Conservation Report – October

A big thank you to everyone who came out to help on Sunday. Our aim for this session was to move the large pile of Rhododendron chippings from the Dorset Way entrance into the woods onto one of the pathways. This was suggested to us by one of the WBC Countryside Officers as a solution to recycling the Rhododendron that we are removing. It took a convoy of wheelbarrows and some dedicated shovelling to successfully complete the task.

As we had such a good turn out on Sunday, we were also able to make a start on clearing the ditch which runs parallel to Dorset Way. When this task is complete, it will improve drainage and make the pathways less waterlogged. In addition, improved drainage should help the health of the trees and could be of benefit to those residents on Dorset Way who sometimes find their gardens waterlogged. Before beginning this task, we took advice from WBC and were careful not to disturb any tree roots.

Our final task of the day was to continue removing some more of the Rhododendron. This will help to increase the variety of plants growing on the forest floor. It looks a little bare at the moment, but if you were to compare this area with the area of woodland where we first began our conservation work, it is possible to see the progress we are hoping to achieve. The greater the variety of native plants we can attract, means that we will also be increasing the habitats for invertebrates, small mammals, and amphibians. The brash from the Rhododendron was stacked at the Dorset Way entrance, as before, where it will be shredded for future pathway improvements.