As dawn broke over T5 a 20-strong advance party of hardened volunteers from across Heathrow Airport descended on Green Corridor through the early morning mist. Armed only with their packed lunches, safety boots and gloves they spilt into three smaller assault groups and started to prepare the ground for the main volunteer invasion force due in early May.
After a thorough health and safety briefing and agreed objectives for the day, and armed only with goggles, gloves and crowbars, group one attacked the donated industrial wooden pallets breaking them into planks that will be remade as raised beds for vegetables and heathland plants.
Loving the smell of bare earth in the morning, group two mixed up native wildflower seeds, kindly donated by Kew Gardens, (cornflower, meadow buttercup, red campion, oxeye daisy etc.) with sharp sand to broadcast across the earth bund surrounding the site.
Commencing “operation car park” group three rolled out some reclaimed weed barrier and started laying woodchip 6ins deep across the membrane.
After rotating around each 90-minute task our gallant volunteers still found the time and energy to cart three heavy wooden pallets across the site to create the base for housing four new beehives.
At a post operation debrief words like “fun”, “proud” and “cake” were offset against “exhausted”, “tired” and “ache” but all agreed it was a thoroughly great start to this 18-month environmental project.
Same again next Friday!