Thursday, 19 January 2012

Devil's Spittleful update

The Spittleful mound is starting to re-appear
Following John's blog earlier this week, I thought I'd hi-jack the volunteers' blog and give you a quick staff update on the work at The Devil's Spittleful - hope you don't mind!

I've been regularly visiting the site and, although the work appears extreme, it's great to see the Spittleful mound coming to light for the first time in many years.  Clearing the trees makes it much easier to finally see what the heathland is going to look like once it starts to regenerate.

The work will give the rare heathland's plants and animals a chance to recolonise and expand their numbers.  In time we hope that birds like woodlark and nightjar will return - they haven't been recorded on the reserve for many many years.  Even more well-known birds like green woodpeckers, stonechats, wrens, long-tailed tits and yellowhammers will benefit from the work.

We're already starting to see regeneration of heathland grasses in areas that we'd cleared last year - which is really good to see.  Some of the first colonisers of open ground (not just of heathlands) are foxgloves and mullien - both of which germinated last year and will be in flower this summer.

Mullein & foxgloves poking through
The work will take quite a while - we're expecting big machinery to be off site towards the end of February, which is when we'll start fencing.  We hope you keep returning to the Devil's Spittleful to watch the changes as they happen over the coming couple of years - we're sure you'll be impressed!

One of several stands of trees we're leaving - this has a mix of old trees, scrub and dead wood - great for a range of wildlife

For more updates, keep an eye on our website. 

Andy, Reserves Officer

1 comment:

  1. very interested to watch, have yet to visit, but on my radar as local for 2012