Sunday, October 11th 2020
A quiet area of the reserve, less visited by people, is the woodland walk on the Explorer Trail. In some places the route is difficult to follow so to make life easier, staff and volunteers edge the footpath to highlight the way. In some places, the edging has become a part of the habitat as shown here where the logs have become covered in bright moss. These will be left undisturbed.
However, in other sections of the trail, the logs have become dislodged over time or rotted away completely and needed to be replaced. In other places, logs were used for the first time. Old, rotting logs that were removed were placed close to the footpath to create habitat piles as they will no doubt be full of beetle larva and other important invertebrates. To replace them, Grey Alder trees that were struggling to grow below the main canopy were felled and then pegged into place using small wooden stakes.
There were two benefits to carrying out this work; not only was the path made clearer but the woodland was thinned at the same time (another advantage was less distance to carry the logs)! Although only a few small trees were cut down, the additional sunlight reaching the forest floor was significant.
It was a fun challenge to match the shape of the timbers to the contours of the land and the end result had an 'Andy Goldsworthy' look about it!
This habitat is especially peaceful and a very special one to work in.
Whilst working, the team found several beautiful fungi including this False Saffron Milkcap.
Other wildlife found here include Roe Deer, Tawny Owls, flocks of Coal Tits and Goldcrests. Why not explore this area on your next visit!
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