Friday 22nd January 2016
For a while now, the weather on our activity days has been a topic of conversation. Today has been no exception, but then we British have a fixation of talking about the weather. The man from the Ministry of Weather (or to be more pc, the person from the….) had promised us heavy precipitation and they got it right on this occasion.
We were at ‘Bowthorpe Southern Park’ to do some tree planting down at the river’s edge; Matt had said to wear welly boots; not so that we could go for a paddle in the river, but because the ground was soft (after all the rain we have had) and it was muddy. Fortunately, this week the mud was not the sticky clay mud we encountered in North Burlingham’s Millennium Wood, it was however the soft slippery variety. Just as much fun – trying not to fall over.
We were joined this week by Liam Reynolds from the ‘’Norfolk Rivers Trust’’ (they have a great short film on their web page about Chalk Rivers in Norfolk, narrated by Stephen Fry) who were providing the trees to be planted. The trees were to be planted in two clusters along the river bank (to provide stability to the bank, biodiversity and landscaping) and as there are horses grazing in the park, we had to erect a barbed wire fence around the trees to prevent the horses eating the new leaves which would kill off the young plants.
So, all very straight forward then? Not really. There were a number of technical issues with putting up the fence, which we won’t go into here, that were caused and magnified by the elements (mud, rain, soft ground), we did however, manage to get two tree compounds finished before we called it a day at about lunch time.
Despite all the adverse weather conditions, we did succeed in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Stephanie on reaching her ‘Age of Majority’. Kestra, her fellow Easton College student, had made a chocolate birthday cake to mark the occasion and we all shared it at morning tea break – whilst standing in the rain.
Written by Alan Rae, Norwich Fringe Project volunteer