December 2004

I write this as we are just about finishing off the 2004 season of tree planting. It was touch and go through the autumn as the rain continued to get in the way of the ploughing and harrowing. But finally, in the nick of time, the ground was ready and with the minimum of time available, preparations raced ahead.

The weather was then fantastic and has been ever since, just ideal for tree planting. In fact, perhaps the young saplings would now like some rain to help their roots!

Planting Weekend was a happy and hugely productive time. Wonderful volunteers arrived to help. The weather was very pleasant. Everything was perfect. Perhaps at last we are getting the hang of organising this event….. The Saturday evening was taken over by singing, music, poetry, jokes. The children were very well behaved. Even the stars came out above us, but nowhere else. The highlight of the evening was the fire-breathing, led by Mike. Old hands Claire and Phil were joined this year by Jenny and Matt. Together they made a very fiery fivesome. Even juggling with fire was attempted! (Do not try this at home!!!)

The volunteers who came this year were
Alison and David
Ann, Doug and Owen
Anne and Norman
Christa and Phil
Deborah and Carlton
Elspeth, Tracy and Ed
Evelyn and Stuart
Heather, Claire, Matt
Ian and Lucy
Jenny, Maryla and Joy from Friends of the Earth
Liz and Howard
Maggie and Denise
Margaret and Bob
Mariana, John, Anna and Lara
Mary, Jenny, Catherine and Oliver
Mike and Andy
Nicolette and Paul
Nina and Sally
Pam, Jess and Rhianna
Shona, James and Mary
Stany and Eric
Sue and Mike
Tracey and Ian
Tracy, Mark and Sara
And the fantastic BTVC team: Brendan, Caz, Gary, Helen, Jane, John, Kate, Liz, Liz, Lucy, Matt, Michael, Tom

Thank you all so much. Your efforts were tremendous and were a huge help in what seemed, at the outset, to be an enormous task this year. However, all but the last few trees are now snugly in the ground and ready for whatever the winter will throw at them. I was expecting to still be planting in February!

I now feel quite sad that after three wonderful planting seasons Gimswood is finally complete. A real camaraderie has been built up over these years. But all is not yet finished. There will be summer maintenance for some years to come, so volunteers will remain welcome…………. All the volunteers, of course, are also welcome to come and watch their efforts grow.