By Charles Bradley - 23rd December 2017 6:00am
If you have seen the decorated Christmas tree (one of the yew trees near Hockenhull Lane), you will have noticed that a set of simple 'rules' are on display in front of it. They are held in one of the green notice boards that have been doing duty close to interesting things (flowers, trees, birds and all sorts of other things) during 2017. Derek Rawden made ten of these for us to use and they have been 'on extensive duty' for the whole of the season — with the last one now serving at the Christmas tree.
On his woodland ramblings, Derek noticed that the three "Countryside and Wildlife Award 2000" boards were all in a desperate state. Oak is quite a resistant timber but these had reached the point beyond which resurrection would not have been possible. Derek planed them down until he reached solid wood (fortunately, this was JUST above the level of the lettering) and them proceeded to scarf in matching pieces of new wood. Not content with merely re-instating them, he went a step further by stopping water running down across the wood by using a small finishing strip which has a drip groove, as shown in the photograph.
We can all marvel at Derek's level of commitment and dedication to the task, but it is the quality of his craftsmanship to which I would like to draw your attention. When you walk in the woodland, do take the chance to look at the boards. The quality is superb — indeed, it is well above the level which one has any right to expect from a good tradesman. How fortunate we are to have Derek Rawden as one of our members and volunteers. Thank you, Derek!
Ed: Do click on the two small photographs to fully appreciate the quality of Derek's work.