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Moseley Bog Friends Blog 05/01/16

Posted: Wednesday 13th January 2016 by James.A

Moseley Bog Volunteers

These blog posts are sent in by Mary Girvan of the Friends of Moseley Bog & Joy's Wood to give a personal perspective of a day in the life of a volunteer. She also does the twitter feed for @mosbogfriends.

A New Year, a new word - revetment. According to Wikipedia revetments are "sloping structures placed on banks or cliffs in such a way as to absorb the energy of the incoming water". Roughly one in three English words is thought to be derived from French, and this one sounds beautiful when spoken with a french accent as was heard frequently throughout today. During the holidays, person or persons unknown have damaged the revetment we made from weaved hazel to protect the medieval burnt mound, down beside the boardwalk. They'll be on Santa's naughty list next year. So today we coppiced a large section of hazel behind the performance area to create materials to repair the revetement the following week.

Before we started work, we had an interview on BBC WM 95.6 Danny Kelly show (5th Jan). If you want to listen there are 2 short sections at 1hrs 53mins and 2hrs 50mins into the show and it's on BBC iplayer Radio for 30 days.
Daz Hale our interviewer came dressed in white trainers, a mistake at the best of times, but in this mild weather a disaster darling!

As he left and we made our way to the coppicing area, we slid and sank ever deeper into black mud and eventually left the path to approach through the trees where it was much drier. Did you know that one large tree can lift 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air in one day? Something for flood defenders to think about.

We had mainly hazel and willow to tackle, and though it was a shame to cut down the catkins, these trees hadn't been done for some time. On many, a straight coppice cut was insufficient as the trunks were too thick and tall, so we employed bird's mouth cuts to guide the tree down safely in a chosen direction. It's amazing how gently a tree can fall. Saw in just far enough on the final cut and the tree starts to lean. Give it a push, hear a loud crack and watch it fall in slow motion like Del Boy did through the bar. Sometimes they get caught up in other branches, which is not so sweet, unless the area is so dense that they remain completely vertical and just sort of hop off the stump when you push them. That's quite cool.

It was obvious that Christmas had been enjoyed to excess by all - the trees weren't the only things creaking today, and hunger set in very early as our bodies now more used to chocolates and sofas cried "WTF?" or "sacre bleu" to be more polite. At 3.30pm our work complete we trudged happy and muddy back to the car park just as the heavens opened.

If you have some New Year resolutions about getting fit, getting out, giving something back, meeting new people, learning new skills, having more laughs, we can help with that - come and join us.

Meanwhile nous vous souhaitons une trés bonne Année 2016, pleine de projets, de rencontres et de belles surprises.


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