1st. Elna & Sandra It was back to raking and seeding at Anderton. It was very pleasant as Sandra and I started on a new area that had largely been cleared of nettles and brambles. Elna joined us in the afternoon. We broke the area up into smaller patches, so that we could have several breaks, changes of position and a chance to chew the fat amongst ourselves and any passing walkers, who declined the offer of a spare rake.

Charcoal from Northwich Woodlands

Charcoal from Northwich Woodlands

2nd. Jim, Charles and John E were already in the yard looking at the contents of the charcoal bin when I arrived. We began sorting through it and found very few browns, making it one of the best burns to date. We filled up 17 large and 3 small bags showing that an overnight burn is probably the best way. It’s all now stored in the shed waiting for a sunny weekend.

liz painting9th. Putting tarmac into potholes held little attraction in the increasingly wet and windy conditions. Elna, Joanne, Liz and I selected paint, sandpaper and brushes from the shed. We sanded down the picnic tables and painted them green or brown. It was raining quite hard by lunchtime and it was becoming a pointless exercise. We fixed some wet paint notices on, but no one was likely to want to sit out in the unpleasant conditions. We decided that the colours were unsuitable for the tables in The Lodge, so Joanne and I headed off to B&Q for a clear wood preservative. The wind and rain got so much worse that even working in The Lodge lost its appeal. I took a chalkboard into the cabin to work in there.

16th. Elna and I were on household chores. There had recently been a delivery of cleaning materials and toilet rolls. They had all been hastily put into the yellow shed, so it was only just possible to open the door wide enough to get in and then turn around to come out again. Luckily it wasn’t raining so we could move most of it outside and take a fresh look.. It took an hour to clear the floor space, stow everything on the shelves and give the shed a sweep.
I started an early lunch, but the judges from the Royal Forestry Society arrived before I’d finished. Clare Olver, Mersey Forest, introduced Chris and me to Rob Guest and Tim Sawyer. We led them on a quick tour of some of Northwich Woodlands, answering their questions and promoting the site. Duncan McNaughton and Adam Evans, Forestry Commission, joined us on Dairy House Meadows before we moved onto Uplands. We became acutely conscious of the time limit and the walking speed rapidly increased. Back at the car park we were pleased with what we’d achieved within the two hours and now only await the results. I was exhausted and sat down with a cuppa before I turned my attention to the rubbish chucked out of the shed into the yard.


23rd There were plants to sort out, water and label ready for the weekend Bring and Buy Sale, which kept me busy for most of the morning. After lunch I offered to paint the little wheelbarrows that Mike had made. I set myself up in the yard after Mike had rigged up a table using a sheet of hardboard on two trestles. By cuppa time I’d painted six of them. I’d had to dodge hail showers in the morning, but the wind in the afternoon was drying the paint quickly. I planned to plant a couple of them up with flowers to raffle at the Bring and Buy.


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