Report D036 *****

Problem: Creeping thistle in under-grazed meadows
Where: Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire
When: May 2004
Area: 30 acres (approx)
Status: Countryside Stewardship
Detail: Discussion & demonstration to volunteers. Organized by Hertfordshire County Council. Work with 15 volunteers, chiseling light quantities of Creeping thistle. 15 volunteers 1.5 metres apart, made a 35 metre length of people stretched across the field. A machine this wide does not exist.

Demonstration: Display, talk to and work alongside 15 Herts older generation volunteers.

A machine as wide as this does not exist: we formed a 30 metre workforce line, stretching across the pasture. Each member carried a Chisel Hoe, as we advanced slowly over the pasture, taking out Creeping thistle as we came across it. There wasn’t a very large amount to remove, so we covered a large area quickly. Even if the thistle had been more of a problem, such a large force would have tackled it in no time.

Assessment: when the individuals make up a workforce number ten or more, and they are properly organized, the work-rate is remarkable. No machine is ever as large or so intelligent in its work