Friday, 24 February 2012

Lacerated hands and arms

 Yesterday at Fowlmere we were clearing an area of hawthorn scrub to form a meadow.  This is another of those "no public access" areas where what we're doing is entirely for the benefit of the wildlife.  These are before and after photographs, though in fact, there's more to be done at the far end.

 It was a fabulous day and we were quickly down to tee-shirts, but it was a painful experience, because however careful you are, hawthorn is vicious stuff and even my wonderful RHS leather gloves are not enough to keep the thorns out.  Hands, forearms and even legs suffered.

Until lunchtime, Doug was away working somewhere else, so we were cutting everything down with bow-saws and dismembering it with loppers, but after lunch, Doug appeared with his chainsaw and made short work of the stumps we'd left and quite a few extra trees.

Thick logs we stacked to one side as firewood, though it'll have to be seasoned for a year before it's usable.  It'll burn OK even now, but unseasoned wood gives off resins which coat the inside of your chimney which then needs to be swept more often.  The rest we just burned on the spot.

Notable wildlife sightings were a brimstone butterfly (in Feburary!!!), a buzzard, a sparrowhawk and a male kestrel displaying, which is not bad, considering we were heads down working all day.

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