Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Tale of Two Teams

Wednesday 18th January 2012 was another mild day, if somewhat overcast.

Team Meeting

One team set off to clear the leaves from the Ha-ha which runs along the length of The Avenue. What is a Ha-ha? Well, a Ha-ha is a type of ditch in which one side is vertical and made of stone, while the opposite side is sloped and turfed. It allows an unobstructed view from The Avenue whilst creating a barrier to livestock.

A Cross-section of a Ha-Ha

The Ha-Ha Clearing Team

The leaves were loaded into large sacks
then taken away to be composted.

The second team set off for The Lily Pond. There was a fine drizzle of rain as we set off but this had stopped by the time we reached the Lily Pond. John began by scything tall grasses  behind the Pond, which was still frozen after several very frosty days. Laura (a European Volunteer from Moldova) and I began raking up the cuttings and adding them to the dead hedges at either side of the pond. Our peace was soon shattered by the arrival of Bruce and Mike with petrol driven strimmers!

One of the dead hedges topped with grass cuttings, runs
from the edge of the pond to the nearby trees.
The strimmers arrive!
Raking the longer grass cuttings, bracken, horsetails etc was fairly easy but the shorter grass cuttings were more difficult as the tines of the rake tended to snag on the tussocks of grass.

We were treated to shortbread biscuits at our coffee break which were kindly provided by Mike.

Once the scything and strimming  were finished we headed back to the walled garden where we had an early lunch break. After lunch, we collected more rakes and headed back to The Lily Pond to complete our task.

Laura takes a breather.
By early afternoon, true to form, there were breaks in the cloud and brief spells of sunshine - well it was a Wednesday after all!

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