Thursday, 2 February 2012

A Bonfire in West Wood

Wednesday 1st February 2012

Today it was a rather chilly 3o Celsius when we arrived at Gibside. There were to be three groups of conservation volunteers today. One group comprising Dave, Lorna, Matthew and Phil Younger set off to cut up two trees which had been felled on Green Close, some of the branches were to be kept to be used as pea canes later in the season.

The second group set off to Snipes Dene where their task was to burn rhododendron prunnings.

The third group consisted of Mike & myself, and our task was to burn the beech and rhododendron prunnings which had been deposited at the turning circle in the West Wood. We soon warmed to our task (or I should say were warmed by our task)!
Mike tending the bonfire

Once we had the fire lit (with a little help from Phil Younger), we had to cut the prunnings into more manageable pieces using loppers and saws. It is important to keep the bonfire to a reasonable size so as not to risk setting fire to any surrounding vegetation.

The Bonfire
Blue Skies over West Wood

After lunch, our task completed, we watched the fire begin to die down and realised how cold it still was.  As we admired our nicely cleared area, we were dismayed to see the arrival of Dave with the first of three truckloads of branches from the trees on Green Close. We arranged the branches into neat piles; they were going to have to wait for another day to be burnt!

Mike looks on with dismay as another
truckload of branches is delivered!
                                                                                                                           Phil Coyne

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