Saturday, 14 March 2009
Back to nature
We were lucky to be invited to help start to clear the dog walk at Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Site. It is a nice walk as they go, but very overgrown and unkempt. I know this is not a bad thing, as nature can make a nice spot without human help. However, this has become over grown with brambles and grasses, so a stroll down this path is uninviting to some and you don't get the feel of what is really there.
The East and West Kent Camping and Caravanning Club District Associations had arranged to work on this patch this weekend, and the Site manager invited us to help. We jumped at the chance, yes even Troy was excited about getting involved. I like nothing more than to be out of doors, and to be helping bring more nature back to an idilic spot is so rewarding.
So this was my little patch to clear, very matted with all sorts and no telling what lurks beneath the undergrowth!
So armed with a pair of shears and a rake I set to work. Troy did start to help, but found the shears hard work, then he spotted activity further down the line, so he was off to investigate, shears in hand just in case. Leaving me to continue alone with my little patch to uncover. Even though there were quiet a few of us it was peaceful listening to the birds singing as they watched us beaver away.
I was summoned to marvel at the feets the group Troy had joined, they were by the pond/swamp. This was to be cleared so everyone could see it, and for the wild life to enjoy without becoming embroiled with creepers, brambles and overgrown trees. It is sad to see trees cut down, but these were in need of tretment, most of the trees were dead. So they were cut back to the trunks and the wood used elsewhere.
Troy had worked hard helping in this area, and was talking about the chain saw, no not yet he's far too young for that experience. Don't get me wrong I'm all for learning new skills, but a chain saw, he can just about use a small saw.
It is like a hive of industry everywhere along the dog walk, people are chopping and clearing the mess that has tangled itself up, making it impossible to access anywhere except the main path. It will be lovely once everywhere is open to view, especially for the fauna and flora, who will be delighted with the space to move freely about their habitat.
After breaking for a cup of tea, it's back to work, Troy is off with the others, I am still plodding on with my patch. I want to have something to show for the aches and scratches I will be feeling later. Yes I am, my first finger on the left hand is a bit swollen and stiff, but I'm pursevering, other than that I'm sporting a few scratches. Nothing that a rub of Eucalyptus ointment won't heal.
It's lunch time and this is my progress so far, not bad for a single women eh? That is a plant pot! I had found a plant with the mud still attached to the roots, but didn't expect to find it's pot. Guess the neighbours thought they were safe throwing it over, after all it was waste land. Things will have to change. I also found loads of tin cans, half decomposed milk cartons, it was strange to find these white plastic tops with ghost cartons just hanging on. Bottles, empty of course, people are inconsiderate they could have deposited full ones for the unlikely passer by! Oh yes that fence, but it might not stay up long, I think the brambles were holding it together.
These are the people who have worked together today to make an impression on the wilderness that is the dog walk. Soon it will be a veritable feast of flora and fauna not only for dog walkers to enjoy.
I know this is not that clear, but through the trees the fence is broken giving access to anyone from the Psychiatric Hospital, our neigbours by the way!. A gentleman worked away quietly weaving a new fence out of woods chopped away from trees. Yes recycling is going on even in this environment. Some of course will probably be burnt, but leaving it on the forest floor, Ok it's not really a forest it's a wood, will give the mini beast loads of food and fun playing hide and seek.
Troy has been given this bench, which until this morning was hidden from view, to clean and paint. This is soul project after lunch, which is good as he worked hard this morning, so needs to have an easier task now. He is only 9, and has been working like a teenager. Everyone was shocked at his age at lunch, so I think they are glad he is doing this little job this afternoon. I never think to tell people, as he can manage to interact very well across the ages and will keep up with most on most jobs. So he's cleaning the bench ready to paint it. Unfortunately he's distracted at the moment, as a lady in the Psychiatric Hospital is having a moment of repetition in a very loud way.
This is the finished product, one new bench not quiet ready to sit on as still wet. Troy is also wearing said paint, as usual. He was given gloves, but they were invisible. He has trailed the brush from the tin to the bench and so has nice little splatter marks on this trousers. The paint has run down the brush on the journey and made it to his hands and arms. The stining nettles at the feet of the bench now have black stripes, where he painted the legs, but the bench looks really good. He has done a good job and feels pleased with his accomplishments. Can't be bad, and when he paints he tend to wear more than the object being painted, so why break a habit yet.
This is my achievement, and I am very pleased with the end result, I have left bramble stalks, ready to regrow, as they are a beautiful plant and very good for all sorts of things. Especially if they are blackcurrants! You can now see the real ground, which will allow plants to grow, now the sun can reach it.
We have had a really good day, meeting new people and helping to create a little space for all to enjoy. Thank you for asking us to contribute our skills, however small they are, in your project.