“Thank you” again to the volunteers in our intrepid Conservation Team who turned out today: Barry & Tanya, Bill, Bob, Derek, Elaine & John, John L, John & Rachel, Kathy, Nigel and Val, who, including myself, made a total of 14.

Once more, we met at the appointed car park, at the appointed time – Clearbrook, 10.00 am.

This time, despite my offerings to the sun god, grey skies were the order of the day with worse to follow in the weather forecast. However, the gang met with good cheer and after the offer of transporting rucksacks and people, I drove some tools etc. to the work site, while the party walked along the cycle track.

Again, after an initial coffee break and a few more words from me about Health & Safety, we got to work. I had arrived early and felled a few scrub thorn trees so that no-one would be standing idle while we got started – did I hear “Slave driver!” from someone …..

After a flying start, there were still a few hawthorn trees to remove, plus the stumps from the early morning start. One group strimmed away the brambles by the bridge that separated today’s section from the first day’s work. Once that was done, the area was really opened up.

Some of you will know that when I started as co-ordinator of this project, I had to write some promotional ‘blurb’ and I made a bit of a joke at the end, saying ” …. and sometimes there’s cake!” Well, folks, today was very special – not only did Val bring her famous fruit cake but Elaine brought carrot cake as well. maybe we will need longer breaks …..

We continued, having a coffee break and later, lunch, until 2.30 pm. Prior to this, we had strimmed the leat and its banks, moved all trimmimgs to “hidey holes” so that passers-by shouldn’t see them, treated the cut stumps so that they shouldn’t re-grow (as several obviously had in the past) and cleared the site of litter. The final result looked good. I will take some “after” photographs when the weather is better.

By now, the rain gods had gained supremacy and a heavy drizzle was falling. Some of us checked out the next sections of the leat for our attention and others took tools back to our base camp. Then we left, with most of us going to The Rock Inn once more, where my group email prediction of our being indoors this time, proved right.

Well done, everybody, we have finished that second section after two visits. This is quite an achievement when you think of what it looked like before we started.