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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Wed 24th Feb 2016 - Cockleton Meadows. - Gurnard. GG # 623.

Sue's Photographs.

A wall of bramble.

The pond area from the east..

and from the west.

A nice way to warm up on a "crisp" morning!

One of the many piles of cut material - before processing.

Cutting into the pond bramble.

Getting there...

Above and below - WE FOUND THE POND(S)!!!

More cutting back.

The trusty hound guards the orchard area.

Above and below - the ponds are finally uncovered.

Mark's Photographs.

Call that a bramble..? Beat this one!

Nice before and after shots of the pond area.

One of the two bridges that we "discovered".

Cutting ivy and brambles from the trees in the orchard.

What gets a GGmer really excited? (besides being fed yummy cakes!) - a new venue to work at. So, this Wednesday morning we were all VERY excited about tackling this new site, especially as some of our GG members are on the committee that is running the project (Gurnard Open Spaces). Due to the restricted on-site parking, we all had to find somewhere to leave the cars, then hike back along Cockleton Lane to locate the entrance. The whole corner plot is presently being developed for a housing project (it was the old Gurnard Primary School site) but we were to work on land to the south of this. When it belonged to the school they had planted various fruit trees, built a pond, had vegetable beds etc but after they moved school it had all become somewhat overgrown. We were tasked to work on several areas, one of which was a 10 foot high wall of bramble and undergrowth - which we were informed "might contain a pond?". After about half an hour of hacking away, we finally made it through the gate and after further cutting away, discovered THREE ponds surrounded by a wire fence…! I am sure the photographs will show this magical revelation far better than my words can describe. Other members of the team were set to work in the orchard area, cutting everything back and giving the fruit trees a bit of a prune, where needed. With huge piles of cutting building up, it was decided that a fire was in order, so a considerable amount of effort was required to drag all the debris back to the fire for "processing". Needless to say, we did a full litter-pick and collected an amazing range of "goodies" including a brass bed head! We have all grown used to just how much we can achieve in one GG session but I think I speak for all when I say that this week was truly exceptional - so a big pat on the back to all those who attended and put in so much effort. This is a wonderful open area with views over the surrounding fields and even distant outlooks across the Solent. I can see that it will become a firm favourite with Team GG if we are invited back in the future. The weather, although frosty to start with, was rather cloudy but remained dry throughout - just about perfect for hard work!

Photographs were from Sue and Mark….. many thanks to you both.

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