Saturday, 15 January 2005

more trees

Today we went back to the same farm, but in a different field, for more tree planting. The area had all been staked out, so I began planting hawthorns around the perimeter. There were only about 8 of us in the morning, but around 6 more turned up in the afternoon. Luckily the weather was decent this time, dry, sunny at one stage and very mild for the time of year. Once I had planted the hawthorns, and others had filled in the bottom end and far side, we then began to plant alders and willow saplings in the central area which was quite soggy underfoot. They will help with the drainage of the land. At around 3-30 we downed tools, took them back up to the farm and loaded them along with the unplanted trees into a trailer. Then it was back to Hebden Bridge for drinks and dinner at the Shoulder Of Mutton, then the 7-38 train back to Burnley for me.

Monday, 3 January 2005

More tree planting

On saturday, New Years Day, met a small group of other like minded people in St. Georges Square in Hebden Bridge. From there, the mini bus took us up to Heights Farm, way up above Midgeley, overlooking Luddenden valley. It was quite a mild morning for january, fine also, so, after dumping all our gear in the farmhouse garage, we set off for the planting site. As you can see on the photo, it was quite a steep slope alongside the road. Some folk had got there before us and had made a start. Began by planting spruce trees in groups of three, working my way along the slope. An hour later another minibus full landed, recognised a lot of the same people who had been at Hebden Hey in november. At one time I heard a loud honking noise and looked up to see an enormous skein of geese flying quite low across the sky, I think they were going more or less due west. Stopped for a lunch break at around 1-15, hot soup, crusty bread, chocolate cake, tea, coffee, and mulled wine were available up at the farm. Very enjoyable!!

Afterwards, when we got back to the planting site, the weather began to deteriorate rapidly. The wind increased in strength and the drizzle became heavy rain. However, we all carried on regardless. I had to abandon my gloves as they became saturated. By around 3-30, we had planted almost as far as the wall at the end of the field. By then the rain was torrential, heard it thunder once, looked up and saw a grey mist rapidly approaching, it was hailstones. Felt like glass hitting my face, so I beat a very hasty retreat back to the farm, the others not very long after me. We all were grateful for hot drinks and to sit in front of a stove to try and dry ourselves off a little.

Later, most of us went to a meal that had been put on by Penny in Hebden Bridge. She reckoned around 600 trees had been planted by the 40 or so of us who had gone. Another tree planting in 2 weeks, so I look forward to it. Just hope it doesnt hail though!!!