Entrance ruts being filled with sticks
Much as we enjoy just sitting in the sun watching the birds and butterflies in Old Copse, there is always work to be done.
The Ride suffers from intermittent flooding, making it difficult and sometimes impossible for vehicles to drive up it, for example, to load timber. The Forestry Commission, owners of the woodland until about 1987, hard surfaced the entrance and a small turning area. In the following quarter century plus of total neglect, these surfaces have become lost in a thick layer of grassy mulch which becomes mud in the rain, especially during exceptionally wet winters. Further up the the Ride drainage is needed urgently.
We tackled the drive in problem by our patent method of filling the soupy holes and trenches with small logs and sandstone rocks from the wood, and covering these with a layer of 'Type 1'. We hope this lasts a couple of years until we are forced to scrape and re-surface the area properly.
Top layer of Type 1
Sarah then discovered the drain was blocked at the lowest point of the Ride where flooding is worst. After digging out a new channel with a spade and unblocking the pipe with rods, the drain is now working again . Very hard and muddy work, but very satisfying. The water can now drain under the ride and down into the wood. At the higher end the ditch which should feed it is completely blocked, so clearing that is the next task. This area becomes very flooded and overgrown with common (or soft) rush (Juncus effusus). We hope that this drainage work will help the area revert back to fine grass and allow a variety of flora to flourish.
Next job - clear out the ditch