The forecast ‘gentle breeze’ was more akin to a ‘strong easterly freeze’.
Those in the Fernery Gardening Group found very little of the usual shelter in the dell, and most volunteers packed up and departed just as soon as the factory whistle blew at 12 p.m.
Work Party No 1 – The Local Nature Reserve
A group of 7 volunteers led by Andrew Beattie were kept very busy continuing the work started a couple of months ago in the Ancient Track. Apart from the ongoing need to tidy up the entry to the track from the Codicote road and clear it to its full length, the prime task was to clear the ground to receive primrose plugs in the next couple of months.
Nettles and brambles were cleared with little help from the strimmer which unfortunately needed endless cable re-loading. Tired elders were lopped, and cuttings were cleared away as much as possible to the top of the banks and out of sight.
Nina raked leaves along the full length of the track, and as the overall clearance work continued the team began to reveal ferns previously hidden.
Lucy uncovered an interesting Hart’s tongue fern tucked in a rotting log that is covered with candle snuff fungus.
The access path from the Codicote road is now clear once again and provides easy access to the track and the Nature Reserve.
Work Party No 2 – Fernery Garden
More work was carried out on the North Bank introducing more logs and old branches to retain the slope.
Harry and Alan worked to further cover the terram with a mix of soil and bark chippings.
Sarah led a team planting some 750 many very large Cammassia bulbs – the cold weather stopped them completing the task.
These giant plants will produce a rich blue bloom in the Spring/summer months.
Jenny with help from Sue and Christine continued the task of weeding and managing the wild flower bed at the top of the North Bank.