Our first volunteer day of Spring saw some new faces join what’s becoming our budding regular volunteer community. We worked under a warm sun and amongst the first bracken stems awakening from their winter slumber and surrounded by the intense yellow of the gorse flowers – There was talk to forage them and make gorse wine and cordial.
Realising it’s all too easy to get busy with the tasks for the day and lose connection to Nature around us, our place within it, and the impact our work has on the surrounding ecosystem, we decided to experiment with a mindful gathering at the start of the day; coming together in a circle and spending a few minutes in silence taking in all the sensations Nature offers. We shared afterwards feeling a newfound sense of connection with the forest, feeling energised and having a clearer intention for the day ahead. Everybody seemed to enjoy and appreciate this gathering, so we plan to to make it a regular part of our volunteer days!
Once we got to work we seemed to naturally coalesce into two groups. Some of us worked on clearing the remaining brash and felled poles from the two previous volunteer days, and cutting tree stumps to ground level. The poles will be used to create a few small temporary structures around elfwoods, and the stumps will be seasoned and turned into firewood.
Another group of us gravitated to working on our recently opened forest campsite, which will host its first guests next weekend! We restocked the firewood and collected plenty of kindling so our campers will have plenty of material for campfires. We also removed dead leaves, bracken and debris, and built a new fire pit in the site of the third forest campsite pitch.
Lunch was dahl and bread, shared around the fire and followed by coffee, tea and cake brought by our volunteers. We continued with our morning tasks until late afternoon; also working on pulling out gorse to encourage heather growth and building a new fire pit in a sunny spot of the heathland to allow us to enjoy the balmier weather and giving us more flexibility about where to run activities.
We worked hard and got tons done, but the atmosphere was relaxed and there was plenty of time to chat. As the day’s work came to an end we decided to test out the new fire pits, gathering around the new heathland fire pit, sitting around the fire and enjoying the spring evening sunshine.
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.