Cooper Wood – Boardwalk Repairs and Other Jobs

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Our last visit here was in mid-May to cut along the sides of the boardwalk. Everything had grown up again and was just about ready to engulf the boardwalk so our visit here was timely. We also had some boardwalk repairs to do to replace rotten boards and make the walkway safe.

The River Yare was running high and clear along the edge of the site. The large meadow area had been left uncut, apart from the main pathways, so was full of flowers and looking good.

Right, it’s boardwalk fixing and clearing time, so time to gear up and get to it. 😀👍💪🔨

So, the Thursday group set to work with fireman Chris and Michelle starting out on brush cutters and Keith, Chrissie and Tim working on the boardwalk. Rob and Robert cut back the over-hanging branches while Paula supervised and I wandered around with a picker and rubbish bag. We swapped brush cutting duties to share the load fighting the vegetation beside the path.

Tim has recently retired and had seen our website and liked the look of what we do (and also presumably of the volunteers!) so decided to come along to have a closer look. Summer work days tend to offer a gentle introduction to the Fringe Project since the work is generally more relaxed than in winter so it is good time to get to know us. Autumn and Winter is the time where we typically exhaust ourselves coppicing and pollarding trees and doing other heavy-duty tasks.

Some of the delights we spotted while we were working along the boardwalk and the River Yare. A Hoverfly, Orange Balsam (Impatiens capensis) – oh no, a non-native invasive species that was seen along the boardwalk and riverside 😱😟, and some early blackberries and plums. Yum, yum. 😛😁

Today was one of those days where we have a bit of a glut on the cake front. Robert had brought cakes to celebrate his recent birthday and Paula had made a flavoursome fruit cake to help use up her brandy collection. The crowning glory, however, was an apple and blackberry tart made by Keith (another cooking lesson from his lovely wife Anne) using blackberries picked at Whitlingham Marsh. This was a deep pan pie and bursting with fruit but Keith had brought napkins so we didn’t make too much mess! We finished fairly early today and all waddled off home.