Report of the 19th January 2023 Working Parties.
All volunteers at today’s Local Nature Reserve and Fernery Gardening Group working parties gathered together in the Danesbury Fernery at 11 a.m. for a ‘2022 Xmas Celebration’, delayed from 15th December 22 when heavy rain cancelled the original programme.
Where Paul’s Mulled Wine (in Christine’s insulated container) warmed us all, we were sustained by multiple choices of mince pies, chocolate covered cakes and biscuits, Bakewell tarts, Hot Cross Buns (!) and Fox’s ‘Fabulous Chocolatey Milk Chocolate Rounds’. But a cold camera battery failed to reach the same heights, limiting somewhat the photographic record of the feast. Nevertheless, the few photos that were taken managed to capture the sense of frozen intensity as the volunteers succeeded, for a short while at least, to overlook the sub-zero temperature and frozen ground that they stood on.
In the unfortunate absence of Sara our Chairman, the President (no less) had been asked to say just a few words, and he succeeded in bringing tears to the frozen eyes of all who stopped feasting long enough to listen.
The Presidential Xmas Message for 2022
We must not overlook the opportunity to thank all volunteers for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. We have all rightly celebrated when opportunities arose, spending lunchtimes and evenings together, and we look forward to further successes under Sara’s leadership.
We also reflect on the amazing rock work restoration we have benefitted from, and the fame and fortune (?) that will arise later in 2023 from the National Garden Scheme which speaks volumes for the skilled planting and maintenance work of the Fernery Gardening Group. In the context of the immense amount of effort and work we started in September 2015 to recover a famous old Fernery from a derelict chalk pit, I find it truly amazing that we have reached this unimaginable pinnacle of success.
We must not lose sight of the need to continuously build up our strengths. We thank Harry for his immense work and influence over the past years both as a volunteer on the Nature Reserve; then as a member of the FODF Committee; and latterly as our Secretary, and we welcome Nina in his place. Recruitment is vital to our continuing success, and we must try to develop some innovative means of achieving that during the coming year.
The FODF Committee thank you all and wish you a Harry New Year (sic).