Archive for the ‘Grassland’ Category

This, our first residential weekend away of 2017, was spent as usual doing some work through the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers.  The activity was to remove some encroaching hawthorn from a hillside to preserve an important grassland habitat; energetic work on a steep slope, but that and a bonfire helped to keep the winter chill away!

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We had a residential weekend in the Peaks back in January, when we helped clear encroaching hawthorn from a site which is being restored as a grassland habitat.  Here are some pictures – courtesy of ranger David – of how the wildflowers have lately been looking on the hillside on which we worked!

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Our arrival at Brunt’s Barn on the Friday night of this, our first residential weekend away of 2016, was like something out of And Then There Were None.  The original eight for the weekend had over the previous couple of days reduced to six due to illness and other adverse circumstance; and then one by one these six postponed their arrival at the Barn, for one reason or another, from the usual Friday night until early Saturday morning, until in the end only a hardy couple of attendees were in the Barn on Friday.  Still, against the odds, everyone (even the habitually late) arrived in good time on Saturday – in time for breakfast, no less, probably lured by the promise of a vast vat of excellent porridge.

The work for both Saturday and Sunday was to be out with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, on a hillside between Tideswell and Miller’s Dale, to remove young encroaching hawthorn from a site which is being restored as a grassland habitat.  As part of a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, this hillside will in the future be grazed between August and February, the grassland habitat and wildflowers then being allowed to flourish for the rest of the year.  It was hard work, teetering on a steep slope and pitchforking bundles of hawthorn down to a bonfire at the bottom (shades of Indiana Jones sometimes, dodging the rolling bundles), but fine home-made cake from a very generous PPCV volunteer on both days helped to sustain us!

At the end of Saturday’s work, there was much enjoyment of Brunt’s Barn’s new showers (a great improvement in comfort) and then a trip to the bar of The Maynard for an evening meal, followed by drinks and games back at the Barn (endless rounds of Bananagrams and Dobble proved the popular choice this time).

The next residential weekend will be in May!

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