Last week I was with the Churnet Valley volunteer gang at a new location near Grindon helping a local farmer control some scrub. The scrub has been threatening to take over some rare species rich limestone grassland, so the landowner has a proportion of the small blackthorn bushes down. We were there to help them burn what was cut. So after checking that no little creatures were using the piles as shelter from the winter weather we starting cutting dragging and got a roaring fire going. One of the volunteers, Andy, who has rejoined the group after a bit of an absence has been writing a weekly report on what we've been doing and I have to admit they are a little more poetic than what I usually write. So this week I thought I'd share it with you. As for the Mary Berry reference, you had to be there!
"A wonderful winter’s day, out on the white hillside near Grindon, burning blackthorn brash. . Picture postcard landscape rolled away in the bright January sun as the orange glow from Ian’s early fire caught the breeze. Jo and Ashley ferried branches and chris tackled the thorns in the cold air. Mary Berry jacket potatoes fun at lunchtime was a comic diversion. The stillness of the beautiful afternoon broken only by running hares, the valley kestrel , and Ian’s ringing chainsaw. We left the fire to smoulder, a lovely day fading memory as the sun dipped over the icy hill. Ashes to ashes."