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Four work parties in a Week!

We held our annual work party at Sadler’s Wood, in North Walsham, on Tuesday March 14th, the one time in the year when we work with our excellent colleagues from the North East Norfolk Conservation Volunteers. Four of us – Nick, Val, Bev and Peter M – joined around 12 NENCV volunteers for an afternoon of litter-picking (a lot of litter …), sapling-checking (a lot of redundant tree-guards to be collected), scything, raking, cutting and bramble-bashing. It was a good event, in dry weather – with an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones, and to compare notes on our different but complementary ways of working. Our thanks to Julie and her team – and we hope to meet in the summer when they may come and visit some of our sites.

The following day, we had two work parties: one at East Beckham, where Nick, Val, Sean, Andrew and Brian (a new Felbeck Trust volunteer with years of volunteering experience behind him) spent a happy morning planting whips along the west boundary at the top pf the path and digging out and lining what will become a dew pond.

The other work party was in Sustead. Nine of us completed a variety of tasks. Four sturdy volunteers – Alan, Stu, Nigel and Trevor - barrowed and spread a pile of crushed concrete – delivered a couple of weeks earlier – to just inside the 5-barred gate giving on to Spurrell’s Wood to create a parking place for disabled visitors. Towards the end of the morning, Michael McInally of McInally and Company, Building Constructors, who was working on a nearby garden, drove past, saw us working and volunteered to bring his wacker plate down and compact the area for us. A very generous gesture and hugely appreciated – thank you, Michael! More crushed concrete was used to fill in potholes and to firm up the path on the Surveyor’s Allotment.

Elizabeth and Carol cleared an area near the hide, where there is a new, ‘natural’ bench – to create better viewing of birds. Roger and Sue cleared areas where there have been and might be orchids on and near the Roadside Nature Reserve, while Trevor managed to remove a branch that had come down in recent gales and landed on the roof of the outdoor classroom. A fantastic morning’s work, despite the continuing absence of doughnuts. Thanks to all, both at the Sustead sites and at the East Beckham site.

Finally, on Friday afternoon, six Gresham’s School students, along with their teacher, Lenny, visited Sustead for the first time and dug out a large number of bramble roots near the bird-feeder on the Surveyor’s Allotment. They were not able to stay for long but they put in a lot of good work, always with great enthusiasm.

Peter Maingay

March 17th 2023


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