Archive for the ‘Woodland management’ Category

On Sunday 14 May we were out with Trafford Wildlife at Birch Moss Covert. We were focussed on two activities: removing bracken from the heather area, and removing invasive Himalayan balsam from within the woodland. The area for the re-establishing of heather at this site is gradually and successfully being expanded, and the annual balsam-pulling has had a positive effect within the woodland where there is now much less of the invader.

Great to be out on an early summer’s day to contribute to these worthwhile efforts!

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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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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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Today we were helping in a woodland a stone’s throw away from Lymm, called Spud Wood.  As in the past, we were working with The Woodland Trust and the Friends of Spud Wood.

This is a relatively new mixed broadleaf woodland, planted in the late 1990s.  It was planted on a former potato field – hence the name, which was suggested by local school children in a naming competition, and is a reminder of its historic use for growing Golden Wonder crisps!

We were coppicing hazel trees and, with the branches, creating a picturesque barrier along the edge of the wood, which cut off the ditch behind but should also prove a perfect habit for wildlife!

A great day out.  The weather remained nice and dry apart from a short five-minute burst of rain.

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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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This past weekend was our third and final residential weekend of 2019, again with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers.  We were back on the shores of Tittesworth Reservoir, and were pleased to see that the lakeside hedge we worked on last October and again in the January snow is well established and providing effective protection of the shore. In a hot and sunny late summer day we did further work on the hedge to keep its rampant growth under control and to extend it further along the water.

Sunday was a greyer, wetter day but nonetheless we made good progress with a new stretch of hedge in a different location, opening up views of the lake while also protecting the shore and enhancing the wildlife habitat.

An excellent weekend all round!

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Today a few of us were out at Spud Wood, a Woodland Trust site.  We were continuing the coppicing of hazel we’ve been doing over the winter, in the better than expected weather! Buds are starting to burst for spring so this is possibly the last of the coppicing for this year.

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Today we were at New Moss Wood, a Woodland Trust site.  This is a native woodland, planted about twenty years ago.  Alongside our woodland management tasks, we were pleased to find and learn a bit about the scarlet elf cup fungus (Sarcoscypha cocinea) – the red of which stood out beautifully against the green of the moss.


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We have started 2019 with a day with the Friends of Spud Wood.  At this Woodland Trust site, we today helped the Friends with the preparation of a hedge for a forthcoming hedgelaying course, and then some coppicing within the wood.  We were sustained, as always here, by plenty of tea and parkin – a great start to the year!

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This past weekend was our final residential weekend of the year, working for the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers.  On Saturday we were on the shores of Tittesworth Reservoir, creating a willow hedge to prevent walkers and dogs from disturbing an area using by ground-nesting birds.  On a very wet Sunday we were at a different nearby site, this time enhancing the habitat for willow tits by creating standing deadwood.  An excellent trip – in spite of the rain and a recalcitrant fire alarm in our accommodation!

Update, February 2019: we returned to our willow hedge during our first weekend away of 2019, and extended it further along the shore.


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