It was suggested that we deal with the small saplings and anything major would be dealt with by the chainsaw gang later on in the week. Lord Horatio Nelson would have been proud of us as we turned a blind eye to such a piffling suggestion, and hacked down anything that stood in our goal of clearing the east shore of Colnbrook with nothing more than bow saws and loppers.
It was quite an interesting process cutting down trees as most of us had no experience. After an hour or so, we got a good procedure going. Firstly we assessed which direction we reckoned the tree would fall. Then we would take the bow saw to the tree on the opposite side. Sawing was easy through normal wood, but some got really saturated when close to the water's edge and made sawing a real slog.
When the saw's blade started binding (which didn't always happen) another volunteer or volunteers would help by pushing against the tree in the intended direction of fall. Eventually the tree would begin to go, making a nice crackling noise. If the tree fell into the water it would make a satisfying kersplash noise. I know how beavers feel now. We would then haul the tree out of the water, and cut it up to be pulled over to the bonfire.
Even though the turn out was relatively poor this month (somewhat strange considering the wonderful weather - calm, bright and warm) our task was more or less done by lunchtime. The odd tree still standing were dealt with, and the bonfire fed. A good day's work. I'm afraid I left, as usual, at lunchtime, and so didn't have the fun of feeding the fire.
The work detail were very lucky with the weather. It normally finishes at about 3:00 pm or when people get fed up. By 4:30pm the heavens opened up with an almighty downpour.