Final Cut of the Season

Wednesday 13th September 2017

During a trip to Marston Marsh a few weeks back to do some emergency boardwalk repairs Matt noticed that the path borders needed a final cut before winter. So, on Wednesday we had a break from Thorpe Marriott and met at Marston Marsh instead.  A one kilometre wheelchair friendly path runs around the marsh funded by the Eaton Village Residents’ Association through a grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The path means that users can get around the marsh all year round (apart from the few times when flooded) so it is always fairly busy with many dog walkers and other walkers. Today there was also a group of around 25 people from ‘Walking for Health’ on one of their health walks. Cutting the edges of the path ensures that nettles and other tall stuff doesn’t collapse and block the path when it dies back.

Gathering for some instructions and then it is time to get the motors running, head out on the pathways, looking for some grass blades, or whatever comes our way. 😉

Keith took control of the DR mower with Robert as his banksman (lookout) and did two cuts on each side of the path at the Ipswich Road end of the marsh. The path wends its way along dyke edges and then follows the bank of the River Yare and is fairly busy so a lookout is necessary to allow Keith to concentrate on guiding the mower. Fireman Chris and I strapped on our harnesses and cleared the area around the entrance gate and cattle corral with brushcutters and then cut back the bramble and other tall bits beside the path that the mower couldn’t reach.

We had a few new people joining us today. First was Ed who has just completed an ecology course at the UEA and came to experience the real world of conservation. Then there was Nigel from South Norfolk Council who had brought along Pete and Pete who have just started apprenticeships with the grounds maintenance team and will be joining us for a day each week from October as part of their training. A previous apprentice from South Norfolk completed two years training with us some years back. At the Fringe Project, we cover a wide range of activities through the seasons and by October we will be moving into the woodlands to continue our thinning, coppicing, pollarding and also fencing and general conservation management so there are plenty of learning opportunities while working with us.

Our new recruits helping out with the snipping of willows and alder along the dyke edges and Keith on the final stretch of mowing the pathways. Time for a cuppa I believe. 👍☕

Pete and Pete and Ed and Chrissie went off with Matt to clear willow and alder scrub along the dyke edges to keep this under control and prevent this growing into full size trees.

We finished around lunchtime at Marston and Matt, Keith and fireman Chris went off the Earlham Green to cut the paths along the boardwalk.

Danby Woods: The Norwich Fringe Project and volunteers send their warmest congratulations to the Eaton Rise Residents’ Association (ERRA) and their Friends of Danby Wood Group who were awarded a Silver Gilt in the Anglia in Bloom – Best Woodlands Awards. The Friends of Danby Wood was set up last year and have since undertaken several workdays, under the guidance of Matt (and with help from some of the Fringe Project volunteers), clearing trees, planting whips and also planting 2000 native bluebells. They have also installed steps to improve accessibility and do regular litter picks. You can read more about their work on the ERRA website. 🤗👍🥇