Here is our new conservation task programme.
Here is our new conservation task programme.
Yesterday morning Wellesley Woodlands held its first Easter Egg Hunt around the Wellington Statue and as we had never held it before, we were relieved to see nearly 250 people turn up to have a go!
In the morning staff from Grainger, The Land Trust and BVCP arrived to set up, making sure the area was clean and tidy, as well as hiding the 11 eggs around the woods for people to find. People were so keen and eager to claim their prize that some were ready to go before 11am and we worked hard to make sure no one had to queue for too long to get their answer sheet to fill in.
It was great to see so many kids running around the woods, enjoying the sunshine (though happily it wasn’t too hot so the chocolate didn’t melt!).
Let us know if you’d like to see the Easter Egg Hunt held again.
Assistant Ranger Laura
Up at Swan Lake this morning on a tree safety survey, the tree blossom was blooming on the Blackthorn and wild Crab Apples.
Last week I was joined by local volunteers at Mytchett Community Centre to give their pond a spring clean. The pond had been left to nature but now, thanks to Tara, her family and Mychett Community Centre Group, a restoration plan has been devised with the help of our expertise at Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership.
The aim of this first task was to clear the trees and scrub along the southern and eastern sides of the pond. This will let light in to make the pond look more inviting and hopefully encourage more wetland plant species to thrive. Bow saws and loppers at the ready the 12 new local volunteers and 3 of our regular volunteers, Paul, Jon and Mike, got stuck in to removing the trees. A large amount of litter and rubble was also removed.
By the end of the day a huge mount of brash had been piled together. Rangers Stu and Andrew joined volunteers Mike, Paul and I to chip the brash into neat little piles. It was great to see the pond looking so open and everyone so pleased with their hard work. Thank you to everyone who joined us throughout the day to help and a big well done. A special thank you to Tara and family for getting in touch with us about this exciting restoration project.
Future plans for the pond hope to see it return to a haven for wildlife and people. Please keep an eye out at the Mytchett Community Centre for more volunteer tasks in the future.
Assistant Ranger Jenny
Yesterday the volunteers joined Laura, Jenny & I to cut back the southern path at Queen Elizabeth Park by Farnborough Station. Over the last couple of years we’ve been working west from the A325, cutting back laurel that has been encroaching and narrowing the tarmac path.
Everyone worked really hard cutting back 80m of path, which produced a surprising amount of cut brash. We also litter picked and cut around the lamp posts to make the path more accessible. We aim to return in the Autumn for a couple of volunteer tasks, to finish off the remaining path section to the Cabrol Road Entrance.
Thank you to everyone for all your help.
On a rainy Sunday 12th March we had the last work party of the winter led by Volunteer Leader Jon. In spite of the rain we had a good turnout of 11 and split into two groups. The first group were cutting back field maple and hazel to open up the light into the ochreous stream that runs through the lakes and through Long Island. This stream has rust coloured mud at the bottom due to the algae that thrives on the acidic water coming from Finchampstead Ridges.
By coffee break it was still raining but hot drinks and biscuits cheered everyone up and with the promise of a bonfire everyone got back to work.
Meanwhile the second group had been building homes for stag beetles – otherwise known as stumperies. This is part of a project to build 50 stumperies in the Blackwater Valley to reverse the declining numbers of stag beetles. Rotting logs are buried about two feet into the ground providing the food and environment for the stag beetle larvae, while the part out of the ground encourages other insects and fungus. Three stumperies were built during the day, two near the river where they can be seen from the path and one in the meadow near the ochreous stream.
The first group pollarded the larger trees and coppiced the dense hazel near the existing meadow which opened up the stream to the sunlight. With a good bonfire going in spite of the rain, all the brash was cleared and burnt leaving a nice clear site – including a stumpery.
A big thank you to all our volunteers for all the hard work you have put in over the winter. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and will return when we restart our Sunday work parties in September after the nesting season is over.
Volunteer Leaders Duncan, Jon & Jane