Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Still Working on the wild campsite

No it’s not a Wild West style gallows, it’s the beginnings of the toilet. There is quite a bit to do as you can see. Me and Lois got things going today. We got all the wood from Cottenham Sawmills, they did a great job getting it all ready, nice and local if you have any fences to fix and that sort of thing. Also in the foreground you can see the new fire pit that the 1st Burwell Scouts came out and built for us last Sunday.

Next the plan is to:

· Build frame to take the back wall and shutters
· Build the front frame including the door frame
· Add batons to the walls to take the cladding
· Build the frame of the toilet
· Build the ramp to link to the clay ramp
· Put joists in the roof
· Plank the roof
· Clad the walls, we have got waney board for this (a log cut into planks with the edges left wobbly to try to match the style of the log shelters)
· Edge the roof with thick waey board
· Clad and finish the toilet (apart from the seat this needs a nice bit of wood I am waiting for)
· Fix the corners of the cladding where the edges but up against one another
· Build the shutters and door
· Get earth onto the roof and add grass seed
· Sand everything that needs to be sanded

I’m glad I wrote that down as I now have a proper plan.... hope it works out like that.

In other news I finally got the tops of the handling unit cut off and it looks nice and smart, in a kind of rustic way.

There is so much to get done at the moment that sadly some things are still waiting. The concrete blocks are still out next to the Lodes way, the gates on Newnham Drove are still waiting to be removed, the Omega Signs are unpacked but not out yet... and lots of small things like that. If you use the Lodes Way regularly I hope to get onto this at the next free moment. But with ponds due to be dug and some other pressing issues it might be a few weeks.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The new boat arrives and we create some new habitat

Here is our lovely new boat:

In other fen news we had a bit of fun felling a tree and creating some new habitat.

Today we had to fell an old Silver Birch on the Nature Trail as it was showing signs of decay. When we have to fell a tree we tend to cut it down at ground level or if possible pollard it. This tree offered the chance to do something a bit different and create some standing deadwood habitat, firstly due to its existing decay and secondly, and most importantly, because we had a digger handy.

We put a gob and back cut in to get the tree to snap where we wanted and then Jason pushed it over. This created lovely cracks, tears and splits in the trunk and then with some delectate bashing we used the bucket to split it a bit more, hide the chainsaw cuts, and to make it look as natural as possible. A lot more fun than cutting it off at ground level and a home to a myriad of invertebrates for years to come.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Our new boat is being delivered tomorrow!

After much planning our new boat is ready and due to be delivered tomorrow morning. The new boat replaces our old fen lighter which served the fen well for a good number of years and is now sitting on the bank next to the boat shed.

To go with the new boat we are also creating a new jetty. Jason Cooper has got the work underway with his excavator by slubbing the bank and pushing some posts in for James, our Senior Warden, to get a boardwalk constructed over. A floating pontoon made up of lots of small sections attached together to form a larger rectangular structure will then be attached to the jetty. This will allow for easy access to the boat as the water level changes in the lode.

As Jason has been working on the Sedge Fen he has to keep the digger on mats. You can see them in the picture below. They spread they weight to prevent the digger from sinking, to move he has to pick one up, move it around, track on to it, pick up the next and so on. As a result it can take a bit of time and patience to get from one side of the fen to the other.