Last Thursday 9 wonderful volunteers from RBS came out to help our dedicated Wellesley Woodland volunteer team, Laura and I at Puckridge. Puckridge is one of our SANG sites (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) that makes up Wellesley Woodland.
Keen to start the main job of the day the RBS volunteers got stuck into digging holes for the bench. Once these were completed the holes were measured and a fake bench used to get a good idea of the level. We then moved the very heavy bench into the holes, made sure it was level, used postcrete to secure and then filled in the holes. The bench will provide a valuable resting area on site with views over the canal and the neighbouring site Laffan’s Road Copse.
Whilst the bench was being completed other tasks including litterpicking and clearing the invasive non native laurel from the woodland were underway. Laurel grows tall and dense and shades out any native plants from growing underneath.
The next big task for the day was to build homes for Stag Beetles known as a stumperies! A stumpery is a hole in the ground down to 50cm depth filled with vertical logs. They can be really simple to build, as big or small as you like. They work great in gardens and provide a lovely feature. They are a main focus for our sister organisation the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust who aim to maintain the good number of Stage Beetles in Blackwater which are rare elsewhere.
These dead wood homes also provide great shelter and nesting site for other beetles. Including this Longhorn Beetle we found whilst working.
Thank you to everyone who dedicated their time to helping us. It was a fantastic day with great results. We would love to have you all again.
Ast. Ranger Jenny