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The Wood Norton Six

Six volunteers – Trevor, Seán, Andrew, Nigel, David H and Peter M – congregated at Wood Norton Surveyor’s Allotment on an overcast morning on June 6th, where a load of timber had been delivered and where we awaited a delivery of six tons of road planings. The sun soon came out, outer layers came off, and the planings arrived.

The parking area had been scythed a couple of weeks earlier so the first task was to clear the leavings – a task that took Peter most of the morning, given that the piles kept being added to! Nigel and Trevor initially weeded the area where the planings were to go and then, once the planings had arrived, moved them to the entrance, where the ground was a tad soft; then shovelled and raked most of the rest of the six tons to the parking area.

Meanwhile, David was surveying all the watery areas (the water level is so high that the path created a few months ago is completely submerged) and came back with tales of copious duckweed and no other water plants, with an abundance of decaying leaves supporting an abundance of invertebrate life, but of limited diversity.

Seán, with help from Nigel, cleared the steep ‘path’ down to the main pond then donned waders and cut a lot of the branches that had grown from fallen, but still living, sallows. The plan is to create a launching area for our boat, using this steep path, with a possible mooring area at the foot of the path. This work will be carried out by a full day’s Gresham’s School work party in mid-June.

Andrew wielded a scythe to remarkably good effect, clearing a large area of nettles and brambles to the right of the entrance gate – an area which we hope will become grassland in the future; then joined the planings team.

Given how few we were, we got a great deal of useful work done and left the site looking a lot more ready for future developments: easier car parking, a larger area cleared (until the nettles come up again …), a pathway created for boat launching and a much less cluttered pond. But it was hard work and we were all pleased to knock off at 12.30. Well, I certainly was!

Peter Maingay

June 6th 2024.


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