Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Green Leave Day for the Environment Agency

Today a group of staff from the Environment Agency office in Brampton came to the Reserve to carry out a conservation task. The team are in the "pollution control unit" working with big industries to control emissions and other forms of environmental pollution, so today's event was quite a change for them. We nearly called the whole thing off as, up until about 9.30 it was raining heavily here and some places received over an inch in an hour. However, the sun came out and we started more or less on time and worked through until,a bout 3pm when another series of heavy showers moved in.

We set up two tasks;

  • cutting and raking long grass in the meadow to encourage the spread of Field Scabious from the neighbouring bank. This is one of only two locations for this plant on the site. It is more widespread on calcareous soils. This task was led by Ranger Matt Hall.

  • cutting back willow which is encroaching onto the meadow and thereby suppressing a more interesting and diverse flora, led by me.

Everyone had the chance to take part in both activities and, fortified by teas, soft drinks, cereal bars, cakes sandwiches and biscuits, the time seemed to fly. Considering how much talking we did, I was quite amazed that we cleared quite a large area of willow and wound up with a big pile of cuttings, and a big pile of grass.

I enjoyed the day and hope we can repeat it in future years.