Saturday, 16 February 2013

Lime Aid and a Geocache

I spent most of today in the company of 100 magnificent limes.  These wonderful trees form Lime Tree Avenue in Uckfield and I was one of a group of volunteers who were giving them some TLC. We trimmed back epicormic growth, or suckers, from the bottom of each tree. Trimming the unwanted growth not only keeps the trees tidy but prevents energy that is needed to keep the whole trunk healthy from being diverted into unwanted growth. 

Lime tree, before and after epicormic growth (suckers) removed.
It is rather wonderful to get up close and personal with trees that are so old and so big. It allows me to appreciate the craggy old bark, the smooth, olive coloured twigs and buds that look as if they could start bursting any day.

Fresh green leaves of cow parsley, wild arum (cuckoo pint) and ivy seem to swirl round these old giants. The cuckoo pint flowers will be first to appear, then the white froth of cow parsley and finally ivy flowers provide a late summer nectar bar.

All day birds flitted and chattered round us while we worked. Male blackbirds seemed to be chasing each other from perch to perch while a blue tit gave us shrill abuse for daring to step into its territory. A robin paused on a nearby fence post and inspected work in progress. 

As we wound down, there was one last surprise. I found a plastic box. At first I thought it was some litter, or maybe a child's lunchbox hidden by a less than friendly school mate. When I opened it I found a charming little collection of gifts and a notebook. It seems that someone had left a geocache. I wrote my name in the book and put it back.

Geocache, which I found hidden at the foot of a lime tree.
The Lime Aid group, led by Martyn Stenning, does this twice a year, in October and February. So if you fancy having a go, look out for notices in the local press, social media and in Lime Tree Avenue itself.

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