It was great to be able to hold our first work party since lock-down, even though we were restricted, with a maximum of 6 members. Four regulars were joined by two newcomers, Sally and Tim, who were most welcome. The main task was to inspect the many whips planted down the eastern boundary, inside the fence, during last autumn/winter. We didn’t need to replace any canes or guards, but we did need to remove any excessively intrusive vegetation, and also retrieve any canes and guards where the whips had died. From water-logged ground in late winter to spring drought, the whips didn’t exactly get off to the best start. Survival rates varied between about 90% further north and more like 50% in the south. Perhaps those further north, which were planted earlier, had more time to establish before the extreme weather. Also the mixes were different, with a substantial amount of Rowan and Dogrose doing well in the north, much more Hawthorn in the south. We probably completed about 60% of the length of boundary planted last winter. In addition, Mike and Sally marked some trees for coppicing (Hazel and Wych Elm) and removal (Sycamore and Norway Maple) later in the season, and a small amount of litter was collected.
by John Elwell (work party coordinator)