Marlingford Conservation Area – Woodland Management Work

Friday 2nd October 2015

Marlingford is one of those small and quiet Norfolk villages, which is not on any through roads. So if you are in Marlingford you are either lost (which is not difficult in a large areas of Norfolk) or you are there intentionally.  It is not a large village but it does have one gem, a rather delightful common/village green, which is hidden behind a hedge, so a stranger would drive past it and not know it was there. A feature I am sure all the local residents cherish.

This common consists of a green, children’s play area with swings, slides etc and a wooded area with a labyrinth of paths.  Today we were at Marlingford common with three tasks to complete.  One was to cut the grass on the ‘green’ and the play area (these areas being separated by a fairly large hedge, which I am sure will be the object of our attention in a subsequent visit).  The second was to coppice an area of hazel and to burn the brash (but the long straight copiced branches were taken away for use on another ‘’Fringe’’ site). The third task was to cut back the over grown paths in the wooded area.

Oct 2015At this point it would be pertinent to mention that today we (the volunteers) suffered three incidents. Two serious and one amusing, the latter of which was caused by over exuberance by one of the ‘Easton College’ student volunteers, Stephaine, but more of that later.

Of the two serious incidents, one was serious and the other was almost of the of ‘’Questions will be asked in the house’’ caliber. This being that Matt- The Project Manager – had forgotten the milk for our tea break.

Serious stuff!!

The second though not so serious thing was that Matt did not bring enough petrol for the motor mower, so that Chris (the mower supremo for the day) was unable to finish his task and he had barely enough left to drive the mower back onto the trailer at the end of the day.

Just to prove the point that every adult knows, the fact that a person goes to college does not mean that they have left their childhood behind.  A case in point here is Stephaine.  At lunch time, she and the other two college student volunteers decided to go and play on the swings and roundabouts. In the euphoria of the moment on the swings, the exuberance of childhood came rushing back, kicking her legs as she swung higher and higher, one of her wellies flew off and landed high in the hedge.

How we laughed.   Luckly, kye (one of the other students) had the presence of mind to get one of the aforementioned long coppiced hazel branches to persuade the wandering welly out of the hedge. Somebody was heard to comment that they thought that Stephaine had climbed into the hedge herself and in the process fallen out of the hedge; or how else would she have torn her jeans!!!!!

Well in the end, we mowed the grass, cut and widened the woodland paths, coppiced the hazel, burned the brash and all went home happy.

Oh and Matt, tie a metaphorical knot on your handkerchief for next time.

Written by Alan Rae Norwich Fringe Project Volunteer