A Fantastic Turnout
Sunday, January 5th 2020
Almost thirty people gave up their Saturday to attend the first weekend Winter Worky Day of the year! With such a large turnout it was possible to tackle more than one habitat management project and the group was split into three teams each with a knowledgeable volunteer leader.
An area of woodland close to the outdoor classroom was in need of thinning. This is the selective removal of trees, primarily undertaken to improve the growth rate or health of the remaining trees. Overcrowded trees are under competitive stress from their neighbours. Some Silver Birch and Alder were removed to allow more space and light for other trees. Most of the volunteers worked here as there was a lot of brash to drag and process. This is the view from the path at the start of the day.
The site is difficult to access with a chipper so the brash was burned on a bonfire. It took some lighting as the wood was very green but Steve developed a great 'fanning' technique with his yellow gloves!
We had two chainsaws on the go and many helpers so progress was evident almost immediately.
Our thanks to Ian and Tony who did all of the felling.
With the substantial amount of the dragging and carrying it was a perfect workout and there was no need for anybody to go to the gym!
Wood was graded into different sizes and the logs were kept for future use as path edging, habitat piles or firewood.
The stumps were deliberately left high as staff will return to cut them lower and poison them to prevent them from growing back which would defeat the object. They were just the right height for a well deserved rest!
Here is the view from the other side showing the end result. It will be interesting to see how many new wildflowers grow up here in the spring. Well done Tony's 'Treecreeper' team!
The second team (Ken's Kingfishers), completed the removal of Gorse at the top of the moor. They had a much less sheltered and windier place to spend the day.
They also made excellent progress and even managed to clear a bank of more Gorse with just loppers and pruning saws.
The purpose of this task was to create room for a new hedgerow.
This was the responsibility of the third team; Peter's Penguins! They did a sterling job in the cold wind digging through rough ground.
Working in pairs, the trees from Bettys tearooms were planted along the inner boundary of the reserve.
This new hedgerow will act as another vital wildlife corridor between the reserve and the wider Army Training Area.
The team planted a handful of Black Poplar, Whitebeam and Hornbeam nearby too and the top of the moorland has been completely transformed thanks to their hard work.
Our sincere thanks to everybody who came to help improve the various habitats, you have made a huge difference! If you would like to join us next time please check out the details on our events page.
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