Sunday, 16 June 2019

Balsam Bashing at Hardcastle Crags on Sunday 16th June

Sunday 16th June started off nice and sunny after we had a lot of rain on the Saturday.
As there were only 6 of us who said they were coming, Ally contacted them all to agree to car share, so Jenny and Andy made their own way there, Vincent picked up Tricia, and I picked up Laura, so we were not going out of our way to meet at Styal for a car-share.
Laura asked if we were going to Hardcastle Crags, I confused her by saying we were going to Hebden Bridge, but we still ended up at Gibson Mill for our lunch on the picnic table there.
We met Natalie at the ranger base, where she agreed that it had been so wet that the decision was made to harvest the Himalayan Balsam through the woods, and then have lunch at Gibson Mill.
We started off fine until we came to quite a wet patch and Andy disturbed a wasp who took exception to him.  So, we moved on until Victor disturbed another wasp that took a bit out of him. As we went down the paths, we met up with the general public who asked us what we were doing, and it gave us an opportunity to educate the public on what the Victorians brought over to the country.
We were also able to tell them that Hardcastle Crags would be on Countryfile on the BBC that night and Natalie would be on, describing the Ants and their hills and other creatures which were in the woods.
We then realised that the Ranger mile was a different distant to us all, and we were so glad to reach the Mill.
After lunch Natalie took us on a guided tour of the Mill.
We then slowly made our way back along the paths to another site of Balsam which we pulled up before we made our way home.
Group photo

Text from Neil. Photo from Nat.

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