“There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. Men do not quarrel about the meaning of sunsets; they never dispute that the hawthorn says the best and wittiest thing about the spring” G K Chesterton
The use of hawthorn is fairly ubiquitous in the hedgerows of our countryside and, I guess, inevitably by the side of many of our railway lines – planted or wild. Given the local prevalence of Hatherleys (apparently it means ‘a hawthorn clearing’) and the like, it should come as no real surprise that hawthorns grow well in the native Gloucestershire soils and climate. And I guess like everyone at CRCS they are pretty tolerant!
So, the main new activity this morning at the Racecourse was hedge planting – though the team of Bob, Ben, DaveT, Mary, Terry, Mike, Steve & John also completed many of their normal tasks as well. However, to start us off there was, as per last weekend, a fair amount of litter at the bottom end of the Station – this time from the fun fair attendees – an indicated by the candy floss wrappers and empty (!) plastic bags which were labelled: ‘Goldfish’. Another event, another range of rubbish. Whoops, sorry, forgot to be tolerant for a moment there!
Anyway, we made some considerable progress and have, I would guess, planted about a third of our 250 new hawthorns – mainly in the cleared stretch but also where we have lost the odd few to the bunnies or other plant predation! Here’s some snaps of the team (Ben and DaveT) at work:
John, not pictured, was busy further down the track – digging a trench and removing the extraneous roots of brambles and nettles. Interestingly we are, in effect, planting up the old ‘drainage channel’ – so there should be no shortage of water one would think.
Elsewhere, Mary was planting up one of our more prominent flower beds:
Terry and Mike were keeping the place tidy, Steve was fixing things (wheelbarrows mainly) and Bob was trying to sort the slightly dodging cable conduits beneath the surface of Platform 2 (water ingress issues).
Luckily, the trains and passengers ran on regardless:
And if you don’t appreciate the train this has nice view of the Klargester in the foreground!
Next weekend’s blog will, I sincerely hope, feature the ordered chaos of the Easter Weekend and our new, extended, train services. Onwards to Broadway!