Up to Our Armpits in Mud

On a cold, greyish, misty-moisty morning, a group of fifteen people came together to work. While twelve chose slipping about in the afore-mentioned mud, trying their hands at coppicing, the rest adjourned to the wildflower meadow to finish this year’s planting. 

Coppicing is, basically, clearing parts of the woodland in order to create space for the remaining trees to grow into large trees, thus being able to fulfil their potential.  There is, paradoxically, a certain amount of cutting trees to the ground that goes on initially, accompanied by tidying away of undergrowth and brush.  These trees will not die, however, but will make new growth from the stump.

This took place last Sunday, 6th December 2020, in the adjoining area to that which was begun last year.  The plan is then to plant under-storey trees in the areas that have been cleared, for example holly, yew, hazel – sometime soon in the new year, we hope.   There will still need to be some clearing up of undergrowth to take place at our first work party of 2021 in January. 

While this was taking place in one area, in the wildflower meadow a smaller group of three people finished planting up the fritillaries; the First-Sunday work party in November had planted just over half of the thousand bulbs, together with five hundred wildflower plug plants, comprising field geranium, birds foot trefoil, ox eye daisy, red campion, meadow buttercup, cowslip, common toadflax, field scabious and rough hawkbit (hope I’ve left nothing out).  So, next spring, we are hoping for a burgeoning forth of an amazing nature! 

Juanjo also managed to capture the day on film

So, all our gratitude goes to our stalwart band of workers, including newcomers Gabby, Juanjo (photographer) and Ian, and then Jason (tree surgeon), his two daughters, Dave, Jake, Kate H, Kate R, Sue, Carol, Bob, Steve and Mary.

Some of our merry band:

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