The Uttlesford group of the Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT) was able to purchase a pole saw last year for use around the area. The pole saw looks like a cross between a brushcutter and a chainsaw, which is effectively what it is. The cutter bar, about a foot in length is mounted at the end of a long pole, which is able to extend in order to reach branches as much as 12 feet off the ground. We were fortunately given the loan of the saw for a period and made good use of the technology.
The job today was to clear overhanging scrub and tree branches from along a stretch of the Cannon’s Brook, which flows through the farm before joining the Stort near to Roydon. We previewed this job last Summer with John Bryden from the Environment Agency and we were all impressed with the gravely runs along the brook, although less so with the amount of rubbish that also gets brought along it out of Harlow.
Whilst the area of scrub on this site has now been much reduced, there still remains one more area of accessible hawthorn and dead elm, which we could remove. This would result in a sizeable area of rich grassland, rather than the interconnected series of “glades” which is the current appearance of the site. We therefore plan to return for one more year to finish the work at the Hermitage.