We seem to have hit a wet spell, weather-wise. The forecast for today was nothing short of grim, but we turned up for the final working party of the season nonetheless, such is our devotion to the job (ahem). A few of us started off early in a nasty drizzle; by keeping the camera dry I have not done justice to the nastiness of the drizzle.
It was still raining at the advertised start time, but the faithful arrived and got down to their damp work. At times it rained harder, at others it almost stopped. Because we were wrapped up against the wet, from the sky and from underfoot, we all got pretty warm. Some of use suggested having our half-way tea break at 10.15 (i.e. minutes into the session), but we were cruelly over-ruled. By the correct break time the weather had begun to defy the forecast, and the happy throng was even able to spot some brightness.
We were continuing to cut the central area of The Common, which has to be done annually to encourage the growth of valuable fen plants, and to discourage the spread of reeds. This time we got on extremely well, with all our procedures and equipment working at peak efficiency (except perhaps my inconsistent use of the whistle). In consequence, we managed to cut a considerable part, and built what is possibly our biggest ever heap of cut vegetation: here shown topped by the intrepid Andrew, who had scaled the heights the better to distribute it. Within a few months of course it will have considerably reduced in size, at which point Andrew will be able to go home!
A panorama shot shows the newly cut area - all nicely ready for next year's crop of flowers.
And here is Chairman John's message of thanks:
Perhaps "...owed by so many to so few" is going a bit far, after all it is only a few acres of old bog, but thanks for this morning's remarkable achievement all the same. It was a horrible morning on which to come out and at five to ten I thought I was pushing my luck. But all credit to you, by the end there were fifteen people on site and working very efficiently. The view we open up each winter is beautiful and impressive. So, thanks again on behalf of all residents of Southrepps. I wish you all the compliments of the season and look forward to a hearty return to public service at 10:00am on Sunday 3rd. January, 2016. Kind regards from John