The last task before Christmas and getting a good fire going took on a greater importance than usual if the promised potatoes were to be baked in time for lunch.
The first attempt to get the fire going, not made any easier by the heavy overnight rain, initially showed promised but then faltered and we were forced to start again. Fortunately the second attempt met with greater success and there was soon a good blaze.
The material burnt was primarily blackthorn cleared during our last visit from a previously open area which it had invaded. Much of the task was taken up cutting the cleared material to size before loading it on to the fire, as well as completing the clearance.
With the nearby path leading to Butterfly Bank becoming increasingly muddy as a result of the rain, part of the group abandoned the fire to clear the encroaching vegetation and widen the path to the accompaniment of the sound of rushing water.
With lunch over - the potatoes cooked to perfection - and the scrub cleared, everyone could take a few moments to relax before heading off to make those final preparations for the festive season.
Created: Friday, 21st December 2018
Photographs: Alan Stevens