3 Nov 2021

Working Parties

Time for a brew and bacon sarnie!

Volunteering in Darch's Wood is going from strength to strength. In fact, last week (23rd October 2021) we set a for record attendance! It may have had something to do with the gourmet bacon rolls and tea that were on offer, but either way we're excited! We managed to clear, process and burn an enormous amount of the remaining invasive rhododendron and cherry laurel to the west of the pond and had fun and kept fit whilst at it.

But, fundamentally, we at the Cross-In-Hand Amenities Society would all like to record our profound thanks to all who attend the working parties, whether you're a regular, an 'occasional' or if it was your first time. As you can see, it makes an enormous difference to the wood. So please do feel free to come down and give us an hour or two of your time; you will, as ever, be made most welcome!

As ever, we continue to learn about the woods as we work. A new species (for us!) is the 'beef stake' bracket fungus (
Fistulina hepatica) found on a long-fallen but recently uncovered oak trunk This is a remarkable species of fungus (aren't they all?!) which apparently, if cooked, actually resembles the taste of beef but, somewhat more grotesquely, drips 'blood' if damaged. As with all fungi, if one is not 100% certain of what species you are dealing, it's best to leave be and not attempt to eat it.

The next working party is on Saturday 6th November: meet at the pond at around 10:30, and if still you can't find us, just follow the smoke. We will be working in teams of no more than six, so bring your own tools (gloves & boots essential), although we can always loan out loppers, rakes, saws etc. if needed.

This time, there will be a slight change in location. Two-hundred new trees have been donated to us for impending delivery, and these are scheduled for planting out in December. These will be a mix of native species, some of which are best suited to woodland-edge or hedgerow environments, and to accommodate these particular species we’ll be clearing rhododendron from some of the areas on the edge of the woods adjacent to the main drive. It should also subtly open up views to the east from the wood, and make the woodland edge look more natural whilst continuing to shield from wind blast and associated loss of humidity within the wood itself.

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