, and a rotting fallen willow.
Jackie can be seen seen in the foreground, by Risedale Beck, where the team cleared brash from yesterday’s efforts. Just adjacent to this spot I noticed an Otter spraint site. You can see the various ages of these spraints which are territorial latrine markers, black being the fresher. Some of the content was interesting as I could see mammal bones amongst the fish bones.
Primroses peeking through on the now sun drenched Bank.
With the Bank finished in the morning the afternoon was dominated by the path that leads to the net ride behind the Field Centre. I have wanted to do this path for some time as it gets constantly poached with foot fall.The logs are placed to form the path edging, secured by hazel stakes.
We used recently cut wood from the Bank, not Willow as it readily takes root and regrows, not the ideal for a path! This forms a foundation structure to prevent the wood chips going to mush with the wet ground.
The cutting of the numerous lengths was a laborious task but the results were fantastic.
Dusk soon turned to night as we put the final touches of chippings onto the path timber foundation.
Thank you to the whole team today for such fantastic work which went into the dark but got the job finished.