You may remember that we hastily erected some Heras fencing, covered the top and sides with netting, and then covered that with a tarpaulin. This meant that the Allotmenteers had a reasonable sized area in which to range, whilst still being protected from wild birds. The tarpaulin was huge and, for it's size, relatively inexpensive. We knew it wouldn't last that long in the harsh winter weather, but it would do.
The Restrictions continued and, unsurprisingly, the tarpaulin started to show some signs of wear. Wear and, literally, tear. It held. When the Restrictions were extended again, we looked at whether we could rearrange things and their area.
We decided on a course of action, and did some preparation over the last week. Then, yesterday, after strong winds, DH discovered that the enormous-and-relatively cheap tarpaulin now had some huge tears in it, and needed replacing.
The forecast for today was warm, dry, sunny. So, we arrived at the allotment at about 10am. We set to work. At 3.30pm, we'd had enough. The area has been extended, adding a huge extra area under netting. DH turned some of the Heras panels on end to make A frames, to give more of an angle for the 'roof'. Everywhere was netted. Coops were rearranged to fit.
We opened up the new, netted, area as soon as possible so that the Girls and Henry were out of the way of all the other activity. They were so excited to be "out". They haven't been out in direct sunlight properly since December. (They have natural light coming through the sides, but the roof has been covered in a blue tarp meaning they haven't really seen the sky).
With the tarp off temporarily, today meant that the ground was warm. The netting cast a lovely dappled shade, and (apart from the lack of grass) the whole area was relatively pleasant. The Girls took advantage of the warm ground, and dust bathing parties popped up all over the place.
A little later on, a favourite spot was established, and Henry decided to dust bathe. His Girls took it in turns to share the bath with him, and at one point there were 6 of them crowded in to one spot. This is him where some of the Girls were swapping over....