Bracken a sweat – July 3rd 2022 volunteer day

There was an especially peaceful atmosphere on the heathland today. Through the long grasses, around the brightly fruiting rowan trees, among the thick bracken and seeding gorse bushes, under the shade of the pines… our volunteers worked steadfastedly, crafting woodland furniture and clearing bracken and gorse.

Controlling invasive species is a large part of the work involved in managing our heathland habitat, and has been a main focus for the past few volunteer days. It can be a seemingly endless task, but many hands make light work, and we’re truly grateful to our volunteers for the great progress we’ve been making with this over the past month. It’s hard physical labour, and with the heathland bathed in warm summer sun we definitely broke a sweat today. Others have been continuing their work creating tables and benches for use around the site, and there are some lovely pieces on their way to being completed.

Children drifted between working alongside us, observing and being immersed in their own play and projects together. Imaginary play involving dragons and grasshopper spotting were particular favourites today.

Lunchtime, as always, was a great opportunity to properly welcome new faces, catch up and enjoy a well earned rest. We baked a huge tray of jacket potatoes, and with the toppings and breads our volunteers brought along to add to the communal table, we shared a delicious feast together.

Post lunch we got stuck back into heathland management and woodcraft, made a note to replace some gate posts we discovered had rotted, and enjoyed some singing, guided by natural voice leader Celyn Hind. The day’s work came to a slightly earlier than usual end today, as many of us had other commitments to attend to, but the progress was considerable nonetheless.