Cheyne Wood is an area of woodland and scrub that lies between Cove Brook and the M3. This rather unassuming patch of about one acre on closer inspection reveals some large old interesting trees, maybe remnants of the local wood that covered this part of Cove many years ago.
This area has largely been unmanaged for a long time and had become an uninviting patch of dense bramble. A few years ago the Cove Brook Greenway Group (CBGG) cut a circuit of paths into it, but still the area was a bit foreboding with some anti-social behaviour happening in there. So the group have decided to open it up further and create an open and inviting bluebell wood with clear views of the brook.
Nine BVCP volunteers joined me on New Year’s Eve for the first of two tasks to continue the transformation of Cheyne Wood. We split up into groups in the morning felling and treating laurel plus crown lifting selective trees and holly bushes to increase the clearance between the ground level and the lower branches enabling clear sight lines, improve views and allow light to penetrate to the ground.
In the afternoon, we scattered wildflower meadow seeds and planted a variety of woodland bulbs within the area previously cleared by the CBGG and alongside the banks of the Cove Brook.
I returned to Cheyne Wood on the 28th January, this time with 14 volunteers. The task was to widen the main path around the woodland and enhance the views of the brook and have a good litter pick of the local area.
Paul, Mike and Melvyn were armed with hedgetrimmers, whilst the rest of the group each selected some loppers to attack the bramble and overhanging branches alongside the paths. It was amazing seeing how quickly the landscape was changing for the better and the dedication given by the volunteers, who even dug up some of the bramble roots!
Everything that was cut down was then raked to one side and used to create neat dead hedges alongside the paths. The new views seemed to be appreciated by all including a couple of robins and a little egret.
Hopefully you can see from the images below the superb effort made by the volunteers and what a difference it makes. You can now see the brook!
Thank you everyone!
Assistant Ranger Matt