Squatters and ironstone – 23rd April 2022 volunteer day

The day began with the surprise discovery that one of our Kelly kettles had been taken over by squatters! Not wanting to disturb our nesting guests, we were left with limited capacity to brew hot drinks – but it was a balmy day, and most of us spent the day in t-shirts.

We set out to clear some of the gorse from the heathland; stack what was left of the thinnings of past volunteer days, and remove mounds of old organic material cleared from last year’s gorse management campaign. We worked at a steady pace, with plenty of chatter and breaks; only otherwise interrupted by a short meditation to bring intent and purpose to our day.

Grubbing out gorse is hard work as it grows a long and strong tap root. Some of our volunteers took up the task with athletic vigour, while others went for the slow but steady approach. All in all we fattened our bonfire plenty, and the heather now has a lot more light and space to grow. We also unearthed some ironstone, and talked about perhaps using this to create a natural dye for use in the Woodland Pavilion.

After sharing a delicious Thai vegetable curry for lunch, we continued our work with renewed determination, and by the end of the day could see clear progress. As the sun started to go down we congregated once again around the bonfire. Some of us stayed on into the evening for a hot drink and a long chat, enjoying orange light of the setting sun filtering across the forest.

If you enjoy spending your free time in a stunning natural setting engaged in satisfying work with like-minded others, why not join us? Contact us if you’d like to come along to the next elfwoods volunteer day, or join our mailing list below to find out about future volunteer days.