Halloween at Wellesley

Looking for things to do at Halloween?  Need a pumpkin?  Chocolate fix?

Wellspring Halloween Poster & Map

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Silver Gilded Tongham Wood

After attending the Guildford in Bloom award ceremony last Wednesday, we were extremely happy to find out that Tongham Woods was awarded Silver-Gilt in the Best Neighbourhood Category for 2018. Proof that all this hard work and perseverance by local volunteers does not go unnoticed. We should all be very proud of ourselves.

With a turnout of seven TWIG volunteers on Sunday, we all got stuck in to digging and widening the main path around the woods.

It was very hard work and pretty back breaking, but hopefully you can see from the picture below how great it is starting to look as we uncover paths that may have been lost for ages!

All the digging revealed a lot of earthworms, but today we were very lucky to have our young worm handler on standby, who carefully found a new home for them all.

Unfortunately, we did locate a lot of garden waste (including unwanted or newly trimmed plants/shrubs and other items, including fence posts and plastic buckets) had been dumped in the woods. We have removed what we could of the waste, but have had to leave the vegetation as we had no means of moving such amounts. This is not a matter of just looking untidy; it is harming our wood. Throwing garden waste like this is not a green solution. Native ground plants are getting smothered and non-native invasive species could possibly be introduced. Ultimately, it is fly-tipping and illegal.

Whilst all this was happening, the paths were raked and Mike, now known as “The Locust”, blitzed around the orchard flattening all the brambles and nettles. You must admit it makes an amazing difference!

Many thanks to all the volunteers that came out. Your help, as always, is very much appreciated.

TWIG meet at 10am on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the entrance off Garbetts Way. We would love to welcome more people to come and see what we do, and to get involved with maintaining and improving this local woodland area. Tools are provided and we’ll always supply the tea and biscuits!

Hopefully see you in October!

Tongham Woods Volunteer Task Leader Matt

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Phew! What A View

It was a lovely, warm sunny day on Sunday when 24 Moor Green Lakes Group volunteers turned out to work on the reserve, including several new faces.

The main task was to clear the reeds from in front of Grove Lake hide. Also to clear in front of a nearby viewing slot and, time permitting, to clear some of the ever expanding crop of Silver Birch & Willow. This work provides expansive views of the lake, essential for viewing the winter visitors as well as the many resident birds.

Grove Hide View before

(Before) What lake?

Sadly, a vast array of cans, bottles and other rubbish had been posted through the viewing slot. Please take your rubbish home, broken glass is not good for wildlife or volunteers!

Tea and homemade biscuits were enjoyed by all and everyone went home tired but satisfied a job had been well done.

Grove Hide View After

(After) There it is!

If you fancy joining us next time the October Sunday work party meets on the 14th when clearing Tern Island is one of the tasks.

Come and try it, you may like it!

Moor Green Lakes Volunteer Task Leaders: Jane & Duncan

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A SANG Fit For A Saint

If you are looking for a peaceful walk this autumn in a natural area then look no further than St Catherine’s Road SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) in Frimley. Owned by Surrey Heath Borough Council, this former school playing field is a great place to wander through meadows and admire the trees whilst relaxing on the benches.

St Catherines Meadow before path cut

Before

The Blackwater Valley Volunteers have done a fantastic job cutting back the vegetation. It really opened up the area and makes you feel welcome.

Never content with just the one task, the volunteers also litter picked and cleaned the signs. Using there inventiveness and construction skills they then fixed a fence and one of the site signs that had rotted at the base.

Well done Paul, Mike, Edmund, Roger and Geoff!

Bench path view

After

Our tractors also had a chance to help. Stuart on the Kubota (seen above) helped cut back the bramble and our Massey tractor and mower attachment hay cut the meadows. This will help encourage wildflower species like Devil’s-bit Scabious to flourish.

Thank you to the volunteers for their help and the Surrey Heath Rangers for having us.

Countryside Ranger Jenny

 

 

 

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Chalk that up as a good day’s work

There’s been a lot happening on Wellesley these past week and for one of those days the volunteers joined me at Chalk Farm lake.  Ranger Jenny kindly came out on our Kubota tractor to mow the paths whilst we did a mini hay cut on the area around the car park which Mike, Janet and I ‘re-greened’ several years ago to hide the old concrete and bricks still in place from old MOD days.  Paul strimmed the areas Jenny couldn’t reach and around the waymakers whilst Matt and Mike cut the hedge on the opposite side of the road, lifting the trees from around the signs. Sean and Eric did an epic job clearing up flytipping from the area as well.  Polystyrene packing peanuts aren’t an easy thing to get into bags.

We were all done by lunch time, which I suspected we might be, so we packed up the truck and headed round to the far side of the site to where the old reptile survey fencing is.  It’s now been up for a good few years and has started to collapse and disintegrate so it was time to clear it up.

       

Beccy cut the plastic from the stakes, Mike pulled the stakes out, Paul pulled the plastic out and Matt found his life calling!  With limited space in the truck Matt demonstrated superb plastic sheeting folding skills and we got far more in the back of the truck than I thought possible!

Thanks to everyone for all their hard work.

Ranger Laura

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Farnborough Airfield Walk 18th August

As August is a busy time for holidays and village fêtes, I was expecting a low turnout for my latest walk, so I was very pleased when over twenty people joined me on Saturday morning.

 The idea for this walk was to follow the boundary fence line of the old Pyestock NGTE establishment and then go through the airfield before continuing on around the boundary beside the canal.

 Setting off through Pyestock woods we progressed about half a mile where I planned to divert slightly to pass by a hidden and hardly known lilly pond to look at the dragonflies and pond skaters I had seen previously in the week. But as we descended a slope we were met by hundreds of runners on an event organised by a company called “Brutal”! These runners were queued up and jostling for position before running through this previously quiet lilly pond. Those on their second lap showed just how muddy it was. So we turned and continued along the fence line before leaving the runners behind and heading to Southwood Woodland passing by the gunfire riddled army edifices hidden in the woods.

 After crossing into Southwood meadows we followed the Cove Brook on paths the Cove Brook Greenway group had specially strimmed the week before. We then entered the airfield and made our way to the old “factory” area of the original RAE. We stopped to look at the more historic landmarks including the 5 metre wind tunnel, the black sheds and my old office.

 We stopped to watch an aircraft take off as we passed by the end of the runway. After the airfield we followed along Shoe Lane past the grave of the five famous army horses to find very welcome tea, coffee and cakes as we reached the canal. We do often encounter strange and interesting sights on these walks and this was no exception.  On our way back along the towpath we were surprised to see a juggling unicyclist overtaking us on the road parallel to us. We met up with him at Eelmoor bridge where he gave a demonstration.

 

So we returned to the sports ground with about 9.5 miles completed and although the sun hadn’t shone it had been a very pleasant morning for walking. I hope all enjoyed it and thank you for keeping me company. 

Walk Leader Paul

Posted in Cove Brook Greenway, Events, Southwood Woodland, Volunteers, Wellesley Woodlands, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Find out what is going on in your local area

BVCP Volunteer Task Programme September 2018

 

Posted in A331 & A31 Green Corridor, Access, Ash Lock, Blackwater Valley SSSI, BV path, Conservation, Cove Brook Greenway, Events, Frimley Hatches, General Information, Gerry's Copse, Grant's Moor, Hawley Meadow, Lakeside Park, Minor Sites, Moor Green Lakes, River, Rowhill, Sites, Southwood Woodland, Swan Lake Park, Tice's Meadow, Tongham Wood, Volunteers, Wellesley Woodlands, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment