My first email to the leat group was a mistake – I said it was time to put away their sunhats and to get ready for the new leat season! It was actually time to get out their sunhats because on Thursday 6th September we had the most glorious day, with all-day sunshine. This was our 18th work day on the leat.

The work seemed quite straightforward. Gone are the hard areas of mixed hawthorn, gorse and brambles. Now, we have a nice open leat with a scattering of scrubby shrubs and some larger not very pretty trees to remove, leaving the more mature and better-formed ones. Some trees previously marked for attention may yet be left untouched.

The photograph below is very like others I have offered on the blog – we are sat down for lunch! I promise it is not like this all the time. The problem is that when we are working then we work too hard to stop and take photographs, normally. Maybe next time I will walk around with the camera and get some action photos …..

Work party at lunch

Welcome lunch break after a hard morning’s work. If you look closely, you can see John V. publicising the 2013 DPA calendar.  Click the image to see a larger version.

As usual, I want to say a huge “Thank you” to all the volunteers who gave so freely of their efforts: Andrea, Barbara & Roger, Bill, Bob, Chris, Clifton, Derek, Elaine & John, Helen, Ian, John & Rachel, Sarah, Sylvia and Val, with myself making a total of 18.

This was a very good turnout and the work just seemed to get done very quickly. We covered a distance of about 110 metres, or was it 110 yards: thereabouts, anyway.

We had the usual (I like to think, encouraging) schedule of starting at the work site with a quick cup of coffee while a few words were said about the work to be done, with mid-morning, lunch, and mid-afternoon breaks. It sounds like a lazy day but, boy! we earned the breaks as the whole team will tell you. This was especially true today for the two chainsaw operators, walking around with a duvet around each leg (i.e. chainsaw safety trousers), padded safety gloves and heat-retaining hard-hats.

It was particularly nice to see our local National Park Ranger who stayed with us for most of the day and I hope that Sarah, who was out on work experience, also enjoyed the day of practical conservation.

Lastly, but by no means least, the leat work day tradition of CAKE was maintained with Val bringing lemon drizzle buns! Its a hard life working on the leat ……