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Hedge-laying Work Parties Winter 2012 / 13


December 01 & 02
January 12 & 13

Another hedge-laying season swung into operation like a well oiled military machine at the start of December. Our 'patch' this time was the first 120 metres to the north east of Schoolhouse Bridge, in effect a continuation of last year's work. This hedge has been laid more recently than any we have worked on before and so resembles a hedge that needs laying more than a line of trees. Following last season's successful tactics, the plan was to spend the first weekend clearing the hedge out, in readiness to start laying next time.

A strong turnout on both days in December and relatively level ground meant that progress was good. Old pleachers, dead wood, stuff off the line and higher branches were all removed and the canal bed was soon full of waste. The ensuing bonfire reduced it all to a very large pile of ash and attracted the usual alakadoos in the process.

The January work party began and finished in a snow storm. Turnout was a little lower, but by Sunday it was clear that we would be very close to finishing by the end of the day. A final push in the last hour of daylight ensured that we would not need to return for just a few yards of hedge. The February work party was therefore cancelled.

Our normal(?) welfare officer was temporarily indisposed this winter, so alternative arrangements for tea breaks were in force. December's waitress service was felt by some to be a welcome improvement, as was the friendly disposition. January's stand-in was not so easy on the eyes or his tea on the taste buds, but if you haven't tasted the tea that he makes in his underpants you haven't really been on a work party anyway.



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Before we started
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Clearing out underway
Sunday's crew
Nick wouldn't beat somebody with a length of timber -
well not unless there was a First Aider on stand-by,
he knows how to plan an incident
The result
The final push
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Competition for the "Pleach of the Month" award was fierce
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