Our day began with an anticyclonic gloom. However, our gloom soon lifted when we found that 17 postgraduate students and their tutor from Newcastle University were to join us for the day. We headed off en masse to Snipes Dene where our task was to cut back and burn rhododendron bushes (“rhodie bashing”). Pretty though it might be, rhododendron is aggressively invasive and has to be kept under control to give native plants a chance.
|Students pruning the rhododendrons.|
Three small bonfires were lit and having such a large group of willing and efficient workers our task was completed by early afternoon.
|One of the bonfires.|
Several conservation volunteers remained behind to ensure the fires burnt out safely.
|Steve tending one of the fires.|
Our patience was rewarded by some clearing of the sky (well it was a Wednesday) and the sight of a red kite gliding over Snipes Dene.
|Late afternoon sunlight over Snipes Dene.|