One project ends and another one is just beginning!

Wednesday, March 2nd 2011

Day one of the lake extension works and what a sight/site! The digger began to shape the new shoreline and remove silt from the drained lake. Tons of soil were moved to another area by two large dumper trucks. Even with caterpillar tracks, the vehicles struggled up the muddy bank with their heavy loads. A reminder that this area is currently out of bounds but the lake hides are both open and access is via the path from the wooden welcome sign, the welcome shelter or from the scrapes boardwalk. The path on the opposite bank no longer exists!

Diggers and dumpers

Meanwhile volunteers were hard at work finishing off the management of this year's coppice block. At last the end was in sight as the final stems were cut and placed on the bonfire. This work has saved the reserve a huge amount of money as in previous years it has cost as much as £10,000 per block coppiced to pay contractors to do this job. This is a  great example of how important volunteers are to the running of the reserve. The students from the Dales school also joined in and helped to cut branches and carry them to the fire.

Final day on coppice

Thank you to everyone who has helped out with this enormous and at times tedious task, we are very grateful and there will be a special 'coppice party' next Tuesday lunchtime to celebrate the completion of this task! All welcome!

Treasurer's note: As one of the few who have been part of the Foxglove project from the very beginning I would like to say that the completed coppice block is excellent and better finished/tidier than any of the previous 'professional' work we have paid for handsomely. It is a massive credit to all who have given of their time over the winter period. That, and all the clearance work that allowed the precision mobilisation yesterday of the lake extension, is testimony to what can be achieved by a band of determined enthusiasts. These things require drive and tenacity - and together we have done it.  We will be able to reflect on your significant achievements with great pride and pleasure for many years to come.  My thanks to you all.

Coppice crew

Finally, our thanks go to Betty, Chairwoman of the Richmondshire Trefoil Guild for a donation of £135. This money was raised through a coffee morning in Catterick village on 23rd February. The proceeds were shared between Foxglove and the local Guides (£270 was raised in total). Thank you to all involved and to everyone who went along to support the event on the day.

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