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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wed 4th Feb 2015 - Birchmore Pond, Blackwater.

Starting work, note the hats.... it was COLD!

Clearing the south side.

Tea break.

The northern pathway after clearance.

Look how much of the pond is now opened up!

ICE - a good reason for leaving the waders in the van!

Southern edge - after clearing.

Western edge of pond after clearing.

A view from the south side.

More to clear...... another time, perhaps?

The opened-up entrance to the site.

With the temperature just above freezing and a raw northerly wind blowing, everyone was raring to go by 10:00 - so we could get warm! It was decided that we would NOT be using waders to enter the pond this session due to the thin film of surface ice..... so we all found jobs "ashore". To enable us to dispose of the cuttings swiftly, a bonfire was lit, which also helped with the chilly temperatures! The workforce divided into various teams tackling jobs across the site - from opening up the entrance to cutting a pathway around the southern edge of the pond.  Willow found overhanging the pond was cut away and the bramble (8 feet high in places!) hacked down to ground level. The bramble along the northern boundary was chopped back to reveal the drainage ditch and open up an access path. Perhaps it was the need to get warm but an amazing amount was cut down, so much so that it wasn't possible to burn it all. Any extra was piled up to dry, ready for the bonfire on our next visit? Even seasoned GGmers were heard to remark just how much improvement had been achieved during just one session, the pond really did look a different place when we had finished. To top it all, the sun managed to break through after tea break - nothing like our last visit to this site when the heavens opened and we all went home soaking wet....!

Many thanks to Mark for taking the photographs this week.

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