In the main carpark Dan, the Ranger, informed us that it was 'tick' season, so it was best to tuck our trousers into our socks to avoid being bitten and sucked of blood!! Dan assured us that he had a tick remover, just in case, and knew how to use it!
From the carpark we walked through the gate at the back, around the fencing surrounding the back of the hall, to Calves Croft and met Dan again, who had driven round with the equipment. Here we had a health and safety talk before lifting the equipment out from his trailer and carrying it up to Hampers Wood.
We had 2 tasks today, so we split into 2 groups:
- one was to remove the top 2 lengths of barbed wire running along the length of the wall in Hampers Wood. This had been added above the existing barb some time ago, to add extra height and prevent the fallow deer from straying. Unfortunately, the fallow deer are no longer at Lyme, so the barb could now be removed.
|removing the barbed wire|
|building a tree guard|
Sue had made a victoria sponge for our 11's which gave us a bit more energy to make a good job of what we were doing, and Jamie, another Ranger, came along and joined us.
Taking down the barb was quite hard work, not only did it need to be removed from the fence posts with fencing pliers and hammers, but then rolled neatly so it could be re-used at a later date - this was arm-tiring work. Some of the fence posts were going to be used for the tree guards, the others were carried back down to the Rangers vehicle.
|rolling the barb!|
By 2.30pm, we'd managed to roll up quite a length of bard and had completed constructing 2 of the tree guards, planted the oak sapling added the netting and almost finishing the 3rd (the 'netting' still needed to be attached). We tidied up at this point so we had enough time to walk over to where the MNTV oak was to be planted. Fortunately the Rangers had already built the tree guard for us so we just had to put in the stake, plant the oak and put the 'sleeve' over it - but this wasn't without incident! The stake we had was curved and, even when it was 'driven' into the ground past the curve, it didn't look right. Whilst trying to straighten it, we managed to snap it so had to dig it out and replace it - we'd done such a good job of driving it into the ground that it was really difficult to get back out, but it gave us all a good laugh and added to the occasion. We didn't have time to put the netting around the tree guard but Dan said the Rangers would put it up for us during the week.
So, when you travel up the long drive at Lyme Park, just as the house comes into view, glance to your right and you'll see a newly erected tree guard, on it's own, with an oak sapling inside - this is the MNTV oak! Soon it will have a discrete plaque on the inside of the tree guard so past and current MNTVers can see it and take pride in their contribution to our volunteer Group having reached 30 years of age!!!