Thursday, 27 August 2009

Log & Woodchip sales

On a similar note we're now gearing up for our annual log and woodchip sales at Tiddesley Wood. The first ones don't take place until October but there's lots of work that goes into them.

The sales generate a lot of much needed money for the Trust and the wood all comes from the work we do across our reserves.

If you'd like to help out with the sales - bagging logs, selling etc - please contact Harry Green via the main Trust office on 01905 754919.

If you're interested in buying, come and see us at Tiddesley on 24th-25th Oct, 12th-13th Dec, 9th-10th Jan, 13th-14th Feb and 20th-21st Mar between 10am and 1pm. (It's £85 per cubic metre loose - please bring trailers; if it's pre-bagged we charge £4.50 per bag).

Hope to see you there!
Harry, SE Worcs group

Stourport Show

We're working hard to prepare for our attendance at the Stourport show this weekend. It's a 2 day event so we're expecting to be quite tired by Sunday evening!

We'd love to see you there. We'll be selling all sorts of things, from bird seed and feeders to Christmas cards (yes, it's that time of year already)! There'll be activities for children too as well as free pocket guides to take away.

We're looking forward to this weekend - we hope you'll come and join in the fun with us!

Pat, Wyre Forest group

Friday, 7 August 2009

Bumper Butterflies at Grafton

A weekly butterfly count has been done at Grafton Wood for 11 years (Butterfly Transect). Our peak month is July and our average count up to 2009 was around 1100 for the 4 weeks.

In 2009, however, the count was 2100. This is a remarkable increase - our previous highest year was 2006 when we counted 1500 for the same 4 weeks.

Looking at individual species the biggest increases are for Painted Lady's due to the massive migration. Now these have produced off-spring and we counted 100 in one week. All the resident species are showing an increase on the average too. The spectacular Silver-washed Fritillary showing a large increase. Even the common species - Large and Green-veined Whites - Gatekeeper and Ringlets.

The question is why? I don't expect we will know until all the analysis is done at the end of the season. I have emailed other Transect walkers and asked what sort of year they are having but they say good but nothing spectacular. I keep weather records for Grafton and these show very little difference to last year - Warm and still quite wet.

Let's enjoy this butterfly year while it lasts.

John, Grafton Wood

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Pull it up! Mash it up! Hang it up!

Droitwich Community Woods reserve volunteers stop at nothing to get to that last remaining Himalayan balsam from their section of the River Salwarpe.

Up stream WWT volunteers at the Upton Warren Reserve have virtually cleared it. Webbs of Wychbold have pledged their support but we need more land owners between the two reserves to do the same.
Each plant missed can produce thousands of seeds and disperse them over a 7m diameter area. Dense infestations of Himalayan balsam (an annual) destroy native bankside plant life leaving the banks bare to be washed away by the winter floods - the resulting silts cover gravel beds thus destroying fish breeding grounds. SO DON'T JUST SIT THERE FISHERMEN - BALSAM BASH.

Code of practice: Pull it up, mash it up and hang it up. Otherwise it will live to see another day!
Roger, Droitwich Community Woods

From Droitwich to Hampton Court Palace via Cardiff!

As a group of volunteers looking after Droitwich Community woods, we undertake many tasks from maintaining footpaths to coppicing, pollarding, tree planting and the dreaded removal of Himalayan balsam.

I was asked by my daughter-in-law who is a horticulturalist, if I could make a rustic log store with a living roof to be part of a show garden that she was helping to design and build for the Cardiff RHS garden show. The garden was called ‘Eating shoots and leaves, a permaculture garden’.

At the time we were felling semi-mature sweet chestnut trees to create a coppicing area. The large wood was allocated for fencing posts at County Hall, Worcester and the brash was being chipped for paths. I rescued some of the lesser sections that would have been chipped and used these to make the log store.

This was such a success (winning a silver medal) that I was asked if I could make a rustic fence for the ‘Anne Boleyn garden’ at the Hampton Court RHS show – the theme this year being Henry VIII’s wives. We re-coppiced some hazel stools that had not been touched for twenty years. I selected some straight lengths - ideal for the fencing that was to surround a scaffold where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. This garden attained a bronze medal.

Thanks go to Wychavon District Council, the woodland owners, and Roger Claxton the volunteer’s leader.

Peter and Roger, Droitwich Community Woods