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Attacked by an Eagle Owl (but not today)

July 26, 2011

On a glorious morning, the Dorset Wildlife Trust travelled to Sovell Down, a small but important chalk downland near Wimbourne. Wielding saws and loppers, the team approached the fence line to do battle, clearing everything within one metre of the fence line.

earl keeps an eye on the workers

The work was hot but the views stunning and soon we had worked up an appetite and so stopped for a break. As the team munched, Michael keenly spotted a bird and after much deliberation it was agreed that it was a red kite.

Kite flying past

After the break, we cracked on with the cutting and slashing. Darren, in particular, was fantastic as he took down the biggest tree ever seen in the Dorset area (or at least in that particular meter area). The mess was then cleared away (as to not annoy the farmer or wardens) and tools collected. As a special treat, we then had a walk around the site and sat down to discuss wildlife facts. For example do you know that some ants are attacked by mind controlling Fungi – See Zombi ants on the internet.

After everyone had contributed to the wildlife fact bonanza we headed off as our work at Sovell was complete. Noel mentioned that there were a number of sites of interest on the way back, so we decided to take the scenic route home. We stopped off to admire an 800 year old giant oak tree, named “Remedy Oak” after its mystical healing powers. The oak is so old, it’s mentioned in the legend of the boy king (1537). In true GreenTeam, some sneaky rhododendron samplings were removed from within the tree and we then left the oak in peace.

the mighty mighty remedy oak

After this we went to Honeybrook farm to have some lunch, but no sooner had we arrived that we got surrounded by an army of chickens who wanted feeding. Frankie valiantly went on the counter attack, trying to pick up one of the chickens, but the chicken escaped and they continued to swamp the team. None of us dared go near the biggest Rooster ever seen, at least up to Claire’s knee in height.

Big bird

After a little walk around of the farm, the team returned back to base. As we were still not ready for T, we decided that we should help out with a little site H&S, removing scrap metal and old wire from around the tool store. Once the area was safe for all again, we sat down for a well earned cuppa and Frankie told us the tale of the Eagle Owl and how it attacked him due to his Harry Potter glasses. Suitably shocked, we finished the day and all went home looking out for owls.

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