A SOGGY WORKDAY
Saturday the 14th of March promised to keep our latest work day free from rain, a rare break in our soggy winter. The job list featured clearing the bridleway and paths of the overhanging branches and fallen branches, planting the last of our donated hedgerow tree whips and, of course, picking up a bag or two of litter.
During the wet and windy weather there have been many arboreal casualties in the copse. Large branches have broken and fallen, blocking the paths, and whole trees, with shallow roots in the wet soil, slowly lean into the thoroughfare. We armed ourselves with bow saws and loppers, and most importantly, our friendly council park ranger with his chainsaw, and set about clearing.
Only a few days before this, one of the large tree monoliths that had grown too heavy for its anchors had come down directly across the main path into the fence of one of Woodland Drive's back gardens. The monolith was totally rotten in the roots and was completely hollow, but would still be weighing several tons. Thankfully, no casualties were detected and the council's contractors had cleared this promptly, before our work day.
The large tree branch which was blocking the middle path and forcing walkers to navigate a small crater was finally removed, politely appreciated by one or two passers-by that day.
Even through the mud, signs of spring are starting to appear. The birds are very active, and the snowdrops have given way to bluebells. The ground is very soft, which helped us planting our tree whips. Another 50 or so were added this on this work day, again a mixture of native species, blackthorn, dogwood, hazel and others.
Then slowly, and un-forecasted, a large dark cloud crept over the sky and began to deposit heavy rain over our hardy volunteers. Taking our cue, we reluctantly packed our tools away and headed home, albeit with a slight glow of satisfaction.
The Great British Spring Clean, organised by Keep Britain Tidy, is almost upon us once again, between 20 March - 13 April. Keep an eye on our website, or Facebook page, for details of the event. Our numbers are usually swelled by others on the spring clean day. It's a worthy activity, clearing the copse of all plastics and litter that will soon be covered by the spring growth.