This posting includes input from three of our bloggers. Most working parties take place on Sundays, but with some preparatory work done by a couple of people the day before. This time, such was the size of the task, a group of nine dedicated volunteers turned out on the Saturday for a strenuous workout in the warm morning sunshine. They performed heroic efforts to clear Alders from the reed bed to give Grizzly a chance at the main event and also to clear the route for the winch. Your regular correspondent having sent in a note to be excused, this first part was documented and photographed by the redoubtable Julie. It was hard work, and to prove it, her Fitbit running in workout mode recorded 691 calories burned and over 5000 steps taken!
Myself and Linda were receiving tree popper instruction from John. Not sure we were concentrating were we!
Myself and Linda frantically sawed around the base of the trees and then Kevin and John with tree popper and brute strength got the tree out.....going ...going
Harry volunteering as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award with mum Katherine.....clearing trees felled previously and removed today to a huge pile. Brilliant work Harry.
John D with grizzly clearing ready for tomorrow and Margaret assisting with tree removal.
My attempts to clean the tools in the beck....
All treated with WD40. . My OCD satisfied!
As requested by John D a pic of our working store as we clear up for the day.
The only downside was Chairman John managing to lose his glasses. So we all need to tread carefully tomorrow and keep a look out for lenses glinting in the sunshine!
The preparation having gone well, the Sunday session dawned beautifully bright, with a hint of mist.
(The term “dawned” is used loosely here, as your regular correspondent likes to arrive at the advertised start time. At this point, he can be cheered on by everyone else, who have gathered some time before – quite possibly at dawn. One of those was our recently recruited blogger Den, who adds to the story now.)
Well what a turnout, 20 volunteers gathered on Sunday to continue the work clearing reeds and topping alders. These included Kirsty from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and young Harry returned for more DoE experience.
Cutting round Alders in the jungle:
We did have a bit of a crash with the trolley when we were packing up at the end of the session: Kevin rose to fame as a competent Grizzly operator last time, but when took charge of manoeuvring the trolley on the boardwalk his competence as a Trolley Dolly came into question with this derailment!
Luckily no harm was done but Kevin will need to pass his proficiency test before he removes the L plates! Of course we failed to find John’s glasses, so they have joined Kevin's hearing aid waiting to be discovered as archaeological relics in 100 years’ time as people marvel at the objects we put on our faces and in our ears to help us function! False teeth next maybe!
There had been some heavy rain overnight, and the reed bed is now beginning to get quite boggy – as it should. It does mean that standing around on the wet ground you gradually get a sinking feeling. Bog snorkelling has been suggested as a new pastime for the volunteers; and why not?
However, on the day the weather was kind for us once again and great progress was made with this efficient jolly crew. We were also spoilt by Margaret’s home baked cakes which went down very well at the coffee break.
At the break Chairman John addressed the enraptured assembled throng – describing the good progress now being made on transferring ownership and responsibility for management of the Commons to NWT.
Here is Chairman John’s message of thanks:
There really was a prize waiting for the finder of my glasses yesterday but sadly I got to keep it. Never mind, it was a glorious autumn morning that blessed the worthy and righteous, culminating in a great return of work for which all of Southrepps is grateful; thank you one and all.
Our next foray will be on 4th. November, by which time the nation will once again be operating under Greenwich Mean Time and our sessions will commence at 10:00am. We will carry on with the ambitious but achievable plan of finishing the reedbed by Christmas. I close by reminding you of our meeting with NWT on 15th November at 7:15 in the Village Hall.
Kind regards and thanks