There has been much felling of trees in Finemere Wood over the autumn months, every volunteer’s favourite pastime.
The main target has been the silver birch in Long Close Meadow, in the heart of the wood. These trees are fast growing and abundant, and so each year a block or two are removed to allow the grassy meadow to flourish. The trees are chopped into manageable chunks, loaded onto a bonfire, used to create habitat piles or taken away for fire wood.
They are a mixed bag, my team: there are the small but mighty who tackle trees many times taller and wider than themselves; there is the one who regales us with amusing stories, his voice reverberating throughout the wood; the one who manages the bonfire, obsessively and painstakingly, not a branch or flame out of place; the ones who quietly and efficiently take on the big stuff and the ones who uncomplainingly take on the small stuff; the one who clears up after everybody, endlessly dragging branches to the fire and the ones who gently tease and banter and prevent us from taking ourselves too seriously.