Gapping at West Beckham

The morning of January 6th was a chilly one – quite a hard frost – but at least it was sunny for our first work party of 2022. Ten volunteers arrived at WBOA ready to get warm and we were sent off to all corners of the site with instructions to fill in the gaps in the old perimeter hedge with hawthorn and blackthorn whips. The cannier members of the team found the sunnier spots but, after a while, as the air warmed, this became less necessary.

However, it was too cold and shaded beside the shed to stand there for our coffee so we shifted to a sunnier spot, after which, having used up all the whips available, we set to clearing existing hedge plants of grass, both within the guards and around the rapidly growing whips. These have been planted in the last two years and are doing remarkably well – very few have failed altogether and quite a large number are bursting out of their guards.


A good morning’s work, with plenty of time to catch up on Christmas and New Year news, and on plans for the coming months. Lateral flow tests still have to be done before work parties but nobody had a result that prevented them attending.

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