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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wed 21st Jan 2015 - Sandpit Copse, Wootton.

Carrie's Photographs.

Sue's Photographs.

Sorting out the old "dead hedging"

A "carpet" of Ash saplings.

A good old GG bonfire.

All the old "dead hedging" cleared away...

Disposing of the pesky rhododendron. 

Everything looking much tidier.

A rather interesting wooden spoked wheel with rubber tyre.

Our "sign post" to the venue - see text below!

Ask any GGmer what they enjoy most about our sessions and one of the top answers will be "visiting unusual, out of the way, places". Perhaps that is why the turn-out for our new venue this week was so well attended? Having checked Mark's instructions of how to get there ( TWICE ) it was off down a rutted farm lane looking for " a field of LLAMAS and a black hut"... most of the team got there, eventually! Our task was to assist the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) to tidy-up an area of this ancient woodland that is under their stewardship. We were instructed to remove and burn the remains of a "dead hedge", cut down any sycamore and bramble but make sure that any hazel was left untouched. With the fire roaring away and good progress at the job in hand - we decided to tackle an additional area of Rhododendron growing adjacent to the fire. During most of the session it remained dry but we appreciated the use of the black hut for our tea break, as it coincided with a heavy shower of rain.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

King Alfred’s Cakes (Daldinia concentrica) attach themselves on the dead wood of broad leaved trees, mainly ash and beech. Their appearance is literally that of some burnt cakes or even lumps of smooth charcoal. Older fruit bodies have a shiny surface, but younger developing fruit bodies are red/brown in colour with a duller surface  Other common names are Coal Fungus and Cramp Balls, because it was used in an old folk remedy for night cramps.  They are also great for starting fires, with the inner flesh of an old dry specimen which will slowly smoulder, rather like your barbecue briquette.

For those wanting general information about PTES then please use the following link...

Briddlesford Woods - Peoples Trust for Endangered Species

Please note that Sandpit Copse is NOT shown on the PTES map. The area we were working on is a little further to the south.

Photographs courtesy of Sue and Carrie, many thanks to both.

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