Archive for the ‘Heathland’ Category

Well, 2022 passed without much of an update from us. A hedgelaying activity early in the year had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions and then for one reason and another (mainly a shortage of everyone’s availability) we were not out again until November! However, we finished the year with two great Sundays: 13 November at Tegg’s Nose Country Park and 4 December at Spud Wood.

At Tegg’s Nose, we were working in a heathland habitat that is at risk of being overtaken by willow scrub. The rangers are trying to connect up heathland areas at the top of the park and the willow scrub shades out the heather and bilberry causing it to die back. We were blessed with a lovely bright day – perfect for enjoying the great views from this lovely site.

Invasive rhododendron was the problem we were tackling at Spud Wood. As last December, we worked on helping remove this well-established intruder and were able to make a good impact on a decent area. This should go some way to allowing the woodland to become a more diverse woodland habitat in the years ahead.

Naturally, the year ended that evening with a get-together around an outdoor fire (big thanks to Elaine and Dave for arranging), with food and drink aplenty!

We already have our dates arranged for January to March, so we’ll have more going on in 2023!

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For our first outing of 2020 we were at Tegg’s Nose, working to clear some areas of gorse.  Gorse has a long flowering period, so is an important nectar source in early spring and early winter; plus its density makes it ideal for a range of nesting birds.  However, it can also take over and dominate a habitat, and the ongoing work to remove some here will better connect the Tegg’s Nose woodland and the higher heathland.

The weather stayed pretty dry (and even occasionally sunny), which was a welcome change from the heavy rain of the last day or two.  Ranger Martin introduced us to the iNaturalist and Seek apps, so we look forward to using those more.  And finally, it was great to have a good turn-out of volunteers – the best we’ve had in a while – so let’s hope that continues into the rest of the year!


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Our last two activities have been in Chorlton Meadows (Sunday 28th October) and Birch Moss Covert (Sunday 11th November). The first of these was to help the Friends of Chorlton Meadows with their work on the reed beds, maintaining an area of open water which is important for wildlife.

Next, at Birch Moss Covert, we worked with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers to prevent woodland encroaching on an important area of low heathland heather. 

For our next activity, we look forward to joining the Friends of Longford Park on Sunday 25th November!

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This past Sunday we once again joined Martin of the Cheshire East Rangers to carry out some heathland work at lovely Tegg’s Nose.  We were removing gorse bushes that would otherwise swamp the heather and blueberry on the slopes here.

We also found some sort of translucent yellow fungus that we couldn’t identify (anyone?!).

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Well it’s been a while since we put out an update, but that doesn’t mean SACV hasn’t been busy!  In the last month or two we have worked in the quarry area at Tegg’s Nose Country Park (Sunday 12th June), when a damp day didn’t stop us from getting lots of heathland management work done; done some path maintenance work at Sale Water Park (Sunday 26th June) for City of Trees, taking care not to destroy some of the banks of wildflowers; and worked with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust at Birch Farm Ponds (Sunday 10th July) tackling the invasive Himalayan balsam.  Here’s hoping the rest of the summer continues in the same productive vein!

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The dark green fritillary has not been encountered at Tegg’s Nose Country Park, but has been seen a mile or two from the site.  Volunteers from SACV and Butterfly Conservation were therefore out in lovely spring sunshine today to help with an experimental activity to encourage this butterfly to the site: the dark green fritillary is attracted by violets, so patches of the hillside were cleared of bracken litter to encourage the spread of violets from other parts of the site, particularly from further down the hill.  It is not known how successful this will be, but is  one in a series of activities that are likely to be attempted to attract the butterfly to Tegg’s Nose!

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Yesterday SACV volunteers were out in Finlow Hill Wood near Alderley Edge, giving the National Trust a hand with a project to open up areas of this woodland to allow it to revert to its former heathland state.  We were helping with the clearance of trees which had been felled earlier in the year, and on this beautiful summer’s day it was very pleasing to see the parts of the site where heather and heathland species are re-appearing!

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