This blog is written by employees of Nottinghamshire County Council, the views in this blog are personal and may not be shared by the County Council.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The sinister side to snow.....

Yes snow is fluffy, lovely and white, but it has a mean side. As we found out over the weekend and up to now. All the team did brilliant work clearing and gritting all the car park and pathways for the public and making the paths safe by clearing away trees which had fallen over due to the weight of snow on their branches. Below are some images showing the true extent of the clear up. 

The task today was to start clearing all the brash and logs. The log splitter accompanied us out and we managed to split about three trailer loads of logs, ready to be seasoned for firewood next year. 
Although we can not grit every pathway around the park the ones to and from facilities and restaurants take priority as well as steep paths around the main buildings. The car park was completely cleared by the Ranger Team and the Car Parkers, much to the appreciation of the public who have filled it the last four days. Lots of snowmen have been built and paths are starting to thaw out due to visitor numbers.

Wishing you a Happy New Year from all at Rufford........
............what will 2015 bring I wonder........

Sunday, 28 December 2014

It's Snow Joke!

Well the snow has come and it’s all hands on deck!

 We have had quite a few trees down and the staff have worked tirelessly over the last 2 days to clear the car parks, courtyards and paths so the park can stay open. It’s still a bit slippery in places and there is a small army of Snowmen starting to take over the lawn but as with most things there is a plus side, it’s produced some fantastic scenery for budding photographers. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Going Wild in the Wild

Wild Sherwood in the Wildwood Theatre. Wednesday 10th December was the day Wild Sherwood were set the task of clearing part of the Wildwood Theatre. Currently an area not utilised to it's full potential and in need of some TLC.

Above is a before photo showing the scale of the task with nettles, weeds and Elder being physically pulled out so there was no chance of regrowth. They tackled the task brilliantly and by the end of the day they had cleared the centre and started taking out some of the small trees and overhanging branches.

The images speak for themselves!! Tomorrow will see them carrying on with some small tree work to thin out the path leading up to the centre.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Building bridges with North Notts College

Creating a good working relationship with a group willing to undertake some pretty immense tasks is imperative. At Rufford we have a few groups who come in and one of particular note is North Notts College. We have tailored certain practical tasks to match their syllabus. Previously they have ticked off clearing a waterway by digging silt out so there is better waterflow into the Wetland Conservation Area. So when their syllabus stated they needed to fix something that was broken a 20+ year old bridge seemed a perfect match. After running through what needed doing and pushing an 'artists' impression of the new bridge in their faces (see below) we began work.

First job was to remove vegetation and hazards around the bridge to create a good work area, this including going in the water pulling vegetation out, coppicing willow and slashing nettles.


After vegetation clearance

After bridge removal

After the work area was made safe two older sleepers were put in as a temporary bridge to cross over to the island with tools. Then the hard work began, bank re-profiling, post hole digging, sawing all wood to length and much more. The pictures don't do the final bridge justice, it looks great and we are very thankful to groups such as North Notts College for their very hard work. Final bridge below.





Saturday, 6 December 2014

Winter Wonderland

An early morning stroll gave me the chance to photograph the harsh frost, above are a few examples.
Alongside all the frost photos were some other interesting sightings with a Swan doing some morning stretches and an elusive Water Rail, not being elusive, feeding by the brook.


An update to the fantastic work North Notts College are doing on the bridge is shown below. After a short session in which they observed some bird ringing in action (getting up close to Lesser Redpolls and Marsh Tits) they carried on with the bridge. They put in a monumental shift digging out holes for the posts and laying the sleepers. Next week they just need to dig a few more holes and then put the railings on and all their hard work will be finished on that task. (See below)