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A Day in the Wild West

On October 5th, a group of eight headed to our western sites. After we at parked at Hindolveston, Nigel, Stu and Claire donned high-viz jackets and set about clearing the access into the Hindolveston Surveyor’s Allotment. The rest of the group headed off round the corner to Wood Norton Surveyor’s Allotment in just a couple of cars. The first job was to clear enough space to be able to park the cars, so we leapt out and attacked the nettles, thistles and brambles with scythes, shears and loppers. By the time the Hindolveston contingent had finished their work and had driven round to join the main party, a good space had been created and a huge heap of cuttings had piled up. Meanwhile, John had hacked his way through to the main site.

This seemed like a good time for a coffee break, but there was a slight hiatus while Trevor drove John back round to Hindolveston to pick up his coffee from his car, and then back again, this time with John’s car keys! Finally, we were able to tuck in to the delicious freshly baked doughnuts that Trevor had brought and have a good old catch-up.

After our break, Stu and Nigel started to level the paths within the site so that in future we will be able to carry out monitoring and habitat management work. Some willow logs that had previously been cut and laid across one of the muddy patches had sprouted in the wet conditions, meaning they had to be moved; some were used to edge the new path, while a few were removed – more of this later. The rest of us continued to clear the car parking area and plan our next steps. And while we worked, we were kept company by a symphony of bird call and song: Great Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Wren, Robin, Long-tailed Tit, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Magpie and Jay. This site is clearly already a wildlife haven, and our management activities should help to enhance biodiversity further.

Back at WBOA to unload the tools, Trevor, Nick and David set about digging some trenches in which the salvaged willow logs were partly buried, with the hope of creating a patch of willow habitat by the pond. And while we were at it, we had a bit of a fish around among the roots of the reeds that are becoming established and discovered several different types of dragonfly larvae as well as some water snails, demonstrating that a healthy pond ecosystem is developing.

Val Stubbs

October 10th 2023


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