Sunday, 16 September 2018

Bracken bashing & track repair at Hardcastle Crags on Sunday 16th September

A select group of 3 MNTVer's met Area Ranger James in the car park of the Hollin Hall estate office, along with Hamish, his border terrier/poodle cross.
We put our rucksacs in his van and loaded it with the tools before driving to a field where there was bracken to be bashed in an area that has been highlighted by Natural England as a site for internationally important Waxcap fungi!

Bracken bashing - the 'before' photo......
We had to climb over a wooden gate to get to the bracken and then, using sythes and weed slashers, we chopped it all down.

Jean, Andy and James......'after' the bracken bashing!
We were so close to finishing that we worked through our breaktime (a first for me!!) then, because it was raining, we decided to go back to the Ranger room at Gibson Mill so we'd be in the dry to have an early lunch.
While eating lunch, James enthusiastically told us that Gibson Mill was 'off the grid' - it had solar thermal panels and solar photovoltaic panels to provide hot water & electricity, a log-burning stove and boiler for cooking, hot water and heating,  and dry composting toilets!
After having a quick look inside the Mill at the turbines and the batteries used for storing the electricity, we returned to Hollin Hall, Hamish as well, where we spent the afternoon filling pot-holes in the track with stones and then tarmac, tamping it down with a whacker plate - another first for me!
Jean with the Whacker plate

Andy was a tad enthusiastic while starting the whacker plate on one occasion, and the starter cord came off in his hand! Fortunately this was quickly mended by James.
Woops - Andy with the broken starter cord!!

We all had a great time, using equipment that we'd not tried before and getting the job done:-)
Evidence of me 'Whacking' for the first time:-)

No comments: