Today we were working for the Kemerton Estate – an environmentally responsible farm and estate. Below Bredon Hill nr Westmancote removing small trees (except much of the Hawthorn and Field Maple as well as some Crab Apple/Wildings) and bramble that are encroaching on a wild flower-rich verge at the side of the Oat Hill track. We piled the cuttings into the nearby field in small piles so the estate can check for hedgehogs etc before burning the material. The aim is to increase the diversity of plants and maintain it as a verge. Still plenty more to do and hopefully we will return here next year.
Today the group worked on the Orchard off Queen’s Road Tewkesbury. This is part of the larger Tewkesbury Nature Reserve(TNR) tewkesburynaturereserve.org.uk a natural floodplain of mostly grassland, grazed by sheep and cattle. There have been a few scrapes recently added to improve the biodiversity particularly for birds. The orchard is linked to the Priors Park Neighbourhood Project which includes allotments.
The work was to remove encroaching vegetation and create a wide path to the rear. Six of us took part and we were visited by a member of TNR who is responsible for volunteer work parties at the site. We managed to clear an area of mostly bramble and blackthorn that opened up the site and freed around some of the fruit trees planted here including plum. apple and pear giving more light and reducing competition. Compost heaps are also envisaged for the area to supply the next door allotments.
A pleasant days work with good weather and keen volunteers and a satisfactory task completed
Today the group visited Quedgeley reserve to reinstate the dead hedge by the pond (that had sadly been vandalised). The group (5 of us) were split between working by the pond and clearing plus weeding the hedge at main entrance to the reserve.
We used some wood that had been cut previously to make stakes and hammered these in to holes, making them very sturdy and hopefully difficult to uplift. then weaved in longer pieces to about 5 ft or so. Access is now round to the left rather than directly alongside edge of pond.
The hedge at front also got a make-over with about a metre or two being strimmed and under hedge weeded of nettle and bindweed. We added several inches (or centimetres) of chippings to try and suppress the weeds. The hedge (planted a few years ago) is doing very well, only 5 more years or so and we can lay it.
This Sunday the group were involved in planting native bluebell bulbs in a previously coppiced part of the reserve along with a few snowdrops. We also did some weeding of the hedge planted in 2018.
Our work this Sunday was to erect a dead hedge on two sides of the pond to limit access for safety reasons. We knocked posts in and weaved previously cut material into these to create a barrier.
Similar to our previous task at Bulls Cross, working for Natural England. This is a small linear grassland important for invertebrates, our work today was to remove ash saplings using Tree Poppers – many of the trees were showing signs of Ash Dieback too.
A task for Natural England on this species rich grassland just off the B4070 Slad Road. Uprooting saplings (mainly ash) to maintain the integrity of the site as limestone grassland.
A joint task with Friends of Leckhampton and Charlton Kings Common (FOLK) at Leckhampton Hill. We helped to limit the spread of Hemp Agrimony on the site – mostly removing by hand. Also ragwort pulling on a couple of species rich fields.
A continuation of our work opening up the stream side at Kemerton Wood nr Bredon. We were able to complete this up to one the small wooden bridges across the stream. During the course of this we came across 40+ peacock butterfly caterpillars and also an eel. Exciting to know that the stream had such life in and around it.
A return to this nature reserve in the midst of Quedgeley. The task was to block off a path that lead too close to the pond. In this respect we decided to erect a dead hedge – mostly using previously cut material from when we did some coppicing. Knocking in some posts we then weaved in various small branches, some of which we had to cut fresh (mostly sycamore). It did the job, so well pleased with our work.