10 keen (and well dressed for the rain) volunteers gathered at 10am for our second task of the month, which was at the lovely Liquorice Park, an important green space quite close to our city centre. We had our usual team talk to chat about the jobs for the day, give our safety talk covering good tool usage and go over any points needing highlighting following the leader’s risk assessment. I thanked Sophie for kindly being our brew kit volunteer and filling our flasks freshly this morning with hot water for our mid-morning and lunchtime hot drinks.
I was particularly looking forward to the main job today, which was building a dead hedge. It was nice to think we were creating something rather than chopping things down and burning them, which we often do during the winter months! Having said that, we did coppice a few small trees that were of the ideal size to use as stakes on the outer edges of our new hedge. We were also able to use other previously cut sticks, making a pointed end before hammering them into the ground.
Between our new posts we infilled with brash, some newly cut and some from old piles left around. Finally we put bramble on the top to finish off. The bramble was something else we tackled today, clearing paths where it was encroaching and trimming back ‘scallops’ that had been cut to enable better access for picking blackberries. Some of us wheelbarrowed wood chippings from a large pile and spread them on paths where needed. Paul, our youngest volunteer, sat on the woodchip pile and commented how warm it was. Even on this mainly drizzly and not too warm November day!
It was satisfying work and we received a number of complimentary comments from people walking through. We were asked by a few people what we were doing and after initially replying ‘mind your own business’ we decided maybe a friendlier response might be more appropriate. (Apologies for the author’s attempt at humour but it’s sadly inherited - and difficult to shake off.)
Judging by the many comments heard from amongst our team I can confidently say that we achieved a good deal of job satisfaction from our efforts. The hedge of course will make a great home for hibernating hedgehogs, mice, possibly snakes and who knows what else. It is a good place to put previously cut material and looks nice at the same time.
The following day we received a nice email of thanks from Alison, thanking all volunteers for their hard work and saying that the hedge has already received favourable comments from the public. It is great to support the small band of enthusiastic local volunteers and trustees of the park who of course work there throughout the whole year.