Another good turnout today, despite the need to postpone last weeks' scheduled session to this date. Let's hope we can do as well next Sunday. Once again the weather was kind, if rather dull and still perhaps a bit uncomfortably warm in the humid, still air. The clocks had goine back overnight, bit even given the start being an hour later in real terms, we had some mist to start with.
We continued to cut the main reed bed, which after having fours years in which to grow, has become clogged with bindweed and other nasty stuff, making the driving of the Grizzly vewry hard work. Last time out, the wooden draw bar at the front of the final sheet of the day had snapped, so Chairman John had been busy in the intervening weeks replacing it with a length of steel tubing and some impressive looking chains. This, as you would hope, proved to be very strong, so we continued to be able to build tall heaps. The benefit of tis is that we no longer waste time ad effort moving the material just dumped to make space for the next load..
The main excitement of the first hald was when Pauline found a deep hole, going in with both feet beyond her knees! She took some getting out, but sadly, no cameras were on habd at the time. Half time came, giving a chance for the obligatory tea break photo. Compare it with the photo above to see how much progress had been made in an hour's work.
By the end of the session, it looked like this. We have three more sessions before the Christmas break, and are confident that this section will be complete by then.
The recently acquired "tree popper" was also deployed. This clever, but simple device grips the base of the trunk of a small tree to be pulled out, and by pushing its long lever down, up pops the tree! We first saw it on the BBC Springwatch, and arte sure it will be invaluable in helping us control the spread of invasive willows and alders.
Here is Chariman John's message of thanks:
If there were prizes for this morning one would have to go to Pauline for both staying calm under serious pressure and for resolutely carrying on once we had extricated her. Many of us have experienced the sinking feeling that accompanies the chance discovery of a particularly soft patch of mud but Pauline's immersion was in a different league; I was impressed!
Meanwhile, a more modest but no less deserved thank you to everyone for a job really well done today. I have worked this part of the reedbed before but where we are at the moment is probably the toughest I've known it. I hope you feel like me that the team-work is a joy to be part of and look forward to next Sunday, 6th. November for another go.
Thanks again on behalf of all Southrepps residents and visitors.