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More winter tasks...

Posted: Tuesday 13th March 2018 by CharlieandSteph

... at Brilley Green Dingle and Parish Field Nature Reserves.

Moving the kiln from Brilley Green Dingle – 30th November 2017 - By Steph James-Melling

After a great day with the Thursday work party, replacing the boardwalk that runs through the dingle, Lewis asked if Charlie and I could help him to load a kiln on to the trailer we had with us. We happily agreed and followed Lewis to the top of the dingle – little did we know the true scale of the task ahead of us!

The kiln (with Charlie for scale!)

Lewis had been using the kiln to produce charcoal and needed a hand to remove it from the site. It was quite a mission for Charlie and I just to roll the steel lid through a small gateway and down a short lane to the trailer, before we’d even attempted the kiln itself.

With a lot of effort, teamwork and laughter we managed to convince the kiln to roll the way we wanted it to go and not back down in to the dingle. We attached a winch to the kiln, to stop it from wobbling backwards, and rolled/pulled it up on to the trailer and secured it ready for the drive back.

Parish Field – 20th December 2017 and 3rd – 4th January 2018 - By Steph James-Melling

Parish Field reserve is a vestige of what was once a large area of wet common meadow and the site is bordered by trees, with the willow being our focus for the day’s task. The volunteers got stuck in to coppicing the willow along the far side of the reserve which will prevent it encroaching on to the meadow. Coppicing will also create diversity in the stand of trees, by varying the age of the trees, from the new growth of the coppiced stools to the more mature trees.

It was a chilly day, so having a fire to burn all the brash was a welcome sight and the logs that were left will provide dead wood, a fantastic microhabitat for many, such as fungi and invertebrates.

Figure 1: 20th December – View across Parish field

The first week of January saw us back at Parish Field to continue the coppicing work and it was the first chance for Charlie and I to lead the work party. The volunteers were so efficient that we were able to coppice another edge of the reserve and ensure the willow scrub was kept to the border. Two days of hard work and the site was visibly different and I cannot wait to go back in the warmer months to see the meadow in flower.

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