On a fresh dry Saturday, nine hearty members of our group met at RSPB Northward Hill to carry out scrub clearance and habitat maintenance.
After having met George, an intern at the reserve and Will Tofts, the group proceeded to their designated location (equiped with map to navigate around the ditches and across muddy fields complete with cows). Armed with rakes and pitch forks, and wearing thick gloves we set about clearing the brambles and hornthorns that had been previously cut down. I’m not sure why habitat clearance always seems to involve plants with thorns, but I can say that pitch forks are wonderful devices to shifting them! However, these were in limited supply and we also had to learn how to pick up bundles carefully without getting impaled.
George said that the clearance was needed to facilitate cattle grazing (hence removing prickly bushes I guess) and it would form an important habitat for endangered species, such as the shrill carder bee, along with the possibility of snipe nesting.
After three hours of toil, brambles, pitch forks, hot drinks, cookies and a bonfire, the results can be seen below – before and after. Thanks to all involved for giving up their Saturday morning to help clear this area.