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With the new paths to the fireponds completed, members of the Friends Group with help from other volunteers, spent the day clearing Rhododendron ponticum from surrounding woodland. With some of the group cutting the bushes to the ground, others dragging them uphill to where another group then chopped and prepared the plants for burning.
If however you look at the picture to the left you can see a pile of prepared wood building up in the background while three volunteers ponder the best way to get the fire going or rather keep it going which was the biggest problem of the day.
We successfully cleared a large area through the wood allowing access right down to the edge of the pond where we could here the frogs croaking very loudly.
As a day of hard work chopping and burning came to an end, we then had the task of ensuring that the fire was properly extinguished. A task that you might think would be easy when you are working at an area known as the Fireponds. Due to the presence of amphibians and their spawn in the water we could not use it to douse the fire. Instead we had to push five gallon drums of water in wheelbarrows to the site which was no mean feat. Just as well we had plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits to keep us going. A day of hard work for everyone but it was great fun and very rewarding.