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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 1st September 2010
Edestan Wood, near Highmoor ~ Holly clearance

This was CROW's first visit to Edestan Wood, 10 acres consisting mainly of beech, part of a larger area of woodland known as Bear Wood. Bear Wood is part owned by the Forestry Commission and this area is planted with conifers. The remainder, including Edestan Wood, is in private ownership.

Our task was to reduce the amount of the holly growing beneath the beech and in the intervening glades, which despite browsing by deer, is in danger of taking over the woodland floor to the detriment of all other vegetation to be found there.

It was a wonderful late summer day with hardly a sound to be heard other than the occasional bird in the branches above.

The task gets under way.

By coffee time we had a roaring fire (it was felt the amount of brash was excessive to leave as habitat piles) and were already starting to make an impact, at least on the area where we were working. Cake provided by Steve, see below, and yours truly in celebration of my birthday (an unremarkable event which tends to occur every year) was soon replacing any calories which might have been lost as a result of our efforts so far.

Lunchtime and Dave surveys the damage his efforts have inflicted.

The end of the day.

By the end of the day a significant area has been clear and most of the brash burnt. Only another nine and three quarter acres remain (were it the intention to clear all the holly which it is not!).

CROW hope to return sometime next year to continue the task, possibly in the spring to see the wood at that time. Our team for the day: Alan, Dave, John, Judith, Phil, Ricki and Steve.

Steve's Fat Free Cake Recipe