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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 17th December 2014
Paices Wood Country Park, Aldermaston ~ Coppicing

Despite this being CROW's Christmas task it wasn't just to be about mince pies and baked potatoes. The path pictured above at the end of October was becoming overgrown with bramble and regenerating hazel from the adjacent coppice plot which needed cutting back.

As a special Christmas treat Dave was put in charge of the bonfire and although much of vegetation to be burnt was very wet, by coffee time (with stollen, authentic French sultana and cherry cake and a rich fruit cake) there was a good blaze.

By lunch the path had been cleared and our faith in Dave's management of the bonfire and culinary arrangements completely vindicated for the baked potatoes where excellent and should anyone have wanted their mince pie warmed a bed of hot ash was available.

In the afternoon Jan was left in charge of burning the remaining brash from the morning's efforts .....

..... while the rest began work on a new coppice plot.

As the day drew to a close all that remained of the fire was a heap of smouldering ash .....

..... while at the coppice plot a start had been made on the dead hedge which will protect it from deer damage.

End of task: The widened path and in the distance a trace of smoke rises from the dying fire. To the left is the coppice plot from two years ago with its surrounding dead hedge.

Many thanks to all who joined us, Erlet, Terry, both Peters, Marcus, John, Jan, Graham, Dave, Barry and Alan. Between them they had eaten a great deal but still managed to achieve this and more on what was intended to be a relaxing day.

Created: Thursday, 18th December 2014
Photographs: Alan Stevens