by Ian Bushell
Another warm sunny morning and a good turn out by the Friends to continue their beneficial maintenance of the Reserve.
We had no specific major task so in pairs dispersed to various parts of the reserve to clear paths and choke points. This year has been strange, a slow spring [cold April and wet May] but since the start of June with the warm weather it is as though rocket fuel has been given to the roots of much of the vegetation. It is almost disheartening, we cut back and clip brambles and other foliage encroaching on the paths and it looks good. Two weeks later we go back and it looks as though nothing has been done.
 The blackthorn tunnel;  a brown hawker
However, we persist, Phil and Frank cleared around the seat and entrance into The Race and then widened and cleared around the entrance into the reserve by the Allotments and then the gateway from the allotments into Sheep Field. Clive and David tackled the Blackthorn Tunnel leading from the footbridge into Village Green up to Kestrel field. Sarah and Allan and Joan and Patrick tackled the tunnel leading down from the Picnic Area to the Stream and pond. All this with just shears and good humour and the hope that in the future we will be able to tackle these tasks with battery powered hedge trimmers which would be a real game changer. Pat, as always, did a sterling job in litter picking her way around the reserve.
 Pat, our Litter Picking Queen;  Frank, Clive and a flask of coffee.
Apart from clearing a couple of entrances I managed to photographs some insects and bugs and was frustrated by some Dragonflies that flew around but would not settle, or when they did, just as I got a possible shot, flew off. But I did manage to get a photo good enough to identify a Brown Hawker teasing Clive and myself in Simpsons Field.
All met up in the Picnic area for coffee, biscuits and bonus cake from Sarah, to discuss what future tasks lie ahead.