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Repeat Performance

Nine of us reconvened at West Beckham Old Allotments on a damp and chilly morning to carry on where we had left off last time. We nearly all descended on the western part of the site to finish the raking that we hadn’t completed then. We had soon gathered up the leavings and deposited them in piles by the two spinneys to use for mulching the saplings.



Then it was on to tree care in the northwestern and southwest corners for Bev, Val and Brian. Vision continued the battle of the brambles on the western boundary, pulling back the fiercely thorny vines from the hedge planted in 2020, and weaving them into the established hedge behind. A new task for the day was to attack the docks, which have been the bane of our life since we took on the site. Stu, John, Nigel and Peter set to with gusto, digging out the roots as best they could. Meanwhile, Nick scythed around the trees in the southwestern spinney, and later moved on to knock back the Alexanders on the northern bank.

 

As break time approached, there was some consternation at the lack of doughnuts, but David H soon arrived, clutching sustenance in his arms – he was greeted as a hero. After the break, it was more of the same, but our numbers were swelled with the arrival of Ed, our tree surgeon, who, with some help from Nick, soon dealt with a Hawthorn tree that had fallen into our neighbour’s field. The Turtle Dove seed provided by the RSPB was unloaded and stored away out of the reach of nibbling rodents. A quantity of turf that had been donated was used to line the edges of the “Lockdown pond”.

 

What a busy morning! Our work was accompanied by a riot of singing from the birds in the hedgerows – Chiffchaffs, Dunnocks, Blue Tits and Great Tits, Robins, and Wrens. And during the break we were entertained by a Blue Tit going in and out of the nest box on the side of the shed.



 Our next work party will be on April 18th at Sustead, where we will be clearing paths and grassland, and maintaining the Roadside Nature Reserve. 

 

Val Stubbs

 

April 4th 2024

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