Conservation Report – May 2022

Thank you to everyone who attended our working party on Sunday 8th May; we were a group of fourteen. The focus for this session was on tool training. The session was led by Richard Westwood, a WBC Countryside Officer, based at Dinton Pastures.

Richard explained how to use some of the basic tools needed for volunteers involved in woodland management. He then demonstrated a couple of methods for creating hedging from the Rhododendron brash.

In addition to the training, we were able to complete the clearance of one of the drainage channels under the main footpath.

We continued to remove Rhododendron and stack it at the Dorset Way entrance to be chipped by WBC at a later date. Some of the volunteers moved existing chippings from a previous session and these were used to improve pathways.

It was interesting to observe the seasonal changes, and Richard pointed out the variety of native UK wild plants growing on the forest floor, which include Cleavers, Garlic Mustard, and Chicken of the Woods.

Garlic Mustard
Chicken of the Woods

The fallen Chestnut (left) is sprouting to make a natural barrier and home for wildlife.

There are also some smaller sized native trees, like the Hawthorn sapling (right), beginning to flourish in the lighter conditions .

It was great to spot the Ransoms/ Wild Garlic (left) and Bluebells (right) that we had planted in the Autumn.