CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 14th January 2015
Padworth Common ~ Scrub clearance
Our task for the day was to burn birch and Scots pine scrub which had previously been cleared and possibly cut more of the pine. After a relatively dry autumn the Common had returned to its usual winter state with pools of water hidden amongst the heather awaiting those not fortunate enough to have received the email recommending the wearing of wellingtons - the email's author sends apologies.
With a bonfire soon under way most of the group headed off to cut more pine .....
..... carefully avoiding further puddles en route.
By coffee time we realised a considerable amount of pine had previously been cut and left where it had fallen. It was therefore decided to start another bonfire.
While the second fire began well by lunch time it faltered, possibly the result of overloading, and had to be coaxed back into life.
Fortunately it was not too long before the fire was fully resuscitated and we could again concentrate our efforts on clearing and burning.
Mid afternoon and the originally fire could still be seen burning brightly (it was fully manned) a visit by the BBOWT Reserves Officer having brought to our attention more material which could be burnt. We had anticipated this fire would be finished by lunch.
(This site is now managed by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) on behalf of West Berkshire Council.)
End of task. The original fire had completed its job with all the material destined for it burnt. The second fire had also seen the dispatched of a large quantity of Scots pine as is evident from the pile of dying embers. However some pine remained (the total amount was such that it was unlikely all be burnt during a single task) and at least what was left had all been brought to the fire site, neatly staked to await its fate.
Many thanks to all who joined us.
Created: Saturday, 17th January 2015
Photographs: Alan Stevens, John Lerpiniere