We had a good turn out of 14 volunteers working on the Nature Reserve, and in the Fernery.
The weather forecast was just about right, and we managed to undertake some good work in cold and gusty conditions before the rains came down at 11 a.m. just as we started to make our exodus.
Work Party No 1 – Local Nature Reserve – Leader Andrew Beattie
Andrew led a team planting 100x primrose plugs along the banks of the Ancient Track, from the kissing gate at the Codicote Road end up to the steps.
Branches and debris that had been brought down by the recent storms were cleared away from the track, and bramble trailers cut back to reveal the daffodils and blue bells which are showing.
Time and resources did not allow any work in this area.
Work Party No 2 – Fernery Garden – Leader Harry Ward
We are paying the price for not managing to complete the job of clearing all of the leaf drop before the storms and rains came, and the paths are muddied as a result. We need a few dry and warm(er) days to bring the leaf blower back into effective action.
But happily the winds seem not to have done any lasting damage to the trees and shrubs. The two new hollies are surviving despite the immediate attention given them by the resident rabbits.
The Fernery Garden team focused on planting the 100x primrose plugs supplied by WHBC and the 90x cowslips cultivated by Jenny.
The expected large delivery of bulbs did not materialise; they are now due on 24th February. If the weather conditions are suitable we might well arrange an extra work party to get these planted.
We fixed protective tubes around the new hollies, both of which were showing signs of rabbit chew.
The team continued the arduous task of raking up wet, heavy and muddy leaf drop, and weeding the main flower beds.
Despite the grey February conditions, the Fernery looks amazingly attractive, with its promise of more colour and interest to come.
Ferns, bulbs and perennials are recovering around the Fernery, and snow drops are beginning to show their heads on the South Bank. We have not yet managed to count the 10,000 snowdrops that we planted last year.