This was intended to be a post about an extremely enjoyable morning hacking holly earlier this week (see below) – but the winter sun on the heath as I walked back from South End Green this afternoon was so lovely that I could not resist including it. And how irrestibile were those mandarin ducks on the stock pond, both eyeing me beadily even though their beaks were tucked underneath their wings.
But back to the holly. On Tuesday, the last Heath Hands session before the holiday, we were in Highgate Woods, in the northwestern corner near the playground which is fenced off and out of bounds to humans. It is not a huge space – but enough to give the woods’ wildlife a break from us. There are a couple of tiny ponds – and there was a lot of holly. Holly is almost as invasive as ivy and, in my book, a lot unpleasanter thanks to its very sharp prickles.
The fencing around this little enclave is distinctly elderly and although it has been reinforced by a few new posts, it would not keep a determined five year old out. So the plan was to weave the holly into the fence thus created a more substantial barrier. We started using relatively small pieces (and yes the sun was shining on that day too) –
But all was resolved over a cup of tea – and yes, on Tuesday there were dark chocolate digestives!!! Special Christmas treat.