As work party co-ordinator for Chance Wood my year starts now and runs until spring; we tend to leave the wood alone during the nesting season and late summer apart from the odd ad-hoc session pulling balsam and any other maintenance tasks that arise.
A couple of weeks ago three of us walked the wood and drew up a list of tasks for this season’s work parties. We’ve decided to try running our meetings on a different day of the week in order to meet the needs of the majority of our members; we’ll see how it goes!
The first, urgent task for this month was to remove the large numbers of sycamore seedlings before they lose their leaves and become invisible
and before they develop into young trees in subsequent years.
This gave us a relatively easy start to the year’s work, although a couple of us worked at digging out the larger specimens by the roots; quite hard work but the soil is very dry and sandy so it could have been worse!
As we worked we were accompanied by parties of foraging tits, the buzzard mewed above us and a pair of ravens ‘cronked’ as they flew overhead; returning from dragging a pile of brash to our pile I almost came eye to eye with a sparrowhawk strafing the small birds.
Some might say that we put rather too much emphasis on the party part of ‘work parties’ but we do like a piece of cake!