© Andrew Moon
Another good and hard morning’s work on what may in time become our fourth cattle meadow, which will help the wild flowers.

Despite a gloomy forecast, the weather was mild and dry with even a bit of sun and we broke our record with 24 members turning up for work.  Work continued on preparations for a possible fourth field.

This was a splendid morning’s work preparing the reserve for planting 149 Gandhi anniversary trees in March. The first group cleared thick brambles along the river Colne to make way for trees. We never forget that brambles give wonderful safe nesting for small birds but these bramble patches had grown to well over 20 feet deep so we only cut about 6 or 7 feet away.

A nippy day but clear blue sky perfect for a morning’s work party. We started clearance work for a possible fourth cattle field near the Iron Bridge. This comprised a couple of tasks; clearing a sizeable dense bramble area which we largely completed and clearance work along the perimeter to enable future fence repair work.
Another morning spent at the lake edge clearing bushes and some trees to let in the sunlight on to this overgrown area. This time we allowed some of the branches to fall into the lake which will give protection to young fish (fry) from predators such as pike and heron and provide good territory for numerous aquatic invertebrates as well as guarding the banks from wave action during windy storms. Some branches were made into poles which were stacked ready for making dead hedges.

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.