Coun­try Mouse

Stream of good­will

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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