© Andrew Moon
A nippy day but clear blue sky perfect for a morning’s work party. We started clearance work for a 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.

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!