Over the weekend of January 8th & 9th 2005 we began the daunting task of re-planting. Here’s the plea for help that we made, followed by an extract from the newsletter that went out after we’d made a start:

JANUARY 8TH & 9TH – tree planting in Broad Wood. Help needed: planters (lots!), armed with own spades; refreshment organisers/servers. We’ll begin at 10am with a brief ceremony to mark the beginning of the regeneration of Broad Wood. Meet by the gate by Stara Bridge.

Newsletter 6, Winter 2005

“At the time of writing this, on January 16th, I estimate that we have managed to get just over half way with the replanting, which, given the poor weather and the difficulty of the terrain, is a real testament to the stalwarts who turned out to work so willingly and hard.

…… I’m keeping a ‘role of honour’ of all those who have participated, so we can say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s taken part………… I’m currently trying to locate and purchase

a couple of special tree-planting spades, as ordinary garden spades have proved useless on the difficult ground. At the moment we are borrowing two from Pentiddy, as well as using a mattock and two iron spiked bars.

Thanks to a generous (anonymous) donation, we should be able to buy two of these very expensive but strong and functional tools for future use. We’re learning fast as we go along, and a great deal of ingenuity is called for at times.”

I still can’t quite believe how we managed it in the wet and cold and a lot of the time on steep, shalely ground. The photos below show on the left, the area we had to re-plant, with below the planting sketch we were working to (soon abandoned in favour of ‘get them in wherever you can’!), and on the right, a page from the log we kept to guide anyone coming down to plant in their spare time. Mainly my writing with notes added by the planters to me & each other – there were lovely little additions on other pages like ”saw a kingfisher on the river today”, and “went exploring & found the cascades” – it wasn’t all just hard work, and there were always refreshments available, too.