Sunday, 6 August 2017

Removing Ghost brambles at Biddulph Grange Gardens on Sunday 6th August 2017

Eight of us arrived in the Biddulph Grange Gardens car park, at the slightly later time of 10am. Two of the Biddulph volunteers came to meet us and took us to the Ghost brambles that needed to be removed, along with some pussy willow tree's and some holly, if we had time.
Sue had brought bowsaws and loppers from our tool store as well as some fire-lighting aids. The Rangers at Biddulph had left some pallets and cardboard, which we could use if we wanted, to get the fire going.
This is how it looked!
We were warned that the Ghost bramble had hook-shaped barbs so, if it got hold of you or your clothing, it would scratch and hook into you until it was removed! We all wore long sleeved tops at first but we got so hot, particularly when the fire was roaring, that some of us worked in short sleeves and risked the scratches.
Starting work
We set to work, 7 of us started tackling the main patch but Tricia went to the other side of the pond and started clearing a smaller area by herself. She was using the new Fiskar loppers that Sue had brought along, and we reckon they really made a difference, as she had cleared the whole of her area by the end of the afternoon.
Making a difference
After cutting down quite a bit of bramble, Neil got the fire going, so we could burn as we cut.
Feeding the fire!
Sue had brought lemon cake for morning break, which helped us work hard cutting down and burning until we stopped for lunch, having stoked the fire as high as we could before we stopped so it kept going.
During the afternoon, a call came over the radio that an ambulance had got stuck in some mud in the car park and could anyone help - Andy and Neil dashed off to offer assistance and get it out and on it's way:-)
Making the fire site 'safe'
Before we finished for the afternoon, we burnt all the bramble and tree's that we had cut down, tidied the area and put the red & white tape around the fire as it was burning down, so visitors to Biddulph Grange gardens were aware that it was there.
We had a great workday, spoke to lots of visitors who had come over to see what we were doing and we'd cleared two area's of the Ghost bramble - what a result!
We made a difference:-)

Tricia's patch!
Photo's by Andy and Sue.

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