|The Ha-ha full of autumn leaves|
|Clearing the Ha-ha|
The building of the aerial walkway from the new car park to walled-garden and café area laid blight to the ground beneath. With some difficulty, digging down through builders’ rubble and soil-stabilizing netting, the team worked with Head Gardener Keith to plant an assortment of shrubs and trees including holly, yew, hazel and rose. Much of the timber that had been felled to make way for the walkway had already been used to build log piles back in the autumn. Log piles encourage invertebrates, and invertebrates attract anything that likes to eat them.Whist some of the team were working under the walkway, others supervised visitors in cutting back the rhododendron in the woods by the Hollow Walk which constantly threatens to blanket the woodland floor and smother native plant life. In all one hundred and twenty visitors joined in – sixty-nine children and fifty-one bigger people; that would have been half-term week. This week the not-so-young Conservation Volunteers took great pleasure in burning the cuttings on three bonfires in the woods; quite childish really.
|The Team at Work Burning Rhododendron Cuttings|
As well as being rampant, rhododendron can be quite substantial, so we used the larger bits to build another log pile in the woods. Across the track we removed rhododendron the size of trees to uncover an ageing sweet chestnut: a visible reward for our efforts.
|Building the log pile|
|Column to Liberty and Sweet Chestnut now visible |
after cutting back the rhododendrons
|The Team head for home after another fruitful day.|
Steve Wootten & Phil Coyne