Wildlife Habitat Piles

First off – look above and you will see a new heading on the menu bar. We should be recording wildlife that we are seeing. In the spring and summer we can add butterflies, wild-flowers and anything else. It also opens us up as a group to anyone who is interested in nature, but unable to get involved with the physical side of the work.

Today was going to be cutting back ash tree shoots, but we instead cleared all the brash that was around the underpass.

Carrina, Marcus, Mick and myself made it today and luckily dodged the rain to make a real difference in this area.

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This is the habitat pile south of the underpass. This will be great for fungi because it will be mostly shaded. However the area is much lighter due to the canopy being opened up slightly.

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This is the habitat pile on the north side of the underpass. This will be in full sunshine so will attract wildlife that likes to stay warm.

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And here we are working away. Mick is ripping out bramble whilst the rest of us chopped and stacked all the brash that was lying about.

Meet at the underpass next Wednesday and work southbound extending a couple of natural glades that exist.

Lastly, just a note about why we are cutting back. If we just leave it, the path will become overgrown and impenetrable. The trees need to be coppiced  (cut back) once every ten years. So we need to be cutting 10% of the trees each year and create a cycle that allows differing habitats with each year of growth. The bramble is the same but on a three year cycle. Again, this creates three different habitats. Year one is new growth, year two is flowering and fruit, year three is aged scrub. New wildlife will arrive and new wild flowers will grow on the bare ground. The path itself will be mowed each side of the inner strip, after any wild flowers have bloomed and seeded, so that we have a three metre wide grassy path. This is the advice that we have from the ecologists as Sustrans, who own the land. I will put in colour-coded marker-stakes at some point to show what areas are at what stage of growth.

Great work today,

Paul

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