Christmas task antics

Lured by the smell of barbequing burgers and oodles of cake, we had a bumper turnout of 33 people at our esteemed annual Christmas Task. The gang quickly got stuck in clearing invasive rhody in Queen Elizabeth Park in Farnborough, with the Tony Elston taking lead on the fire. With such a large group we really opened up the view through the woodland to the mature oaks and beech, expanding on the area we’d cleared with the Nepalese Community in the Spring.

Steven got a chance to dabble in some chainsawing of the larger rhody, which he did very well especially with everyone watching. The stumps were dug out or chopped down low and painted with herbicide by Laura, which has proved successful on reducing regrowth.

Once the team had been stuffed silly with burgers and yet more tea and cake, we settled down for an afternoon of chatting and catching up by the fire. It was great to see so many friends. A big thank you to everyone for all their help.

Later in the week I popped back to QEP to turn in the fire a couple of times, then the staff headed out to Moor Green Lakes for our Christmas outing – a lovely morning in the sunshine bird watching and nosing at the plastic snipe which I’d mounted by Colebrook Hide the day before.

Ranger Stuart


About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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