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Well Tuesday this week at Dam Mire Wood certainly took the record for the hottest workparty of the year so far, with temperatures of around 28C.

Pictured: Ragged Robin at Dam Mire Wood

Like many farmers round and about, the focus was on hay timing: cutting grass. We were delighted to be joined by Threlkeld Voluntary Action volunteers, a local gang who do lots of really worthwhile practical tasks around the village each month. It was fantastic that half a dozen of them turned up together with their strimmers to help us cut the path around the wood and remove the grass from the tubes around the trees.

Pictured: Path Strimming at Dam Mire Wood

There is a certain noisy musical magic to four strimmers going at the same time! What a massive difference it made and thanks to the extra helpers.

Pictured: Cleared pathway at Dam Mire Wood

We also checked the new hedge plants were growing upright and with a bit of effort shifted a slab of slate to form a temporary seat whilst our new ones are being made. We had regular ‘cooling down’ breaks and what hardship to look at such amazing views! A great thing about us owning land is that we can try things out and learn from it.

Pictured: Moving slabs at Dam Mire Wood

During the back end, we strimmed off an area in the wood and spread some hay rattle seed which if it took, should reduce the grass. The plan was then to potentially plug plant wild flowers into it. The grass, sieves and thatch were really dense, so it may be no surprise that the rattle does not seem to have taken, we perhaps needed to uncover a lot more soil. What obviously loved the treatment though is the buttercups! We will have to decide whether we try again later this year or accept that this may not be the place for certain wild flowers due to the dense vegetation and recognition that one day when the trees grow up they will shade out the flowers anyway…

The field to the south has recently been sold and despite us putting in a bid, we were not successful. It is a real shame as it would have made a fantastic piece of land for nature if we could have extended our efforts into the neighbouring field. That said, we have plenty to be getting on with, sourcing our rustic benches and making plans for a simple shelter for people to sit in.

Anyone and everyone are very welcome to join us on our workparties, no skills or equipment needed 😊