Alistair kicked it all off in January with a spectacular back flip and 2 half-twists on the stile at Muxton Marshes. Since then a bewildering number of group members have taken similar gymnastic tumbles:-
I managed a fairly sedate connection to the ground - also at Muxton Marshes - damaging pride more than body.
A small party of us then toppled at different times in deep snow when walking around the Wrekin hill-fort after deciding that a photographic erosion-survey was impractical due to the fact that the white stuff covered all eroded areas!
Liz then cracked a rib falling at home whilst negotiating a tricky knit-one, purl-one.
And Les took a trip from top to bottom of his stairs holding a full glass of wine which apparently landed intact - unlike his left shoulder! It really is about priorities isn't it?
In all seriousness; get well soon to all the WuFuV's who are still suffering. Oh and the above pic wasn't Brian on his back - it was yet another example of a missed photo opportunity so I just spun the pic around!
So after Brian's little sojourn to the forest floor last Friday it occurred to me that we should perhaps have an organised 'all-fall-down' event next Friday in an attempt to get it all over and done with in one fail-swoop. Safety in numbers and all that?
Such are the mad meanderings of a soul still tortured by adolescent adventures involving many similar falls - although usually out of trees I have to say.
Enough of this frivolity!
Forest Glen Clear-Up
The end of our winter programme, Friday March 20 brought a nice sunny morning and the first day of spring as we split in to 3 main groups for Rhododendron bashing on the Buckatree Lane, Litter picking on the access path to the Wrekin and Olly and me tidying up a couple of 'campsites' in Ercall Woods.
Olympic Synchronised Lopping Team in action...
Later at 12.30 we congregated at the main access gate to The Wrekin for the official opening of the new wall that's well on the way to completion. Pete presented a bottle of Port to Rick Sanderson for his unstinting work on the wall. Rick has been working here almost every day for the past 4 weeks and estimates another 2 weeks before he's finished.We then all shared and enjoyed 2 bottles of celebratory champagne.
Nearly all the stone has been shipped in from Wales and when completed will blend nicely with the original part-remaining wall which Rick estimates is well over 100 years old.
Working the different shapes and sizes of stone into a aesthetically pleasing wall that will stand for a couple of hundred years or more is a pain-staking process which takes a tremendous amount of care and attention to detail on Rick's part.
It's a job that Rick obviously enjoys doing and as a stone worker for 20 years now he told me he couldn't imagine doing anything else. It's a very substantial wall too with it's own drainage built into the back to take away the rainfall that gushes from the hill on wet days.
Peter Holt from the Orleton Estate also joined us and not, I hasten to add, just for the champagne!
Then it was back to work for more bush-bashing, litter-picking, thorn-planting and cups of tea brought to the face in a bucket!
A little digression
One thing that never ceases to amaze me, and I was relating this to my long-standing friend Vera Wayfromer the other day and I know I've mentioned this before, is the very varied and almost limitless wealth of countryside knowledge the group holds beneath its many caps.
Vera suggested we could go on TV with our vast knowledge and she's convinced we'd do extremely well as a team in many of those TV panel games. For instance University Challenge, Eggheads, Mastermind or Weakest Link.
We could have as our team:-
Brian reading Geology, specialist subject bus-napping
Liz reading Natural History, specialist subject floppy hats
Nigel reading Spiders, specialist subject lunch-break chairs
Penny reading Lichens, specialist subject pyromania
Jim reading a Book, specialist subject long distance walking
Olly reading woodcraft, specialist subject the life and works of Pete Docherty
Les reading Fungi, specialist subject little-known 60's music and silly banter
Pete reading Conservation, specialist subject beard-growing
Lis reading Berries, specialist subject Swiss hats with dangly things
Any suggestions for those esteemed group members not yet featured? Or can anyone improve on any of the above perhaps? Bottom of post for comments...
Garden Moth Scheme
Week 3 produced just 2 Hebrew Characters in my trap on Friday night - down on last week's trapping but still 2 more than Les captured who in 3 weeks involvement in GMS hasn't caught a thing. Perhaps I should have left his garden gate open when I picked up the cakes for the Horse-Logging event?
I have to mention Nigel here - well I don't HAVE to but I will: Nigel is not in the GMS but has managed to trap more moths in his front porch over the last few days than Les, I and many of the national members of GMS! Well done Nigel. Here's a great shot of an Oak Beauty porched not trapped!
Don't forget to join the Yahoo Group and join in the banter and comments - open to all. You can also upload / download pics, files and add links to websites that may be of interest to us all. Join in, say hello and have a look around.
Thanks to Nigel for some of the pics on this post by the way and I'll catch up with you all shortly for horse-logging, soup, cake, tea and coffee.
Centuries ago horses were used for hauling timber from woods and forests. Timber that would have been used for the industrial furnaces and for charcoal making.
A demonstration of this practice will take place at Ercall Woods on Saturday March 28 11am - 4pm organised by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and is open to the public with free refreshments. Park at Forest Glen and follow the signs.
Hope to see you there! I'll certainly be trying my hand at having huge shire horses drag me through the trees and scrub!