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Getting Ready for Spring

We were blessed with fine and sunny weather today and although there was a chilly wind we were, for the most part, nicely sheltered. There were eleven of us in the working party and we were soon organised into various groups to carry out further work, firstly in the Spurrell’s Wood area where we continued on from the previous work party and secondly, on Sustead Common, where we were tidying the hedges and repairing some fencing.

Timber and brash were cleared in Spurrell’s Wood and the dry hedging infilled as necessary. This will provide protection and cover for the wildlife inside the wood, including Woodcock. The grassland opposite was cleared and leaves raked to help prepare the ground for the spring growth of both the grass and wild flowers.

The beck, opposite the hide, needed work to ensure that the flow was partially diverted through a subsidiary channel whose purpose it is to collect silt and prevent a build-up on the main stream. We also tidied up the area of weeds around the edges and cut back some of the reeds to allow other plants more room and light for growth. This has had the additional benefit of providing an improved view across the area from the bird hide. We also cleared some of the weeds in the scrape opposite, which acts as a filter for the run-off from the adjacent fields.

The Roadside Nature Reserve was tidied up and the posts given a fresh lick of paint, which will hopefully deter drivers from getting too near to the Early Purple Orchids in that area. A special mention to Peter M, who did a heroic job of repainting the posts…and his hands! Hopefully the orchids will flourish. Nick did great work tidying up the hedges bordering the common while Trevor and Peter F repaired some fencing beside Gur Beck.

Overall these sites are looking in good shape and we are now looking forward to the spring growth and increased wildlife and bird activity.

And finally….no working party blog would be complete without a doughnut status report. Sadly, I have to report that there were none! Apparently our usual supplier has a fault with their fryer which requires a part that needs to be sourced from Europe, which has apparently been delayed because of Brexit….who would have thought! Caramel shortbread and flapjacks were worthy substitutes…Just.

Nigel Smith

February 2nd 2023


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