We had a couple of tasks outlined for today, removing (or rather uprooting) large swathes of Himalayan Balsam, and clearing out the large pond's silt trap.
Along with 3 others I got involved in digging out the trap at the top of the pond. The trap is a large stone construction with two chambers into which the feeder stream flows. The design is such that any silt in the water gets deposited in the trap before reaching the pond - a very successful design given that the chambers were completely full!
We had a full day's digging to clear the trap - one brave soul volunteered to get in and clear out the smelly sludge once we had dug out most of the solid stuff. It wasn't pretty!
Once finished, we rebuilt a small section of the revetment (retaining wall) at the side of the silt trap, using small logs harvested from the woods themselves.
Other volunteers did a great job in removing the balsam from the slopes surrounding the pond - more days are lined up for further clearing, as there are many other sections in the woods where the balsam has taken hold.