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Radley Lakes Wetland Centre Activities and Events in 2013 (Jul – Dec)


Clearing the Lane, 04 July 2013

As a condition of the planning permission, Oxfordshire County Council Highways has insisted upon some improvements to the lane. One of the issues identified is visibility from the junction splay at Sandles, so, today, the Earth Trust used its volunteer workforce to untertake clearance of vegetation along the lane between Sandles and Tuckwells.
Although a narrow country lane, anyone who knows the area knows that this lane is in fact a major highway serving a great hive of industry and the ever-expanding Lafarge-Tarmac concrete works, and carries some heavy traffic, much of it in the form of huge lorries, but also cars, some driven by lunatics, and horses with very demanding riders. Heath and safety considerations were therefore paramount (short of closing the lane to traffic altogether) and we all had to wear high visibility jackets, so that, if anyone got run over or knocked into a ditch, they would at least be able to find the body!



So, with traffic marshalls posted at each end of the working area, not to direct the traffic, you understand, but to warn of its approach, so that the workforce could jump for cover (they should try this on motorways) clearance work proceeded apace. Trees were taken down and bushes cleared away…
…while big juggernauts like these continued to use the lane unimpeded. At times there was not a lot of room to spare!


Evidence was found that the available carriageway was substantially wider than had been apparent, so maybe not such a narrow lane after all.


But not everything was always left as it should be.


Odd Jobs, 01 August 2013



It looks like the Lily Shelter has had a rough night.

[Continued abuse inflicted on the Lily Shelter has since resulted in its demise. See News Story.]

Today a rather diminished team of volunteers undertook some odd jobs on the western side of the lake, including replacing a fencepost and filling in a large(ish) hollow in the path.


The intrepid army of volunteers sets of with wheelbarrows full of stuff.


This fencepost is rotten and needs to be replaced.



The dent in the path before…


…work started…



on reparing it,



a job requiring a certain amount of…





… and paviing skills…


… to fill the hole to the right level …



… cover it with some handy wood chippings, and hey presto!


Meanwhile, back at the fencepost…



A family of tufted duck on the lake.


A Red Admiral basks on a buddleia flower.


Mowing (and seeding) the Meadow, 5th September 2013

Volunteers, even sparser on the ground today, despite perfect outdoor weather, turned up to undertake the Autumn cut of St David’s Meadow and sow some Yellow Rattle, which parasitises on grass to restrict its growth while helping to reduce soil nutrients, such as Nitrogen, which are only of benefit to larger faster growing plants.


The meadow having been rough cut before we arrived,
the job was to rake up and remove the sward to a nearby heap.
Here are the three jolly volunteers undertaking this task.



The meadow as work progressed.


Then, a well-earned tea break by the roadside.




Meanwhile, across the lake (where the Lily Shelter used to be) the girls from the Earth Trust ponder how to remove of some scrap metal and barbed wire, dumped long ago, which came to the surface over the summer.


Here they are in their very own gravel pit.



Lorretta cutting a fine dash with the strimmer


while Jo gets loose with the Yellow Rattle.



St David’s Meadow after the cut.


Path Maintenance, 3rd October 2013

The work today involved levelling and relaying the path around the pond, which had become overgrown.


Cutting back brambles, removing weeds and levelling uneven ground.


Barrowing wood chippings to where they are needed.



Then tipping them onto the path…


and raking them into a level surface.


Christmas (Work) Party, 5th December 2013

Dry and not too cold, but very breezy, which made it feel quite chilly. Some brisk work to keep warm was needed and this well provided for by barrowing some crushed rock and coarse gravel from the trailer to dress the muddy section of path just to the east of the boardwalk. The trouble was, the weather having been quite dry recently, the path was hardly muddy at all and it was difficult to see where the surface needed to be stabilised…  No matter, there are plans to regrade this path properly at a later date.
Barrows queuing up at the trailer 
where crushed rock and gravel was shovelled in.
This section of path is being redressed
… by two happy volunteers with rakes. 
20131205__K5S1608Unfortunately the machine to whop the surface flat would not start. Don’t worry, Peter will fix it…  20131205__K5S1609
Well, perhaps not. The machine needs a proper repair. A lakeside bodge won’t do. 
So that’s it for this year! But, what’s this? It’s Christmas, so Loretta has laid on something special.
20131205__K5S1615Christmas canapes by the lake, well as the usual tea and chocolate! 
The Earth Trust does like to look after its volunteers.
20131205__K5S1619There was more than enough to go round, with just a few (highly calorific) temptations remaining at the end. 

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