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Thursday, 26 January 2012

kippered Coasties and yes the sun did shine

sunshine over Robin Hood's Bay, the view
as we work
How lucky am I. Ravenscar, lots of happy childhood memories, the sun shining and it's my birthday. Tuesday was miserable, today a little better,but yesterday................

Today is a bonfire day with the National Trust., the last Wednesday in the month and Coasties help them out. As landowners in the Park they are one of the Park's partners.

There is a huge pile of brash, undergrowth, trees  and other 'stuff' that was cut last autumn and is now dry enough to burn. Some brash can be left to decompose, but good habitat management means that some must be burnt. The dryness of the wood and the skill of the National Park staff member means that a roaring fire is soon demanding to be fed. There is a stronger wind than we had realised and at times we are engulfed by the smoke, kippering our clothes, our hair and our faces. Much of the stuff is too big to go straight onto the fire, so we lop and saw to make manageable pieces which can then be dragged across the wet grass to the fire.
some of the brash to be burnt,
but not my fleece or gloves!
the heart of the fire

Over lunch I pass round slices of fruit cake. We are doing well today, another Coastie had given us freshly baked scones before we even started!       As we eat the talk turns to travel expenses and  volunteering. There is still concern that the 'highers up' think that we need less back up from the paid staff than we know we do. There is the AGM of the voluntary ranger service, to which I also belong, coming up, we shall have to see what is said there.   It really cannot be stressed too often that this practical kind of volunteering can only work if there is technical back up to support and lead us. On a positive side I read in the local paper that the Park is taking on more apprentices this year, a drop in the ocean for unemployed young people, but a brave move for the Park in 'hard' times.   

Finally all the brash is burnt. We go to help others in the group who are working to make a small local quarry safe to use, much better to use local materials when hard surfacing is required than ship it in from outside. Before we head off home the smouldering fire is checked, it is dying down well and the ground around it is very wet. Another very satisfactory day.

End of the blog for today, I need to finish off the Fairtrade Fortnight mail out to schools and then get them to the post. I also need to empty the kitchen compost bucket, we bought a new huge one and still it fills up!