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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire15 Jan 2017
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Clearing and burning felled elder - a difficult task on a wet and windy day

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Cleared ground

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Cut material piled ready to burn.

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire18 Dec 2016
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Foggy, foogy end to 2016 task programme

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Two fire, tea and bramble. Both add smoke to the fog.

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Sun attempts to come out.

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Santa's OCV helpers

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Smoke signal for "cut more bramble".

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire24 Apr 2016
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire6 Mar 2016
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire7 Feb 2016
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire17 Jan 2016
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Snowy start (on the hill at any rate).

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire21 Jun 2015
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire10 May 2015
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Rounding up the sheep.

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Sheep penned ready for foot trimming

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Happy sheep :-)

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire12 Apr 2015
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire8 Mar 2015
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A good turn out for today's task

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We're clearing a patch of low-level scrub on the hill side to help the rarer chalk grassland flora

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Work begins

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Gradually pushing the edge of the patch uphill

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View from the task site.

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This patch almost all done, although plenty more patchs of scrub to do on the opposite hillside, but they'll have to wait another day.

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire18 Jan 2015
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Starting today's bonfire

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We're pushing back the scrub in order to extend the chalk grassland

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Morning tea-break

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Lunch time

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Home time

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire16 Nov 2014
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire7 Sep 2014
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire9 Mar 2014
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire16 Feb 2014
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At Sunny Aston Rowant to plant Juniper

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Juniper cuttings ready to plant out

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Off to dig

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Two in - 72 to go!

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Hillside dotted with new bushes

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire19 Jan 2014
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Today we're tackling a slope covered in a tangled mass of bramble, rose and thorn.

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Photos from forty years ago show the slope covered in chalk grassland flora, but grazing sheep haven't been enough to stop the scrub invading.

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So we're going to return the slope to the rare chalk grassland for which Aston Rowant is famous.

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Work begins from above...

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... and from below.

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We'll be burning the brash, but the fire is a little reluctant to get going.

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Lunch time with a view. We leave the large dead hawthorn as a valuable invertebrate habitat.

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By mid-afternoon most of the slope is clear of scrub.

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Cutting the last bits of scrub and clearing up the last bits of brash.

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We rake up as many twigs as possible to remove the nutrients; chalk grassland flora favouring low nutrient soil.

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The final loads for the fire.

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By the end of the day the slope has been transformed; it will be interesting to see how its flora now develops.

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire29 Sep 2013
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire25 Aug 2013
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire14 Jul 2013
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Post Hole

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Mick, don't look

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Bucket with a view

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire21 Apr 2013
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire17 Mar 2013
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Lunch in the Snow

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Glove Tree

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Toasted glove anyone?

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire16 Dec 2012
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Preparing cut scrub for the bonfire

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Alison on the horizon

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Potatoes for the fire

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Toasting marshmallows

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire25 Nov 2012
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View from the Hill

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Mick's in there somewhere

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Happy scrub cutters

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Overladen Maiden

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Finally the fire got going

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All gone scrub

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire28 Oct 2012
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Equipped to round up lambs

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Tagging the ears of the six month old lambs

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Digging a post hole for the log pile cover

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Removing an unwanted fence post

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The finished log pile cover

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Lovely Earrings!

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Politely queuing up for their turn

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire21 Oct 2012
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire12 Aug 2012
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Public Enemy #1: Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)

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Public Enemy #2: Cirsium arvense (Creeping Thistle)

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Thistle-clearers at work - large area already cleared

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Public Enemy #3: Senecio vulgaris (Ragwort), on bonfire.

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire27 May 2012
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Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet

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Putting in a straining post

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An old post that was levered out of the ground

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Putting a strut on to give extra support

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An intermediate post

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Putting in an intermediate

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Getting some stock netting ready to be strained

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Attaching the stock netting

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Natural England ranger shows us how to put in staples... err, I think something's wrong there Mick

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Nice stretch of stock-proof fence just waiting for some barbed wire on the top

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire22 Apr 2012
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Finishing the oak tree guard

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire18 Dec 2011
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There was some rain, and some hail, but at least we got this rainbow

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Some dramatic lighting at the end of the day

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire12 Jul 2011
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire19 Jun 2011
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire17 Apr 2011
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Sheep with lambs

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Flock of sheep ready for foot trimming

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Rounding up the sheep

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The last few sheep queue for foot treatment

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Foot trimming

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire20 Feb 2011
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire23 Jan 2011
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire1 Aug 2010
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Before - overgrown Red Kite viewing area

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Steve in action

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Starting the bonfire

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It's hard to hold a slasher and not look maniacal

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Again, hard not to look maniacal when holding a slasher

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Our storm kettle has sprung a leak

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Shazham! Tim starts a fire with a wave of his hand

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Spot the toad

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Steve demonstrates the ancient OCV art of leaning

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Bob about to paint some stumps with anti-bramble red stuff

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Susan that bramble won't hide you if you chop it down!

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After - not a bramble in sight

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Looking into the heart of the furnace

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire13 Jun 2010
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Unpacking the tools

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Paul shows off Aston Rowant

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Fixing a gate

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The lovely Aston Rowant

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Packing up

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A lone volunteer sets out...

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire7 Mar 2010
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Sheep hunting

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Found them!

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Sheep foot trimmers at work

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Michelle gets splattered with worming medicine!

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire14 Feb 2010
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The beginnings of the bonfire

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The bonfire is growing

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An even bigger bonfire

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lunch!

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And so the fire keeps growing...

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Cleaning tools - good use for old toothbrushes

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Putting away tools after a good day's work

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Tim in toolshed

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire24 Jan 2010
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Firewood from coppicing

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The clearing after our coppicing

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"Jew's Ear" mushrooms

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A tasty treat? (Please don't do this unless you really know what you're doing!)

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Fungi

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Last winter's fire site, now colonised by bright green moss

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire21 Jun 2009
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Sheep pedicures

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The queue for free pedicures grows as word gets out

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Select your sheep

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Recent addition to Aston Rowant livestock

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Fortunately, we have not been asked to trim this chap's toenails

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire17 May 2009
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Volunteers keen to start

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The master class - see how easy it is...

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The reason this is important

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Tools of the trade

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A much needed tea break

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire8 Mar 2009
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Cutting back the smaller dogwood

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Warming bonfire

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Admiring Tim's good work

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire23 Nov 2008
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Jim's amazing dogs!

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The awesome power of Mick's chainsaw

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Our huge bonfire... warmed us up nicely

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Group photo

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Santa's little helper

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Counting tree rings

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire28 Sep 2008
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The completed fence

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Packing up behind the completed fence

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Happy volunteers

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More happy volunteers

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The joy of Gripples

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire15 Jun 2008
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire20 Apr 2008
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On a clear day, the view is spectacular...

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Andy provides a cheesy grin

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Clearing the fenceline ready for replacement fencing

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Jim hauls cut material to the bonfire

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Passers-by beware!

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire9 Mar 2008
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Swarms of scrub bashers

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Lunch break

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire3 Feb 2008
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Admiring the bonfire

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Loading the bonfire

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After a hard days work

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Lunch break

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Mick's shiny new storm kettle

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Big bonfire

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Finally the bonfire starts to die down

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Before

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Cutting & collecting

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The all important morning cuppa

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Where do we start?

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire6 Jan 2008
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Local flock penned for hoof clipping

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A woolly captive

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2 folk and a sheep

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Miranda brandishing stock spray

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Flock released after clipping

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire16 Dec 2007
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Surveying the days work, the last task of 2007.

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A nice cup of tea.

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire25 Nov 2007
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Before starting work, we herded the sheep into a different field

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A fine specimen

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This treestump was in a dangerous position and needed to be removed using some OCV muscle

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire12 Aug 2007
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Footpath section as we found it.

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New talent on the job

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A swinging time

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Footpath section as we left it.

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Steps built today

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Group preparing to depart

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire20 May 2007
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Westward view

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Cowslips & Forget-me-nots

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North path before

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North path after

Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire18 Feb 2007
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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire5 Feb 2006
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Hello, my name is Shaun. Baaaaaaa!

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Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Collecting the sheep for tagging them

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Cathy and a sheep

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Building fencing in the car park

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Baked potatoes are a regular fixture of the last task before Christmas

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Standing around the fire

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Digging a hole for a straining post

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The finishing touches for the fence.

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More sheep

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