Posts Tagged ‘Dudmaston Hall’

Wenlock Edge, old quarry, Friday 7th to Sunday 9th October

Earlier in the year, a discussion took place with NT Ranger Chris – what would be better than a workday at Wenlock Edge? The answer? Three workdays at Wenlock Edge! And so the group found themselves booked in for a three day working weekend, working at a new part of the site. The location was an old limestone quarry which has long since ceased production. The National Trust recently took over management of the site. It had become overgrown with hawthorn and blackthorn hence badly in need of some volunteer action.

There is a variety of things that make the group happy: – good weather, chunky trees to chop, a bonfire, lots of cake. All of these were available in abundance!

Some of the group stayed overnight at an NT holiday cottage near Dudmaston. Ron tested his culinary skills on Friday evening, providing the group with a delicious spaghetti dish. Sheila helped out by creating an apple crumble, using apples provided by Ron from his own garden. This was washed down with a fine selection of ales, or a glass or two of homemade wine – “Rhubarb Ruin”. On the Saturday evening, the overnighters ventured into Bridgnorth for a meal in a local bistro – I am sure it wasn’t as good as Ron and Sheila’s tasty creations on Friday.

The photos don’t do justice to the extent of work completed over the weekend. We hope to be back working at this site sometime before Christmas so if you want to see it, keep an eye on our programme of workdays and come out and join us.

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Dudmaston Estate, Sunday/Monday 28th/29th August

Bank Holiday weekend….what to do? Relax? Take it easy? Read a mind improving book or 3? No, No, No! What you really want to do is get up early, drive to Dudmaston for a 9am start, pull out lots of rhodis and BURN THEM!!!! Then on day 2: repeat.

And so it was that 8 of us met NT Area Ranger Mike Annis at the Dudmaston Estate Yard in Shropshire at 9am on Bank Holiday Sunday. From there it was a short drive to the work site which was, if you are familiar with the estate, between the big pool and the main road. Our workday leader quickly got a fire started and the rest of the group soon made good progress on clearing the area of unwanted rhodis. If possible, we rip the rhodis out by the root. The aim is to prevent any regrowth.

Mike tells us that, in the past, this area was planted with colourful specimen rhodis and azaleas and would have been quite a pleasant walk. In the long term, it would be good to replant the walk for the benefit of visitors.

While some of the group seemed to have enough energy to continue on into the evening….it was decided to call it a day at 4pm. A small amount of clearance work remained to be done and we made a note to finish that work on the following morning before moving to another nearby site.

Sunday morning, early again (groan!). We finished work on site No.1 and sent workday leader Ron over to site No.2 to start a new fire. The group (6 of us today) worked hard to clear rhodis at the new site. Ron kept us motivated by feeding us chocolate-fridge-cake. Just when we think that the end of the rhodis is in sight…we see more in the distance. This is not a bad thing – we need some future work to look forward to.

We were fortunate with weather on both days as it stayed dry throughout.

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The late summer/autumn programme is now online.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy time. Alongside our normal Sunday outings, we have two working weekends (Wenlock in October and Dudmaston Bonfire weekend) and an away day to The Weir.

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Saturday/Sunday 28th/29th May

Continuing our succesful bank holiday outings, we find ourselves back at Dudmaston for some more rhoddie attack!

Day 1 – Saturday. Someone suggested having an early start today so we met at the earlier than usual time of 9am (John was so keen that he had been waiting at the car park with his bowsaw twitching at 8.15!). We were back to the same area of woodland as previously (see Easter Weekend), adjacent the ponds. It is pleasing to have to walk a little further each time, passing by the areas we have cleared on other workdays. Ron soon got the fire started and we worked throughout the morning, progressively clearing rhoddies from along the poolside. Given the early start, lunch seemed well deserved. With the exception of one rain shower, the weather was fine and allowed us to clear a larger than anticipated area.


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Dudmaston, Sunday 1st May

WNTCV continue their series of bank holiday workdays with another day of rhoddy bashing at Dudmaston (see Easter Weekend 2 for our last visit). It was a fabulous workday with old and new members joining forces. According to Laura, the group “motored through the rhoddy, it didn’t stand a chance!” The fire was a bit lively given the dry ground, heat and light breezes – kept the group on their toes keeping things safe.

A great day was had by all and there was LOTS of cake!

No photos at the moment – we’ll add some if we receive them (any group member with pics, please forward a couple to Avril).

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Dudmaston Estate, Monday 25th April

WNTCV don’t do things by half measures – if we are going to have an Easter weekend workday, why not have two? This was the crazy logic that dragged us all out of our beds early on the morning of the bank holiday. Perhaps it was the promise of homemade cake…perhaps it was the desire to burn off some of the calories consumed during yesterdays “egg o’clock” (see Easter Weekend part 1). Whatever the reasoning it was a happy bunch of WNTCVers who met at Dudmaston to attack some rhododendrons. Ron, our resident firestarter, got the flames going while the rest of the crew got to work clearing areas of rhoddies, bramble and brash. We started work at this particular site towards the end of last year and we have been progressively working our way along the edge of the two pools removing rhoddies as we go and, as a result, opening up the views.

The work at this site today was very rewarding in that we could clearly see the effects of our efforts. The area really opened up with lots of sunlight reaching the woodland floor and the view through to the pools beginning to appear. We are back at this site next weekend to continue the project. I think that visitors using the woodland path through this area will see a big difference now that the rhoddies are being cleared.

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WNTCV has two workdays this coming weekend.This is unusual for the group as we don’t normally work during bank holidays. Our keen members fancied some extra work however so we thought we would keep them busy with not one, but two additional workdays.

On Sunday 24th April we are at Wenlock Edge, continuing scrub clearance at Lea Quarry as part of the restoration of limestone grassland. This could be the perfect way to either:

a) burn off calories after eating too many easter eggs

b) build up an appetite to eat more easter eggs!

On bank holiday Monday (25th April) we are working in the Dudmaston Estate on one of the the group’s favourite tasks – attacking the invasive, non-native species rhododendron ponticum.

For existing WNTCV members, please contact the workday leader as usual. Non-members are also welcome on any of our workdays – if you want to join us, please follow the email link on our CONTACT or EVENTS pages and we’ll get back to you with further information.

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