The weather forecast appears to have been wrong again as three of us (Mick, Pete and Masha) spent a pleasant couple of hours tidying up the Copse at the north of the site with a break for mince pies and coffee courtesy of Judi.
Most of the trees planted in the Copse were planted by ourselves in the early days to replace the diseased elms that had once lived there. We also planted the eastern hedge that once separated us from the arable fields before the Park & Ride appeared ten years later. The trees we planted are now maturing side-by-side with the few originals and the more recent elms saplings planted five or six years ago. Managing the encroaching self-seeded saplings that appear annually and clearing the brash will hopefully allow light onto the copse floor for the flora like Giant Bellflower to return and the range of heights and habitats produce a mosaic to encourage biodiversity.
There were plenty of fungi about on the rotting wood that had been left in place and all the elm saplings appeared to be flourishing. Another 20 or 30 nest boxes wouldn’t come amiss to replace the ones (more than a hundred erected) now rotten with age, that we have also erected over the years but we’ll leave that as a job for whoever takes on the management when we depart.
The next work party will be on Sunday 5th January 2020 from 10:30 onward in the Reservoir Basin cutting back the blackthorn encroaching on the orchids and ponds.