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Polmaily Scrub Clearance (AKA Polmaily Bake-off) - Saturday 16th September 2017

This was the seventh Polmaily work-party, clearing track-side scrub, mostly gorse, for the benefit of Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Dingy Skipper.

Eleven folk turned up, looking forward to fresh air, exercise and the good feeling that comes with improving habitat for butterflies along with a group of like-minded people. But even more importantly, they were all looking forward to cake! The contenders were:

Guinness and chocolate cake from Tom, an old favourite but unfortunately Tom had an icing disaster that cost him points. Dunking one’s slice into a pot of runny icing was a novelty but not such a wonderful experience as to claw back points.

Marbled Brownie cake from Ewan: we thought his Chocolate Tiffin would take some beating but my Goodness he scored with this one which was awesomely rich, yummy and undoubtedly unhealthy.

Black cherry yogurt loaf from Dot. Dot was last year’s winner so the pressure was on her this time. She produced a cake that looked uninteresting but the texture was wonderful and cooked to perfection. It was a subtle, understated taste, not in-your-face like some other contenders. I rated it.

Chocolate, coconut and cherry wedge from Hilary. A superb combination of flavours. I loved it but I am married to her so open to accusation of bias!

Flapjacks from Denise. An old favourite (the flapjacks or Denise?). I confess that by the time I got round to the flapjacks I was too full of cake to eat any more so cannot comment. But Denise did score some sneaky points by bringing in a bag of garden apples.

Lemon drizzle cake from Kate (Tom’s other half). We thought it was wonderfully selfless of Kate to bake a cake for today’s event when she wasn’t attending herself. But then Tom confessed that he had actually stolen her cake to bring along! He scored points for initiative but then lost points for morality.

And the winner was………I’ve no idea. The cakes were so different that it was impossible to compare. We’ll just have to try again next year.

Oh yes, the work. Well, one group cleared regeneration from a previously cleared area, while another group ventured into new territory. The rain mostly held off, the midges didn’t. We welcomed Eilidh, Tom’s daughter, to the group and her presence dropped the average age of the group from 63 to 59. We saw Speckled Wood and Red Admiral.

Pete Moore


Tom and EilidhEilidh

Cleared Area
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