Would Sophia Loren approve?

“A woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.” ~ Sophia Loren

Saturday found a group of volunteers assembled on The Cluster in cloudy but warm conditions to bang things and pull out things.

The ‘banging’ involved making sure that some of the trees we planted earlier in the year (see https://heggscastlecluster.org/2022/02/27/bare-root-bonanza/ ) were still upright as the drought and recent winds have loosened some of their stakes.

The fence line to be removed

The ‘pulling out’ refers to the removal of a 100m stretch of fencing and a gate which was erected some years ago to protect an area of new planting. We are trying to remove as much old fencing as possible on the lower part of The Cluster, so it becomes one large area.

Rain was forecast around lunchtime (yes ‘rain’…not something we’ve seen in recent months) so we cracked on and had the fence removed and trees all checked by the time it started spitting. We wandered along to Heggs House for our lunch and a drink. ‘Lunch’ lasted a long time with a great discussion about issues affecting farming, conservation, payments for land management with solely environmental benefits and how to pronounce ‘Monbiot’.

Lunchtime chat in the Heggs Farm ‘annex’.

After wandering back in the dry, we loaded all the old posts and rubbish into the Mule (that green thing on the right, below) and headed home.

Although it’s good to get tasks completed on these volunteer days, they are as much a social occasion as a work occasion. They give like minded folk a chance to explore ideas, learn and pass on personal experience. One gent (this was his first volunteering day here) had been working on a very interesting project in Devon and his experience with river restoration there was relevant for The Cluster as well as his experience with the new subsidy schemes…he even apologised for talking too much…none of us minded, it was all good stuff.

So if you fancy coming on a volunteer day please get in touch.

Martin WW

PS. I’ve just noticed that one of our group was being silly when the group pic was taken. This behaviour WILL be tolerated in future!

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