2022.07.03 Kemerton tree popping

2022.07.03 Kemerton tree popping

On Sunday 3 July 2022, volunteers from GVCV worked again for the Kemerton Conservation Trust, this time in a location new to us within the Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve

The lake is adjacent to an existing extensive arboretum and woodland area and the Trust wish to keep the section around the lake as limestone grass land rather than wooded. Alas this message has not been received by the trees and large numbers of unwanted willow, alder and silver birch saplings have appeared. The larger clumps have been chemically treated but there were numerous single stems or small clumps waiting our attention.

The tool of choice for this task was the tree popper. This is a metal device with a jaw which is locked onto the base of the stem and a long handle enabling the stem to be levered out of the ground, including its roots. This is fairly easy to do where the stem is small and the ground is soft but larger stems in dryer ground require some degree of effort. Swearing at it seems to help.

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There would appear that there are Munt Jac deer on the reserve and we found the remains of one which just didn’t move fast enough

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Often we had to hunt through the long grass and weeds to find the offending stems.

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The reeds in the pond were 8 or 9 foot tall and were home to a multitude of birds which we could hear, but not see.

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Tea break and lunch are essential markers through the day

The grassland already contains an abundance of wild flowers including :

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Ragged Robin                                                       King Cup

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Bee Orchid                                                           Goats Beard

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These wild flowers sustain large numbers of butterflies on the site including:

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Marbled White

Small tortoiseshell

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We were fortunate enough to find grass snakes, including some with eggs

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We stacked the spoil for others to remove – the height of the heap being the measure of our efforts.

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The obligatory group photo at the end of the task (less one early finisher)

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