With a back-log of nature conservation work to complete before the end of the year, The Woodland, Flora & Fauna Group volunteer work force moved on quickly to the Sayers Common Pond location where unchecked brush and reed growth had begun to over-run the area.
Thistles had grown to 2.5 metres and joined with bramble, willow and stinging nettles on the pond banks to make access extremely difficult. Reeds had once again begun to spread and the surrounding tree growth and fallen branches further added to the brush congestion. This had inevitably begun to dismantle the years of hard work that had been necessary to originally restore the pond from a tangle of fallen trees and woodland undergrowth.
In 2013 the pond was a tangle of fallen trees and woodland undergrowth before our restoration work began.
Determined that this effort would not be wasted, the volunteers quickly began clearing the area to ensure it remained the distinctive natural feature it previously was and a haven for wildlife once more.
Not wishing it to deteriorate again we returned to maintain it this summer.
Project days were held once or twice weekly to achieve this with volunteers armed with brush-cutters, forks, saws, rakes and loppers. Each visit that was undertaken achieved a lot of progress and even endured during several visits when the ambient temperature exceeded 34 degrees Celsius. This tested even the most enthusiastic attendee with perspiration running into their eyes, their clothing wet with sweat and every movement significantly more taxing than normal but all magnificently stuck to their tasks.
With a lot of energy and enthusiasm volunteers began the work.
The banks were cleared of unruly brush…
…whilst flora of value was retained.
Invasive willow was tackled…
…and all the cleared debris piled up for disposal.
Once the banks were restored the cuttings began to be burnt.
The surrounding trees had spread over the pond edges once more and needed trimming back.
The tree pruning results were reduced to a manageable size…
…and then expertly disposed of by others.
All around the site heaps of cuttings requiring disposal were stacked.
Fires were started simultaneously in many places by some volunteers….
…with others transporting additional material to them.
Despite the heat which saw daytime temperatures soar to 34 degrees Celsius on some days…
…volunteers braved the additional close-quarter bonfire furnace-like conditions…
…to ensure no debris was left.
All fires were tended until only ash remained.
This dogged effort certainly achieved excellent results and steadily the pond and surrounding area were restored to their former condition.
The cleared area was left once again in a healthy state.
All volunteers attending are to be sincerely thanked and commended for their dedication to our nature activities. This effort has allowed the next site requiring attention to be addressed in our effort to catch-up with our delayed 2020 work schedule.