Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens

Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

And a few days after strimming...

There are times when you learn a lot from your mistakes. For example, since that time with the tractor I have been SUPER careful about the height of doorways... but thats a story for another time. This story goes back to last week and all that strimming. You should always wear long sleeves to protect yourself from flying stones and vegetation when using a strimmer, but I foolishly went ahead in my t-shirt because of the warm weather, and this is the result:

And this, kids, is why you should wear sleeves!
I believe I must have hit a patch of giant hogweed - I didn't notice the plant at the time because nothing huge stood out in the vegetation, so it must have still been young and small. Giant hogweed is phototoxic; when its sap comes into contact with skin that is exposed to sunlight and uv rays, it goes red, causes blisters and burns. This occurs because a chemical in the sap damages the skin cells and stops them from being able to protect from uv rays - so you end up with severe, concentrated sunburn. Luckily for me, I have only small blisters and I will be covering up from now on. The plant was introduced to Britain as an ornamental garden plant in the 19th century, but has since become widespread, especially along riversides. So if you see it, don't touch it! I'm told many children end up with burned lips and mouths after using hogweed stems as pea shooters.
Heracleum mantegazzianum - Giant hogweed (not my photograph)
In other news from the week, volunteer Phil rescued this young jackdaw from the pond in the mile meadow - somehow the bird had got underneath the boardwalk and couldn't make its way out again. Well done Phil!

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