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Archive for the ‘Invasive species’ Category

SMCV’s final activity for 2021 yesterday was a day of clearing rhododendron at Spud Wood, on behalf of the Friends group. There was only a small band of volunteers (a few human and one canine) – presumably everyone else was shopping for Christmas, or similar – but we made a good impact on a tract of woodland over-run by rhododendron, and had the pleasure of winter sun filtering through the trees!

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It’s that time of year again: time for tackling invasive Himalayan balsam!  Yesterday we were out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at the Sinderland Green site they manage (actually a National Trust site) to help with the continued battle against the invader.  Good progress has been made at this last site in recent years, so parts of the woodland are pleasingly free of balsam – all being well it can continue to be pushed back further each year.

 

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As in previous years, today we were once again out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at Hogswood Covert and then Brookheys Covert (sites now managed by the National Trust), continuing the battle against the invasive Himalayan balsam in these woodlands. It was pleasing to see that there was less balsam to be found than in the past, so the battle against the invader is gradually gaining ground!

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Today we were back at Hollinwood Scout Camp – the development of the camp and woodland has progressed apace since we were here about a year ago.  We did some clearing work around the “main camp” part of the site, particularly for the removal of the invasive Himalayan balsam and in preparation for further ongoing management of this area.  We were glad of the shelter of the trees in today’s heat, and of course for the excellent supply of tea and biscuits!

 

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The weekend before last saw us among the atmospheric ruins of Errwood Hall.  We spent our final residential weekend of the year working with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers to remove invasive rhododendron from the grounds around the remains of the Hall.  Originally part of the Hall’s landscaped Victorian estate, the rhododendron has spread out of control over the decades, to the detriment of the woodland and its habitats.

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Today we were once again out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at Hogswood Covert, continuing the CWT’s battle against the invasive Himalayan balsam in this woodland.  This war is waged every summer and good progress is being made at eradicating the balsam.  No pictures this time, but then piles of bashed balsam look much the same as in similar previous visits!

 

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Yesterday we helped with the development of a brand-new 30-acre scout camp – Hollinwood Scout Camp – in Worsley.  A challenging yet exciting project, where glades are being created in a mixed woodland for scouts to camp and enjoy the outdoor life.  We balsam-bashed an area that will be a narrow access road through the site.  There are also fields which have recently been planted with 900 mixed deciduous saplings by the Woodland Trust; we mulched around the saplings to ensure they don’t get encroached by the surrounding tall grasses.
A very accommodating and friendly partner to work alongside, who provided us with copious amounts of tea and biscuits on our break, under the scout marquee!

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As in recent tasks, more Himalayan balsam to tackle yesterday, but this time with the Friends of the Bowdon Bollin!  (Our planned constructional work on a gate or two, which the original idea for yesterday, has had to be postponed to the autumn.) The Friends have had some good success clearing balsam from some of their sites, including the woodland we worked in during the afternoon, where the previous very dense balsam is now greatly reduced.  And it’s not often we conservation volunteers get to have lunch on a beach!

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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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As with last year’s similar task, some of us were in action yesterday at Priory Gardens, on behalf of the Red Rose Forest, to help control the invasive rhododendrons here.  Hard work dealing with some of them, but a sunny spring day for it!  We’ll probably be back at this site over the summer for some other activities.

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