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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wed 09th Feb 2011 - Quarr Abbey, Binstead.

Eddie's Pictures.

Carrie' Pictures.

The GG workout this week was at Quarr Abbey - and what a workout it turned out to be! It was a good job that we had a excellent turnout of around 40 GGmers as the planned work was considerable. If you have a look at the "before" pictures above, you see a 20 foot high wall of solid hedge interwoven with brambles as thick as broom handles..! A quick glance at the "after" shots will show exactly what the work package involved - reduce the 20' hedge down to around 3' and take out all the brambles. This will encourage the lower parts of the hedge to thicken up and also allow the walkers on the adjacent footpath to see stunning views of the creek (see Carrie's last picture above). We had two of the Abbey's ground staff working with us, manning the tractor driven wood chipper which made short work of the branches that we were cutting down. The chips are being used on the footpaths around the abbey and for composting/top dressing.
Our tea break was taken in the adjacent Tea Room (thanks for the drinks!) where many were seen to be enjoying the optional sticky buns & cakes...!!!
Good progress was made with the hedging (we left them with huge piles to chip at a later date) and various other jobs were tackled. If you fancy having a go at this sort of work, we will be back at the Abbey in two weeks time - come along and give us a hand.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson.

This week Charlie discovered a very interesting bracket fungi (see picture), but despite extensive trawling of the internet and picking the brains of my resident expert, I could not put a name to it. However bracket fungi or shelf fungi are among many groups in the phylum Basidiomycota. Characteristically they produce shelf or bracket shaped fruiting bodes called conks, that lie in a close planar grouping of separate or interconnected horizontal rows. These can range from only a single row of a few caps, to dozens of rows that can weigh several hundred pounds. They are mainly found on trees, and some form annual fruiting bodies while others are perennial and grow larger year after year. They are typically tough and study and produce their spores, called basidiospores, within the pores that typically make up the undersurface, and some species are cultivated for human consumption or medicinal use. They come in all shapes and sizes including the hard ‘cup fungi’ and the ‘shell’, ‘plate’ and bracket commonly found growing off logs and still standing dead trees. One of the more common species - Ganoderma, can grow large thick shelves that may contribute to the death of the tree, and then feed off the wood for years after.

Many thanks to Carrie & Eddie for the photographs and Nature Lesson.

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