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Working sessions
We are again planning to carry out some regular maintenance in and around East and West Hanney this year. We plan to work from 09:00 until noon, and as usual, the location will depend upon what needs to be done. Please add these dates to your diaries. It would be great if everyone could do at least one session during the year as it then spreads the load out.


Aug 19, Sep 16, Oct 21, Nov 18.

We are looking for volunteers to organise each weekend, so please contact Stewart Scott on 01235 868503 or via the contact form.

> Saturday 19th of August
We shall meet at the trailer, Weir Farm, for a 09:00 start. We can take wheelbarrows to the Iron Bridge with waders, tools and other equipment. The stretch from the Iron Bridge to Lower Mill is quite overgrown in places and has narrowed considerably.
Depending on numbers of volunteers, a group may set off and start at Lower Mill to clear the Himalayan Balsam. We shall only be working in the stream and on the east bank

> Saturday 15th of July
What a good turn out we had today; 15 volunteers to tackle the Himalayan balsam downstream from Lower Mill to God's Ditch. Really disappointing that the sun did not turn out as well. Despite the rain Alan, Gill, Ian, Dickon, Paul, Lamorna, Guy, Stella, Steff, Jason, Sara, Nigel, Alistair, David and Clive (hope I have remembered everyone) set about reducing the extensive areas of Himalayan Balsam in this stretch of Letcombe Brook. Our combined efforts probably reduced the target species by 50% - an excellent achievement under the circumstances but clearly more work is required shortly.
Thank you to Ian and Dickon for towing the trailer.

> Saturday 17th of June
Stewart, Ian, Dickon, Phil, Lamorna, Guy, Graham and Clive were joined by Karen Davies (new Letcombe Brook Project Officer) this morning tackling a fallen willow between Brookside and the paddock of Garstane House. The branches and stems of the tree were swiftly despatched and some obstructing brambles and bamboo were also removed a little further upstream. Phil took Karen on a tour in the Brook to familiarise her with the sampling points for the river fly monitoring, which the HFG is participating in as part of the Letcombe Brook project, areas where Himalayan Balsam has been a problem and Karen identified some wildlife sensitive areas. The team were very grateful to the lady who kindly produced some cold lemonade initiating a deserved break.
Thank you to Ian and Dickon for towing the trailer.

> Saturday 20th of May
Cancelled due to unavailability of Stewart and many of our regular team.

> Saturday 15th of April
This Saturday we did some work on the ditch on the eastern side of the new field. The centre of the ditch was clogged up with thick brambles. We have carefully removed the brambles from the centre of the ditch and left the hawthorn and blackthorn on the banks intact. Paul checked that there were no nesting birds before we started. We also found the field drain that connects into this ditch.
Thanks to Guy, Myfanwy, Stella, Lamorna, Stephanie, Ian, Dickon, Paul, Clive, Phil and Stewart.

> Saturday 18th of March
We finished off the package of work upstream of Weir farm that we started in January.

> Saturday 18th of February
We had a warm dry morning and carried out working upstream of Weir farm on the Letcombe brook. Sally Wallington came again and gave us some advice. We continued cutting back the blackthorn in order to let more light onto the brook banks.
Thanks to Myfanwy, Guy, Dickon, Ian, Stella, Bob, David, James, Alan and Stewart.

> Saturday 28th of January
The early morning rain stopped in time for our session on the Letcombe brook. Sally Wallington, Project Officer for the Letcombe Brood Project, came and gave us advice on coppicing and stream management. We coppiced two small areas upstream of Weir Farm which will allow more light into the 'beach' sections of the bank and this should encourage the growth of plants on the bank and so improve biodiversity. A good session. Welcome to James who came along for the first time.
Thanks to Sally, Lamorna, Clive, Phil, Gill, Oliver, Ian, Dickon, Paul, James, David, Stephanie and Stewart.

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Himalayan balsam

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