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Levelling down in Sustead

Thursday September 14th dawned (and dusked) blue, sunny and warm – an ideal day for scything Sustead Common, which was badly in need of a haircut. 12 volunteers arrived around 9.00 a.m. and were greeted by John, our leader for the day. He had managed to cram a surprising number of tools into his tiny car – but only three scythes, so 2 of the trained scythers present were detailed to do other things, while Alan, Nigel and Sean put in a really good stint, cutting the Common’s grass down to size. Nigel drew the short straw – the corner nearest the outdoor classroom, which always remains wet for most of the day after a heavy dew, which meant he had to take two cuts to achieve the level we wanted.

Meanwhile, other volunteers raked and carried the scythed grass away to the ever-growing banks of cuttings under the hedgerows. Carol took herself off to the furthest corner of Spurrell’s Wood, where, armed only with a pair of shears, she cut back all the nettles on the path leading to the bird feeders, then, on hands and knees, cut back the long grass on the path leading to the bird hide – a job usually done with a scythe. She has now been mentioned in dispatches for gallantry (well, mentioned in this blog).

A well-deserved break was taken mid-morning and we all signed off around midday – satisfied with the huge improvements to both the Common and Spurrell’s Wood. Thanks to all who came – above all Tracey, who walked from and back to East Runton.

The next work party in on Saturday September 23rd at Stow Heath in Felmingham – our first work party there, when we will be improving the entrance lane to make the site more accessible and provide better parking.


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