National Trust Working Holiday at Haslemere

Sometimes the rain retreated

In March I travelled back to Haslemere to cut down rhododendron as part of restoring heathland on Black Down. Nothing grows under the dense thickets of rhody. Due to poor weather we only did that for a day, spending the rest of the week once again making sweet chestnut roof shingles, under a tarpaulin in the rain. Nice though.
One of our number was a Columbian who lives and works in Barcelona. Ernesto was going to be stuck on his own for an extra day at the end of the holiday because his homeward flight was a day later. So I invited him to Brighton. You can see Ernesto looking colder than the rest of us at the far left of the shingle camp tea-break picture above.
Ernesto told me that Quaker Oats are popular brand in Columbia, usually cooked and served with cinnamon and grapes for breakfast.
I made a point of introducing him to real ale, and we sampled Jaipur IPA (Thornbridge), Maid Marian Blonde (Springhead), Wild (Ballards), and Beast (Exmoor) at the local Wetherspoons – over several visits I should add.
One of the National Trust staff told us that the Forestry Commission – established after the war to secure supplies of home grown timber – now imports hardwood fencing and even buys in woodchip. Bloody daft.

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