On Thursday 11th January the volunteers joined Bobbie and I in Claycart, Wellesley Woodlands to start work on a flash alongside the Basingstoke Canal. These flashes are low lying sections of land alongside the canal and are important little niches for wildlife. They were created when the canal was original dug and flooded with water and it is important to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed with scrub and dry out. This did mean the volunteers had to don their wellies to brave mud and water.
The first two photos were taken at the start of the day. Can you tell where the canal is? Whilst the volunteers tackled the scrub Bobbie used her chainsaw to cut up some fallen trees so I could squeeze the truck and chipper on to site. She also made safe some hung up trees next to the path.
After tea break we started up the chipper and worked our way through the piles of scrub, mainly made up of willow and the non-native Western Hemlock which is prevalent in Claycart. Every time I looked up I could see more and more canal! In the words of a passing walker, ‘amazing!’. By the end of the day the volunteers had cleared a good section of the flash, opening it up to let in more light, which will in turn help encourage more ground flora.
Thank you to everyone who came out to help with this muddy (and noisy) task.