Lots of volunteers despite a wet day at Manor Park Annexe

On Tuesday the ten of our Blackwater Valley Volunteers, Jenny and I headed out onto Manor Park Annexe in Aldershot in order to thin out the crowded scrub plantation of young trees. This builds on the task last year.  These trees were planted in dense species groups with the likelihood that many would not mature. We’ve had a high success rate so lots of weaker trees all competing with each other for space and resources. This competition can cause trees to grow with an incomplete canopy or a heavy lean as they grow around each other for space and light.  To prevent this we removed around 1/3 of the weakest trees from areas of the woodland, this should allow for the remaining trees to florish into this space.IMAG1290In order to remove all this cut vegetation a few of the volunteers worked on a controlled fire that we could load up with brash and logs from the days work.IMAG1294At the end of the day there was a very notable improvement in the condition of the woodland as shown below. The last order of the day was to cut all tree stumps down to ground level, to prevent any hazard, and to paint these stumps with a herbicide to prevent any scrubby regrowth.IMAG1295Many thanks to the volunteers who came out in the rain and mud to help us out on this task.

Ast. Ranger Sam Valente

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About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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