Bracken, bramble and gorse. Today we carried on with clearance work along the wheelchair access path on Lynchmere Commons. The lovely day brought a good turnout of volunteers and as you can see a couple of our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers had a rest enjoying the sun after they cleared all that area – well not quite but it certainly looks like that.
As always our thanks go to all the people that give up their sunday morning to help with improving our commons.
we will harvest our first apples in the community orchard? The various old and local variety trees are in blossom and with a bit of luck they won’t suffer the same fate as last year’s when a late frost put pay to our hopes of some long awaited fruit.
Unfortunately the blossom was a bit late for the group of volunteers that tidied the orchard and the edge of the fields a couple of weekends ago (ok I admit it – it was 4 weeks ago and I should have posted this ages ago). We were joint by a group of conservation volunteers from Southampton on their annual ‘residential’ visit.
They are all oceanographers and their like and choose to spend a weekend clearing up stuff and sleeping on the floor in the Hardman Hoyle Hall – dedication.
All in all our own volunteers did huge amounts of work – chainsaws were wielded expertly from the back of the trailer to clear overhanging branches along the field edges to enable the tractor to go right up to the edge when cutting the hay this year. We were very lucky with the weather and fun was had by all – as well as a little BBQ.
Last Sunday brought the first task of the new work ‘season’. A great group of volunteers battled with this year’s phenomenal bracken, bramble and gorse growth.
Of course there was a fire and good progress was made towards linking previously cleared areas. We were also joined by three teenagers that are doing their Duke of Edinburgh awards and have chosen The Lynchmere Society for their volunteer task which means they will take part on a regular basis.
One way of ‘manhandling’ the cleared vegetation – if you have a fork and the muscle!
So here we are – just about made it before the end of the year! And what a year it was – apart from the usual ‘legalised vandalism’ that is the winter clearance work, our trusty band of volunteers has planted a hazel grove (easily spotted from the Haslemere Road) and also tried to battle the grass in the orchard with assorted scythes – I think the grass won! But then it did have more than a helping hand from the endless rain this ‘summer’.
We have started to tackle an altogether new skill – hedge laying. Our efforts can be seen along the road from Lynchmere towards Hammer. It is certainly a challenge but great fun and it makes a change from our usual slightly more destructive work. The task is not finished so if you want to get involved – let us know. So watch this space – or that hedge!
And then of course there was our 15 minutes of fame – on the BBC’s Countryfile program on 2nd Dec. Good to see volunteer organisations being given a platform – but for those of you who saw the program – Sorry but don’t expect a cooked lunch on your next task!
So after all this very traditional work we have finally taken the plunge and are out here blogging – well, we will try at least.
We want to use this medium to help us stay (or even get) in touch with members, give you more up to date information about what is going on, when and where our next volunteer task is happening and anything else that might be of interest and relevance to you and us.
So if anyone out there wants to contribute – please, please let us know!
So until the next blog, task or newsletter –
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY 2013