In a small demonstration of social responsibility the company lets everyone spend two days doing something useful in the community. Plainly lots of other companies do this - enough at least for it to be something that some charities can or need to charge around £50 a head for the pleasure of working for nothing for a day. I can sort of see the argument and I suspect in their shoes I'd probably do the same. Companies want to brag about how engaged they are, their staff are half-arsed, uncommitted and probably skiving for the day and they impose some administrative costs on the organisation. Yeah, I can see the argument.
However, the Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust seemed happy to take us for nothing so we spent a fair chunk of the day extracting Himalayan Balsam from the banks of the North Edinburgh Path Network (after dodging the daft dog getting there). Gruelling back-breaking labour in the humid, sub-tropical micro-climate of the old railway cuttings. Reminded me of 'Nam. Easy enough to pull but treacherous with the steep banks and nettles.
Seemed odd to be pulling out the attractive, flowering plant to let the nettles flourish but those were our orders. Highly invasive apparently. Who knows, soon the entire path could be covered in purple flowers.
Anyway, it was all good fun, especially when it descended into toss the huge plants down the bank and aiming at the waiting piler-uppers at the bottom. And we cleared heaps of the stuff in a few hours. We were cut loose at the back of 2pm and being damp and muddy there was nothing else we could do but rehydrate in the pub for an hour or two.