STUDENTS from Southampton University conservation volunteers took a break from their academic studies to help the Lynchmere Society members clear their orchard.
The dozen volunteers slept in the Hardman Hoyle Hall in Hammer to rest from their tasks and enjoyed a barbecue with society members.
The enthusiastic students were joined by a number of society volunteers in the job of scything the orchard, mulching the fruit trees with the cuttings and trimming back the overgrown branches round the neighbouring fields.
With the man in charge of the chainsaw standing on a trailer behind a tractor, the branches of oak, ash and holly were trimmed right back, then gathered up on to another trailer and moved to a massive bonfire in the middle of the field, which burnt the wood for many hours.
While they watched the bonfire, the volunteers lit their own conventional half-barrel barbecue and students and Lynchmere Society members joined together for a celebratory feast of bangers and baked potatoes
After their weekend exertions the students returned to their university studies.