Monday, October 24th 2011

With our winter work schedule well underway, and 5th November just around the corner, bonfire season is here!  Much of the winter work on the reserve involves removing thick undergrowth, thinning of trees, and this year creating more open glades through the site.  The work is all done in order to provide a mosaic of habitats suitable for the variety of species found here at Foxglove.

Bonfire in the Woods

Undertaking this work creates a large amount of waste, the thicker branches and trunks can be used to create habitat log piles, suitable for amphibians and invertebrates to live and overwinter.  Bonfires are otherwise used to dispose of other material that can not be built into the habitat walls.  These do scar the ground which can take up to 7 years to fully recover, so we limit the number of fire sites to reduce damage across the reserve.

Redshank Moss

There are, however, several species that can benifit, two of which have been seen here today!  Redshank Moss (Ceratodon purpureus) was found thriving on an old charred fire site, alongside Pine Fire Fungus (Rhizina undulata) which commonly grows on and around the charred conifer stumps.  It is nice to see how well disused fire sites are recovering, and providing habitat for a rich diversity of flora and fauna,

Pine Fire Fungus

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