Today a few of us started the season with a return to Wooplaw Community Woodland, in the Borders (see numerous past blog posts). It was a pretty cold and damp day, though the rain had pretty much stopped by the time we arrived.
The field where we were working before now has bulls rather than horses in it, so we decided to do some work at the other end of the site, near the where the new cabin is being constructed to replace the old one which was burnt down by vandals last year. They're getting on pretty well with it, and have even made the walls of dry stone (sort of).
We bumped into Stephen in the car park, a branch member who is also involved in Wooplaw, and he informed us that during the work the cheekend near the cabin (which we had rebuilt before) had got knocked down. It's a bit of a tight turn, even for the wee tractor they have, so we decided to take down the end of the wall and rebuild it a bit further back.
This did mean that we had quite a bit of work to do taking down the end four feet or so of wall, but at least it meant we had no shortage of stone to build with.
When we started rebuilding we found that we had no poles to attach the lines to, so we improvised with a couple of sticks. Not the straightest of guides, but perhaps in keeping with the existing, somewhat sinuous, wall.
There wasn't really room for three people to work on building the cheekend, so Alan headed off a bit further down to where there was some remedial work required on another wall we'd previously repaired (the damage most likely caused by children using the rope swing, though, rather than tractors). Dave and I got the cheeked up to about through height before deciding it was time to break for lunch.
Meanwhile, Alan had finished repairing the other wall.
Fortunately the barbecue shelter hadn't been destroyed by the fire, so we were able to get out of the drizzle and drips from the trees to eat our lunch. It was still pretty chilly though, and I think we were all pretty happy to get back to work. By about 2:30 we'd got the cheekend back up and had cleared away the unused stone from the path.
If it had been a warmer, dryer day we might have decided to tackle a few more wee repairs, but as it was we just decided to call it a day.
This blog, and the rest of the site, are produced by Donald McInnes, treasurer of the SES DSWA (I'm the baldy one, sometimes in a saltire hat).