Friday 17th June 2016
We met today on Mulbarton Common, again with a list of ongoing maintenance jobs to complete, all of which involved cutting back long grass.
One job was to visit the site of the hibernaculum that we built earlier this year, 18th March, as it was almost invisible, hiding in the long grass. It was important to cut the grass with a brush cutter around the site, which included a range of newly planted trees and shrubs, as the whole area where the hibernaculum is located is scheduled to be cut with a large mower pulled by an agricultural tractor and we were worried that the driver would not see the new plants hidden in the long grass.
The hibernaculum itself was looking well established, covered with grass but we were unable to see if it had any inhabitants at home yet.
Last autumn (23rd October 2015) we cut a new path through a dense area of blackthorn and into an unused corner of the common, which we labelled ‘The dog walkers path’. The path through the blackthorn only needed a ‘light trim’ but the path through the grassy unused corner had virtually disappeared, so this trail had to be completely redefined. This was done with the aid of an industrial sized lawn mower, without which, we would still be there. This task completed we moved to an area of the common that we haven’t worked in before. In another corner of the common (next to the primary school) there is a small pond and the area around this needed attention. A perimeter fence around the pond needed attention to some of the posts as well as some of the rails. This involved a lot of measuring and sawing and hammering and banging, oh!! and a lot of grass cutting was also required.
On one side of the pond, the ground was very wet which turned out to be caused by a spring. The ground around is a little low lying which did not allow the water to drain away, so a channel was dug to drain the water into the pond. How this new spring came to be there was not clear but it could be as a result of all the wet weather we have been having and would soon dry out.
A bit of a varied day and one that will be remembered. It was the last day for two of our volunteers. Steff and Kestra (students from Easton & Otley College) have been with us for two years on work experience as part of their course. They have finished their courses and are moving on to further their environmental studies elsewhere. Well done ladies for all your work and we all wish you well for the future.
Written by Alan Rae, Norwich Fringe Project Volunteer