Stream of goodwill
PULLING on Wellington boots, old jeans and waders and armed with all manner of implements—rakes, forks and strimmers— we made our way to the brook that flows past our houses for the Milborne Wick Stream Clean.
The brainchild of the go-ahead residents of our hamlet near Sherborne in Dorset, this annual event sees neighbours pool their resources and muscle power in an effort to clear the summer’s prolific growth from the banks and weed from the water itself to prevent the watercourse flooding during the wet winter. Although the stream does, we are told, occasionally rise far enough to engulf the road, it’s never made it up to our cottages and we’re keen that it stays that way.
And so, collectively—with our neighbours Jill and Pete on our allocated stretch—we slashed and thrashed at the vegetation, removing armfuls of nettles, brambles, water parsnip and that pesky invader Himalayan balsam. As we huffed and puffed, our cheeks rosy red from the effort, the water began to flow freely. At lunchtime, we gathered happily at Emma and James’s house for homemade mushroom soup, bread and cheese, safe in the knowledge that we’ve all done our bit for Wick for another year. PL