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15 volunteers at Sustead Sites

We had a really good turn-out today to tidy the Sustead footpaths. We expected around ten people soweredelighted to see 15 volunteers, two of them new (welcome Tim and Fran) and two for the second time (Mike and Tracey). We were quickly put to work, initially scything the paths on the Common and the Surveyor’s Allotment so that people walking through no longer get stung! Three of us sorted out the heavily overgrown doughnut (part of the Surveyor’s Allotment), with Nigel starring there with the scythe. Trevor also scythed part of the Thatched Cottage bank.

Then most of us crossed the road to Spurrell’s Wood, doing the same work there – including making it possible to get to the bird feeders next to the hide and dealing with those parts of the circular path around the wood that always get overgrown very quickly. Four volunteers took off for the Beckhams after coffee (flapjack provided by Amy from the Thatched Cottage, and wonderful biscuits, imprinted with a bird, by Jane) – their job being to make the footpaths at both East Beckham Common and West Beckham Green passable. These four were carefully chosen to be the four heading home beyond the Beckhams, thus saving car miles.

On that point (saving miles), we’re really pleased that two people cycled today and four came on foot (admittedly, one of those from only just round the corner …). We really need to do this more often but realise that for most, it simply isn’t possible to avoid car use. But perhaps we could all make a greater effort to car share? Perhaps it is the volunteer co-ordinator’s job to let people know when somebody from their area is also attending? So I’ll see what I can do!

Back to the work party: Trevor got a good picture of a Large Skipper by the pond and saw a Southern Hawker near the bird hide. We heard a number of birds – next time, maybe we could have a short walk with one of our experts to tell us what we are hearing?

A very good morning’s work. Many thanks to all- scythers Trevor, John, Carol, Brian, John and Nigel; and rakers, loppers and clippers Tracey, Tim, David, Mike, Susan, Jonathon, Elizabeth and Fran.

Our next work party is at West Beckham Old Allotments on Thursday July 20th.

Peter Maingay

July 6th 2023


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