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Thursday, 23 August 2012

no more raking, I am not in a pressed gang!

The title refers to Wednesday, so you will have to wait! At the beginning of the week the Malton and Norton Fairtrade group had their final planning meeting for our craft fair. We are planning to showcase both local and Fairtrade crafts; the usual worries, would we have enough or too many stalls, publicity and refreshments. I then spent some frustrating hours trying to upload details to the Guardian northerner notice website, however I managed eventually, www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner, you then click on the funny notice word next to the map. If this doesn't work it's on September 22nd at the Memorial Hall in Old Malton, free entry 10 til 4.

Tuesday was another quick short stop day, one referral only, I rang one of the regulars, they always answer their phone and almost always say yes. I chat to the person in the referring agency about the Olympics, and the tears we had shed as athletes showed their emotions on the podiums.    www.refugeecouncil.org.uk   was the referring agency this week.

Wednesday was Coasties, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk, and this is the subject of the title. Quite a big group today and the area to be worked in is steep and narrow, there is a board walk to be laid and lots of steps. Three of us realise that too many cooks will spoil the broth, or least fall over themselves, so we ask if there is something else we can do. So we find ourselves raking what would be hay if it was longer and drier, but is actually clumps of dank, damp grass on a sloping field. At least the sun is, mostly, shining and we are surrounded by stunning views; but it is back breaking and frustrating work, much of the cut stuff drags up roots when we rake, and if the grass goes on growing it will all to be done again soon. Can you see the wooden rake in the dead grass?



Next week we will be back, as the diversion of the Cleveland Way www.nationaltrail.co.uk/clevelandway through the National Trust's alum works, www.coastaltourism.co.uk/local_history.htm, still has many weeks' work to be done; more steps, gates and another section to be cut through dense undergrowth. However, the three of us make it abundantly clear that next week we will not be raking; if there is not room for all of us in the steep little valley, there is, apparently, much cutting back to be done on the trail between Ravenscar and Stoup Brow. We go there, willingly, but not in the cut grass.
I am usually happy to do what ever is necessary to keep the paths open, the alum works in good order and the park generally accessible, but there comes a time when I realise that I am a volunteer, not a member of a pressed gang!