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Recent Tasks

Hover on a small picture for more details, and click for a bigger one. There are also pictures of social events.

White's Corner, Hayling Island

photo photo photo There was a bit of ragwort to sort out, but mostly finding gates buried in scrub and gaining access. Thanks to Terry Smith for the pictures.
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St. Andrews Church, Chilcomb

photo photo photo We had an unusual request to provide some TLC for the churchyard, and couldn't resist. Thanks to Mark for the pictures.

Foxbury Plantation

photo A few of the many hundreds of trees planted at Foxbury received some mulch to keep the weeds down while they get established.

Hook Valley

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Here was a task to build up your arm muscles, at least in the mornings. After lunch we surveyed the reserve for anything that the new management might want to know about.

St. Cross

photo photo photo The old crossing over a side-channel needed replacing. This happened quite fast once we had worked out what to do. A kissing-gate was built in place of a rickety stile, and seemed to be appreciated right away.

College Copse

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Here was a bit of a learning curve, putting up plastic netting to keep deer out of a coppiced area. Logs along the bottom may defeat Muntjac.

Hook Common

photo photo This was our first visit to this part of the common for a long time. The encroaching woodland is being knocked back, with the assistance of the resident livestock.

Shedfield Common

photo Our lunchtime break from holly cutting included the novel trial of toasting tea-cakes on the bonfire. The best technique involved putting the fork through the side so that it could easily be rotated. If that was too much of a shock, traditional marsh-mellows were also available. Picture by Jenny.

Gull Coppice

photo photo photo Our initially daunting monthly work to widen the paths is now looking good. Pictures by Jenny.

Pamber Forest

photo photo Two days and help from Basingstoke CVs meant that a large area of hazel and birch was coppiced.

Hook Common

photo photo photo Two days at Hook Common saw a lot of birch cut and treated, with some very inquisitive cattle on Saturday. Thanks to Mark for the photos.

Bartley Heath

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A fine weekend was spent cutting, burning and treating birch. Previous recent work showed that good progress is being made in the battle of the birch.

Foxlease Meadows

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Here's a fine batch of photos from Mark. We cut down a lot of alder regrowth but weren't allowed to burn it as the smoke would have blanked out the M3. So there was much dragging in preparation for removal by tractor and trailer to a safer bonfire site.

Hook Valley, Warsash

photo photo This seemed like Mission Impossible at first but two days work made a pretty good impression on the Rhododendron which has engulfed the site. There was lots of very positive interaction with the locals on the footpath.

Shedfield Common

photo photo Two days, one wet, one dry, made a big difference to an overgrown area of wet grassland.

Kites Croft

photo photo Revetments made from bundles of hazel coppice stems were staked into place to help control erosion by the stream. We had the most rain for many months.

Minstead Study Centre

photo photo Some coordinated heaving and grunting was required to move an old section of bridge which was being undermined. With it safely in its new home, an extension completed the task. Thanks to Jenny for the photos.

West Down, Chilbolton

photo photo photo Lots of ragwort was pulled on a rather warm day with initial help from residents.

Gull Coppice

photo photo photo Work started on an ambitious goal of re-surfacing a long winding path through the woods, making it more accessible and with better sight-lines. Thanks to Jenny for the pictures.
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Two days here started to transform an overgrown path into a much more welcoming prospect. Thanks to Jenny for the pictures.
photo photo Widening the path here meant taking down various overhanging trees, with a good fire of course. Thanks to Jenny for pictures.

Westwood

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photo Two days of digging, shovelling and barrowing transformed a quagmire into a user-friendly path at the entrance to the woods.

College Copse Farm

photo A fine weekend was spent coppicing hazel, with the straightest stems saved as stakes and binders for a future hedgelaying event.
photo photo This farm has miles of fencing, which gets renewed when the inevitable failure happens. It is usually the posts which go first, and replacing them gives an opportunity also to replace wooden top rails with barbed wire. Cattle rather like to rub against the rails, but a hefty backside puts extra strain onto the posts. Thanks to Karen for the photos.
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photo photo We had two weekends in a row here, the first was fencing so that the spring lambs could be kept separate from the main flock, and the second was hedgelaying. A major part of any hedgelaying task is to clear out most of the tangle of growth to get to the stems, and this site was no exception.
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Thanks to Andy Woolley for the pics. He says: Saturday, 6 of us managed to complete 50 metres of fencing with all new posts and 2 straining posts, mesh and barbed wire attached. That also included hacking through bramble and nettles to reveal where the old fence was so we could then take it down. Sunday, 4 of us removed the small fence enclosure and built a new one, also removed 10 metres of fence and installed new with a new straining post. Also repaired a water pipe, feeding a drinking trough that somehow? sprung a leak. (what goes on site stays on site) Very nice weather both days, and ended up with a sunburnt head.

Greywell Moors

photo photo Karen says ".. A very wet day, so difficult to get the fire going. Andy and Hugh were our brushcutting team and Bryan was managing the fire, everyone else worked very hard clearing a massive amount of scrub, but the site was cleared and all scrub finally burnt by the end of the day".

Pamber Forest

photo Harvey practices coppicing with a Yorkshire billhook.

Hacketts Marsh

photo photo Brushcutters and hand tools blitzed the brambles growing around the old fences, in preparation for new fencing in the summer.
photo This was the first of at least three visits to help renew the fencing at this tranquil site, almost within a stone's throw of the River Hamble.

Yew Hill

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An exceptionally strong cold wind on the first day made it rather difficult to get a fire going. Hugh found a bit of corrugated iron which may have been used to attract reptiles (sorry!) but it helped as a windbreak. Our task leader and photographer Karen says "The Butterfly Conservation Group (Jayne and Colin) have called me to say that they are incredibly grateful for the excellent standard of work we have carried out at both tasks at Yew Hill this year and the site now looks better than it has ever done in the past including now full access around the outside of the fence.
As task leader for both of the dates I would also like to say a big thank you to the volunteers, amazing work despite the weather conditions and size of the site. All sweets and chocolates were deserved and earned".
Original versions of these and some other pictures can be seen on Google photos and Google photos.
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Initially the task was to be clearing brambles where their sheep are currently kept, but a more important job that Butterfly Conservation required was to clear a meadow soon to be fenced to move the sheep (from the bramble area). This meant lots of raking of grass and tidying up hedges along some track in preparation of the fence posts arriving. The task was completed fully by the end of the day and the satisfaction of watching the last of the trees and mounds of grass burning on the fire site. Karen Minett.

Ovington water meadows

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One and a half day's days work resulted in another decent flooding of the meadows. A custom-made bench was installed, in memory of Jane Hallé. Thanks to Karen for the first six photos.

Studland Common

photo photo photo Much bramble was cleared before Karen took these pictures.

Hazel Down, Deacon Hill

photo There was a good turn-out and fine weather so we made a lot of progress at this challenging site.
photo photo By any estimation this is a bit of a challenge. Part of the down has become covered in Ash seedlings, but is due to be fenced and grazed. In the meantime, we and other groups hope to cut and treat the Ash. The shots are before and after two tasks- there is some difference!

Hayling Island

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Accompanied by the calls of recently returned Brent Geese, here was a bit of traditional slash and burn at Gutner Point to reveal a water trough and space for a replacement fence. Thanks to Jenny for the pictures.
photo photo Terry Smith took these photos of the two gates we fitted at the Kench and says "We were only supplied with the gates, posts and hinges, not the additional posts and rails or wire required to construct the enclosure, which is why the results look a little unusual. Still, if you lean on the first gate there is a lovely view of the harbour!"
photo photo A return to the island to fence off a newly cultivated area for ground nesting birds. Thanks to Anita for the photos.

Strawberry Fields, Warsash

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This was a last-minute change due to nesting birds at Hacketts Marsh. Fencing was repaired and the footpath tidied up in readiness for a big fete on 4th July. Thanks to Karen for the pictures.

Goswell Brook

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Various derelict dipping platforms was re-built for use by children at the study centre. Photos from Karen and Mark.

Winnall Moors

photo Part of the task here was to install rustic post and rail fencing each side of a new gate at the main entrance. It's not something we do very often, so the practice was useful.

Log splitting at St. Faith's Meadow

photo A major part of the task was to clear timber from a tree that had fallen across the path and on to the meadow. It could have been very expensive if it had fallen in a different direction. Logs were stacked up with the hope that fairies would take them away in the night. We also put in a Hampshire gate and electric fencing.

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