Re-Union Work Party
Fifteen volunteers came to the re-union task at Noakes Grove on Armistice Day. They came from Cambridge, Harlow, Welwyn Garden City and Saffron Walden. Many are old friends but we are all united by wanting to do positive work in the natural environment.
The blackthorn and hawthorn scrub is a natural succession growing from meadow to mature woodland. We did find a young oak being nursed by the scrub, and this was marked and saved. There is great botanical and insect diversity associated with the rides that bisect the area and less associated with the blackthorn and hawthorn, especially as it becomes young forest. Our objective was to clear a patch of over mature scrub, let in the light and allow it to regenerate. This will create a patchwork of scrub habitats of different ages, available for animals and plants to colonise and thereby increase the biodiversity at Noakes Grove, a crucial activity at a nature reserve.
Volunteers set to with bowsaw and loppers and worked extremely hard. They created piles of logs and a huge bonfire. One hawthorn was selected to be a specimen tree and pruned to encourage its growth. The work requires that the tangled trees be carefully unpicked and then cut up. Thin brush fuels the fire and the stems make habitat piles or logs.
None of this could take place without frequent cups of tea and coffee and the bonfire to heat a vegetable stew and baked potatoes for lunch.
A lively chatter ensues as the work progresses and the importance of the social occasion cannot be overstated. One volunteer said, “why do I need to go to the gym when I can come to this beautiful place for a workout in the fresh air.”
A big thank you to all who came and made this such a great day.
Future Noakes Grove Work Parties
Saturday & Sunday 19th & 20th January - our Birthday Barn-storming (see above)
Sunday 17th February 10 - 4.00pm
Sunday 17th March 10 - 4.00pm