In response to a request for projects that will encourage community involvement among scouts of all ages and abilities, the WHBC Landscape & Ecology Department has proposed to Tony Lyall, Mid-Herts District Commissioner, that groups of Explorer Scouts (14-18 year olds) might ‘rabbit proof’ the cattle fence which surrounds the Danesbury Fernery.
This news will come as a great relief to the Danesbury Fernery Gardening Group who have had to watch their new plants getting steadily attacked by local rabbits. Not that the volunteers have stood by and done nothing – on the contrary – rabbit/chicken wire has had to be painstakingly fixed around the outside of all the new planting beds, with some success. No rabbits or chickens, but some slugs, have been getting through.
But with new planting beds being developed and planted up, the better long term course will be to keep the rabbits out of the Fernery altogether and, in so doing, ease the maintenance of the planting beds and further improve their appearance.
WHBC’s Ann MacDonald has provided the scouts with the following Specification which includes an ingenious reward never offered to regular volunteers!
In principle, the task is to fix rabbit fencing to an existing cattle fence, I will have a machine scrape back the soil before you start and the task would be to fix the rabbit fencing to the existing cattle fence and then tread back the soil. Gates will require closer thought, perhaps a design problem the Scouts can wrestle with? It’s a simple task but there is a fair amount, not a whole field, but probably 600 linear metres.
I should think you’d need to schedule 6 work parties, we will provide the materials. We could supply pizza at the end of each work party for a job well done.
We have to hope that scouts will find the promise of pizza more compelling than do the rabbits find the promise of succulent geraniums, and that they take up the Invitation to rabbit proof the Danesbury Fernery for us before our next major planting exercise scheduled for Autumn 2018.
Ed: The truth will out, Tony Lyall admits that: the District has 4 Explorer Scout Units, each of which averages about 15 members though we never ever get 100% attendance at anything (unless there’s free pizza) so we can either look to do one big project or maybe 4 smaller ones.