Volunteer Voices: The Fence

Haweswater’s trusty volunteers may be unable to take part in our Thursday work parties right now, but they’ve been keeping in touch online. From quizzes to sharing some (very) creative writing, they’ve been up to it all. Here’s one of our favourite poems from Haweswater Volunteer Chris Brookes, which will hopefully give you as much of a laugh as it did us.

By the way, a ‘gdonga’ is what our Volunteers call fence post drivers, due to the sound they make when in use: “gdonga!”

The Fence by Chris Brookes

We took up our posts, and we took up our wire

and carried them higher and higher and higher

’till we came to dread when the wardens said

“Get those posts gdonga’d in!”

We worked all day without a break

and took much more than we could take

and all day long we heard the dong

of the posts gdonga’d in

We carried posts and we carried more

till our feet bled and our hands were raw

and all the while for mile on mile

the posts were gdonga’d in

And though I strove with might and main

and though I fought against the pain

with all my strength I couldn’t

get those posts gdonga’d in

Oh they laboured long and laboured hard

who built that deer fence yard by yard

and better folk than I

got those posts gdonga’d in

We’re looking forward to welcoming our volunteers back on site, when it is recommended and safe to do so. In the meantime, if you would like to enquire about future volunteering opportunities at Haweswater, get in touch with our Site Warden Spike, at spike.webb@rspb.org.uk. We promise we won’t make your feet bleed…