Thursday, 12 January 2012

Wednesday 11th January 2012.

Another fine Wednesday and mild for January with a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius.
There were several tasks for the landscape consevation volunteers today. Matthew headed off to chop and bag logs, John took 2 "volunteers" to dredge weeds and some of the reeds from The Lily Pond. Phil, Dave and Johnny set off to strim the grass on the bank upto the Banquetting Hall, whilst the remainder of us headed off to prune laurel bushes.

A laurel hedge has been planted along one side of the ride down from the Banquetting Hall, it's purpose being to guide the eye down towards Gibside Chapel.

Dave Prunning

Mary Prunning

Whilst we got to work with the delicate task of prunning the laurel bushes, Keith began cutting up a larch which had fallen down. We used secateurs for our prunning (a change from the usual loppers and bow saws!), and tidied up the prunnings into sacks as we went along (another first for us!).
Hopefully the laurels will bush out sideways to form a nice looking hedge with the trees behind it.

After a coffee break and fortified by flapjacks and cookies provided by Dave & Lorna we returned to help Keith cut back a small holly tree and some hawthorn bushes to complete the vista.

Just before lunch we spotted a red kite circling overehead, it was probably just checking up on us!

Keith cutting back the hawthorn bush

The Finishing Touches
After lunch at the Stables, we headed off to the bank below the Banquetting Hall to begin raking up the grass which had been cut by the strimming party in the morning.

Dave & Johnny Strimming

Phil with strimmer, Mike raking

John Grundy appeared and asked for 2 volunteers with pitchforks to go and help clear up the pond dredgings at the Lily Pond. Terry and I drew the short straws. The dredgings were muddy & smelly. After we had loaded them onto the back of the truck we helped the others collect up some of the reeds from around the periphery of the pond which had been scythed by John and added them to the dead hedge.

John with his Scythe

Dave & Terry

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