© Andrew Moon

We all met at the pumping station on the canal side of the reserve and began work on the lake edge just north of Kingfisher Hide.  Our job was to clear the ground so that sunlight could reach the lake edge ground to encourage, among other things, small bird life.  This meant felling sapling, sycamores and alders and pollarding some hawthorns.  We stripped the saplings to make poles for possible use at a later date by us or the Trust and stacked them by the pumping station.

Having read the report we did of FoSL’s 659 volunteer hours spent on the reserve in 2018, Cllr Paula Hiscocks decided to come and see us for herself and at the same time to familiarise herself with the district’s premier nature reserve.

 Cllr Paula Hiscocks with a FoSL Work Party - 1 Sep 2019

Much excellent work was done to prepare our three meadows between the lake and the River Colne for the introduction of cattle in early June.  Our strong men moved huge quantities of earth from the middle meadow to repair the ground at the main field gate entrance to the reserve which had been badly damaged by heavy fencing machinery in January, so that every it time it rained it turned the path into something from the Western Front.  Other members then raked and compressed it into shape and dug a little drainage ditch to one side. 
The main job was to clear rubbish from the area on the other side of the River Colne coming down from the Uxbridge Road to the iron river bridge.  Despite the fact that we had had a major clearance this time last year we collected an amazing amount of junk - enough to fill 2 large builders sacks plus 3 smaller sacks.  We can always rely on the Great British Public!
A marvellous turn out considering the foul weather. This enabled us to do a very ecologically important job of hedge planting on the boundaries of the three meadows between the river and the lake which are now fenced in readiness for cattle which we hope to introduce in April or May.

This was the work party cancelled for 3rd February.  The trouble was that because of the weather and muddy conditions, the work I had planned (delineating the public footpaths through the cattle meadows) wasn’t possible.