Welcome to our first edition of “Lockdown Latest” – somehow it doesn’t look like it will be the last! More importantly, we hope all the Pondhead volunteer family are remaining fit and virus free, maintaing social distances and washing hands regularly.
All activities in Pondhead stopped after 23 March, when a small group of us managed to empty the charcoal kiln, re-stack it and bag up charcoal to fulfil some of our order book. Deliveries were undertaken in the afternoon and early evening prior to the lockdown being announced at 8.30pm by Boris Johnson. Unfortunately we couldn’t satisfy all the orders we had in hand and the kiln remains stacked and ready to go whenever it becomes possible to commence production again, which looks highly unlikely in the short to medium term. However, our finances are strong enough to see us through these unprecendented times, even without a season’s charcoal income.
As a consequence of our lack of charcoal making activity, we could be left with significant timber stocks ahead of our next conservation season in the autumn. This may mean less coppicing and more concentration on other conservation activities, of which we already have a few ideas in mind but we’ll leave the detail until the situation becomes clearer.
With regard to the lockdown, is it just me, or is your garden tidier than it’s been for ages and is there very little left on that “to do” list that you’ve been putting off for ages? Are your clothes still fitting and are your essential trips to the bottle bank more frequent than usual? Has anyone cracked the secret of getting a home grocery delivery? Are you still speaking to one another? Has putting the rubbish out become a weekly highlight? The good news is that the toilet roll crisis is over so you can stop hoarding newspapers – we found that the Lymington Times was the gentlest!
In order to keep in touch during our social isolation, the Pondhead Blog is now up and running which some of you have started posting on it. In addition, Perry has been doing a great job on Facebook with regular updates on the state of Pondhead and his latest report can also be found on the blog by clicking here. A few of us recently had a video meet up and chat with Google “Meet“, when it was suggested that we could set up a video quiz for volunteers. This may or may not happen as we are currently looking into the logistics – Google Meet can accomodate up to 250 people and it’s simple to link up if you have either a computer, tablet or smart phone which has a camera and microphone.
In the meantime, are you getting Pondhead withdrawal symptoms? If so, join us for a virtual walk around the woodland with the video below – a two hour stroll covering all our recent work areas condensed into 36 minutes.