Jobs Well Done
Tuesday, January 9th 2018
The Tuesday Volunteers got stuck into a range of jobs today, but the first task was to have a quick check on Lark and Taurus to see how they had settled into their new surroundings. They are both clearly fascinated by the sheep on the other side of the boundary fence although the decision about whether to continue with this or enjoy a piece of carrot was clearly not a difficult one to make! They are only given treats like this when they are being checked over as we hope that they will not identify people as a source of food, so again we do ask people not to feed them. Once it was obvious that they were doing well then it was back to get the work started.
The first task was along the Woodland Trail, and two of the volunteers repaired a section of boardwalk where one of the boards had become rotten and snapped. This was soon removed and replaced, with the netting then secured to make sure that the boardwalk would not become slippery. And so on to the next task, with a Sitka Spruce having been damaged during Storm Eleanor, splitting along the lower half of the trunk and leaning into surrounding trees, known as being 'hung up'.
Because the tree had split, which proved to be due to rot at the centre of the trunk, and was hung up, this was not going to be a straighforward job. Having cut through the trunk, the tree was rolled off the stump and then had to be levered and pulled backwards to allow it to drop down. This required all of the six volunteers to pull on the rope while Ian guided its progress and helped lift it over the roots of other trees using a long pole as a lever.
Once it was safely down, the tree's limbs were removed and it was cut into lengths for the volunteers to stack neatly. The stump was then cut to leave in a tidy condition. After a quick break for coffee, the next job was to continue with work on the Heathland and carry on from the work there on Saturday's Worky Day.
Working on cutting he Birch and Willow regrowth included taking out large areas with the brushcutter, but also had the volunteers clearing smaller areas by hand with loppers and secateurs. By walking through the areas where the seed was broadcast on Saturday, this has also helped tread some of the seed into the ground although it has already become difficult to see where much of the seed was scattered.
On the other side of the access road, dealing with the Hawthorns that have started to shade out some of the Heathland was also part of the work task. The ones next to the road have now been cut down and the resulting material will be removed from this enclosure. The aim is to leave two or three small clumps of Hawthorn together with an Oak that is growing well, so that there will be shelter when livestock is put in here to graze again, but reduce the cover of Hawthorn and taller Birch by about half to encourage growth of the Heathland plant community.
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