This was the introductory session - we spent half an hour learning about the work of the CRT from Vince Lea, a monitoring officer for the organisation, who also organises and supervises the volunteers. We were informed about the work we were going to be doing - we were told about the Himalayan Balsam, and why we had to remove it, and then we were sent out to collect a pair of waders, and driven to Bourne Brook, where, once we had been equipped with a staff for depth testing, we were sent into the water, straight into a patch of the plant. We were split up into pairs, and sent in opposite directions in search of the plant. Navigating the brook was interesting at times, when nature decided to intervene with our efforts, and the banks were difficult to climb, as the mud was wet and slippery. Nettles were a notable obstacle, with some of us looking like we had contracted a new disease with the amount of stings that we had aquired. I'm not going to talk about the dead rabbits... We removed large amounts of the plant, but our efforts were to be quickly undone by the plants prolific nature. It provides us with lots of future work, but teaches us that nature is exceptionally good (almost too good) at what it does.
http://tinyurl.com/kx9yc7n to see the location of Birds Farm, the headquarters of the CRT, and the site on which we are working.