Wet Socks, Trojans and Horses…
Mark, Gilly, Eric, Geoff, Les and I all met up early at the M27 services where we ate a hearty breakfast and went over the route we would take to Fawley in the New Forest, near Beaulieu. Beautiful moorland, complete with New Forest ponies. Peter and Geoff had been there the day before and, after searching about for hours, had miraculously found some perfect specimens for us to look at. It was a perfect day; dry, sunny and not too cold. We parked-up, layered-up with jackets, jumpers and hats and wellied-up, then started walking about a mile through heather, gorse and marshland until we came to a spot just in front of a small copse of trees, that Geoff and Peter had sussed out the day before. Here there were the most wonderful array of Scots Pines of all sizes and shapes; from 3 inches to 3ft tall. We wandered around inspecting each and every potensai, with tips from Geoff and Les and we watched a useful demo from Geoff, where he cut numerous branches off a rather large example to show what possibilities were on offer for any of the trees.Everyone then happily marked off their chosen trees and finally started digging. For every tree dug up, we back-filled the hole we had made.
We enjoyed much camaraderie, joking and banter while hard at work, digging and storing our precious subjects. Finally, all bagged-up, came the task of getting our trees back to the cars. Trees get remarkably heavier as the are scraped across clumps of heather, but using the pony tracks helped a lot. We dragged them half way, to a clearing, to where Mark fetched Hector the Trojan, on his
first cross-country expedition, and we packed him (the truck) with all shapes and sizes of Pines. 12 trees in all! And Eric and I got the coveted back seat spaces.Back to the car park for tree distribution, coffee, soup, sandwiches, tea etc. And a change of socks for the two hikers, Geoff and Les who’d had a rather wet experience in a rather large puddle. Geoff will never again believe Les when told “ Of course it’s not too deep.”We felt we had put in a good day’s work; everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and so we all said goodbye, including the ponies.
job Peter and I came yesterday for the recce.
Gilly:It was great. The best way to spend a Saturday morning. I never knew a small tree
could weigh so much! We may not have a forest, but between us we have a small wood.
to do the crawl and tried to rescue Geoff, but failed. Fabulous day. Good
weather. Nice ground. Great trees.
day with excellent company. Good job I brought an extra pair of socks.
Eric:Is that a gorse?
I’d like to thank each and every one of my colleagues for their help digging, dragging, driving, advising, 4x4-ing and for being thoroughly good company.