Despite the clash with Remembrance Sunday and the dismal weather six brave souls turned up to help. The task was to remove to the posts and barbed wire on the southern side of the track from the allotments overlooking the Reservoir Basin. There were some questions as to why this was being done but an explanation soon sorted things out.
When the Friends took over the site in 1990 there were no trees along the track, just a few bushes.
The few shrubs visible in the 1991 photos had been planted as an experiment by the National Rivers Authority (precursor of the Environment Agency- EA) a few years earlier but we have no idea why.
In the couple of years that followed many trees were planted including a number of Field Maples on the northern side of the track, along with the odd one plus a range of Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Holly and other species on the southern side. The line of these on the southern bank were protected within a barbed wire enclosure.
Twenty six years on we have a very thick hedge that is a magnet for wild birds. However to prevent it growing into the track or turning into a line of trees we regularly get our farmer to cut it back with a flail mower. We have now reached a stage where the old post and wire fence is a hindrance to the tractor and for the most part no longer required so we intended to pull it out. Unusually they must have been good quality posts because few had rotted and the staples holding the wire were still firmly embedded, even after 25 years!
However, with the help of Ruben, Mark A, Julie and Mark, Judi and Mick we finished the task and the hedge is now ready to be flailed.
We have our meeting on Tuesday 13th November 6:30 – 9:30 at the Youth Hostel to discuss the EA plans but the next work party is on the 9th December 2018 to cut back Blacthorn suckers in front of the newly layed hedge outside Blue Beck Copse from 10:30 onward.