We had an amazing turn out for our conservation session in the woods yesterday, and achieved a great deal. A big thank you to all those who gave up their time to help.
The area where we have previously worked is now more open to sunlight. There is evidence of a wider variety of plant species beginning to grow. There is more wild Honeysuckle and several smaller tree saplings, including Hawthorn which is not so common in the woods. Some of the native Bluebell bulbs we put in last December are showing and two different species of butterflies were spotted recently. The Hazel trees coppiced when we first began our work are showing good regrowth. Hazel was traditionally planted to provide an autumn harvest of long straight poles for use as fencing and in agriculture. We have recently been granted permission to coppice some more of the Hazel in the woodland and are following in the tradition of using it to form the posts for our dead hedges. Our dead hedges are lined with a bed of dead wood and then layered with Rhododendron. We are removing some of the Rhododendron as it is an invasive species and stops other native species from thriving. Our hedges are arranged around the area which has been cleared to encourage walkers to take the pathway and not accidentally trample on the wildflowers and small saplings.
In addition to the conservation work a substantial amount of litter was cleared during the morning. Also, a mouse was spotted living in the base of one of our hedges.
Stephanie Mckay, Conservation Officer FOFH