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Wood Norton Wood and Water Works

It has long been our plan to build a shed to provide facilities for volunteers at the Wood Norton site, a shelter and a place to sit during breaks in our work, as well as a composting toilet. Starting this work was one of the main aims of today’s work party. This entailed three cars loading up with barrows, ladders, work benches and tools at WBOA and moving them across to Wood Norton. When we all finally got there, the expected timber delivery hadn’t arrived, so the shed-building team (Trevor, Brian, Stu, Sean, John and Andrew) began preparing the ground for the structure until the timber finally arrived.

Meanwhile, the hedge-planting team (Bev, Susan and Elizabeth) donned high-vis jackets to start work filling in gaps in the roadside hedge – a task requiring care as the B1110 is, at this point, a bit of a racetrack. However, they managed to keep away from the road and quickly planted around 30 whips. They then moved round the corner to the far side of the site, where David, Peter F and Sean were surveying the very high water levels in the ponds – so high, that we were unable to use the path we had created at the end of November. David and Peter, using their expert knowledge of water, were checking to see how we could increase the flow from one pond to another and then away from the site into the heavily overgrown ditch to the south-east. Sean managed to manoeuvre himself onto a fallen, but still living, branch straying across the main pond to clip some of the vertically-sprouting branches, with the aim of reducing any shading of the pond. – a job we will continue once water levels fall.

Appropriately in what was National Nestbox Week, the hedge-planting team put four nestboxes up on trees that stood on a mossy peninsular of land between two of the ponds. Nest boxes provide a vital addition to nesting opportunities for small birds, as few natural nest holes are available in many areas. Earlier, John and Sean had seen Woodcock, Moorhen and Mallard – none of them candidates for the nest boxes!

Back at the ranch … the shed-building team were having discussions about what should go where and in what order, to such good effect that, by the time they packed up at 2.00pm, they had put up a solid frame for the shed and toilet, and Sean and John had made good progress in digging the pit for the composting toilet.

Our next visit to Wood Norton should see the walls and roof go up - leaving the doors and internal fit-out for the final phase. This will create a much-needed western base for the Trust and provide facilities for our lovely volunteers.

Peter Maingay   

February 15th 2024


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