[Francis Russell, Reed Cutting]

1989, Hickling (Norfolk)

Francis Russell, warden at a reserve run by the Norfolk Naturalists Trust, gives a demonstration of reed cutting.

The sun rises over Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve at 7.30 am on a January morning in 1989. Francis Russell, the Warden of the nature reserve run by the Norfolk Naturalists Trust, gives a commentary. There are shots of the wildfowl on the water and then shots of a 35 acre reed bed. Francis Russell demonstrates cutting reeds by a hand scythe, although, as he explains, it is usually done by machine. Over shots of him at work, he explains that the reed harvest usually begins just after Christmas and continues until the middle of march. He demonstrates using a bill hook to keep the reeds in place and emphasises the need for frequent sharpening. He dresses out the reeds, removing short reeds and grass. He demonstrated a reed bind, explaining that usually nylon twine would be used. As he carries two bundles of reeds off the march he explains the distribution of the reeds. Most are sold in Norfolk, although some go to Ipswich and to Cambridgeshire. The final shot is of three bundles stooked.


Reed cutting

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