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LAV Christmas festivities

Posted: Wednesday 17th January 2018 by LowerAireValley

Xmas BBQStirley beef burgers

Once again we’ve survived through to another new year and stretching out before us lies all the glorious and sometimes teeny bit fiddly conservation tasks to come!

There’s even still some degree of lopping and sawing and cries of ‘TIMBERRR!’ to go before the birdies get busy and we have to leave them to their business.

Before this new year could jump upon us we celebrated the end of an eventful, and I’m sure we’d all agree rather fruitful 2017 with a most generous array of snacks and sweets, involving liberal servings of delicious Stirley beef, and dashes of lamb daubed with various tasty food ointments. Not to mention the roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, and cake. We mustn’t forget the cake.

We revved up our appetite for this Christmas grub with a mixture of lopping and sawing (conservation style), which invariably befell the ubiquitous alder that has sprung forth in dense crowds upon Ledston Luck over the years. We don’t have anything against the trees, honest, we left plenty to prosper, but we also did a little experimental pollarding with a select few, in an attempt to lure over any stray willow tits, should they so choose to take up residence. Pollarding (chopping trees above the browse line) encourages dead wood to develop faster, and along with it the creepy crawlies which willow tits find so delicious.

But never mind the birdies, we had some serious eating to be getting on with, and come lunchtime we were set free from our shackles to tuck in. Those Stirley burgers really are great, I can thoroughly recommend, just make sure you leave room for desert afterwards…My compliments to the chef(s) and everyone for all their contributions, we had plenty to take back home! I think one of the highlights for me was watching Pete (of LAV blog fame) struggling to peel his roasted chestnuts without burning his fingers, but it was worth it in the end. I’m not quite sure which cracker joke topped it for me but I’m glad the floppy plastic fish divined our true nature, a truly insightful cracker prize.

However, after a nibble of cake from the master baker and a sip of wine supplied by the boss, it was time to pack away and say our goodbyes and cheerios to hibernate until the next venture out into the valley. We should all give ourselves a firm pat on the back and feel very proud of what we’ve achieved in 2017, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of our labour as the seasons change for the better. We may not have seen the last of waymarkers and benches, but at least we’ve got something sturdy to sit on come cake o’clock!

Peter Gurney

Lower Aire Valley Trainee

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