Sunday, 6 October 2019

Strimming and clearing in walled garden at Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley 6th Oct 2019

Five of us (Christine, Sue, Andy H, Andy S and Tim) travelled to Burnley today to our first workday, we believe, in the grounds of Gawthorpe Hall. We met Nik, the Ranger, in the car park which is shared with Burnley Football Club (fortunately there wasn't a home match on) to discuss what we would be doing as the forecast was showing rain, on and off, all day.
We piled into Nik's Toyota Hilux pick-up and he drove us to the Ranger's workshop and Bothy, where we were offered a cup of tea while Nik told us a bit about Gawthorpe Hall. We warmed ourselves in front of the log-burner whilst sitting on proper wooden chairs with seat pads - true luxury!! Christine (so now 2 Christine's and 2 Andy's!), the other 'Gawthorpe and Stubbins Estates' Ranger, arrived to join us.
A great start to the day:-)
Mainly because of the expected poor weather, and the fact it was Open Heritage Day so the Hall and surrounding area were likely to be busy, we decided to continue the Gawthorpe volunteers work of strimming and raking up the native weeds in the walled garden behind the Bothy. Nik has found, by doing this, the weeds are more likely to return stronger next year, providing a great habitat for butterflies. The piles of weeds would be removed at a later date by the Gawthorpe volunteers.
Starting slashing and raking the weeds
After walking over the area to check no hedgehogs were hiding in the undergrowth which could get injured!, Nik started up his petrol strimmer whilst the rest of us either used slashers or rakes to gather the weeds into large piles. It was hot work so we were regularly taking off our coats and fleeces when we got warm, only to put them on again when the rain came!
End of the day by one of the many 'piles' of weeds we created
Rangers Nik and Christine were very pleased with what we'd achieved by the end of the day and, as we piled back into Niks Hilux (we could only all get in because MNTV's Christine offered to ride in the back - literally!!), we returned to the car park to collect our cars.
We had a brilliant day - not only a new venue but Nik and Christine made us feel so welcome that we will definitely be back next year!!
MNTV Christine ready for the trip back to the car park! 

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