Snowy visit to Hillhouse Wood
I visited Hillhouse wood on a particularly wintry day, but the falling snow combined with the stillness and silence in the wood made for a magical visit! Meeting the Hillhouse wood volunteers at their usual meeting point, we made our way over to the wood, walking across open fields with the icy cold wind in our faces.
The volunteer group help the Woodland Trust immensely by tackling various practical conservation tasks. Over the winter months the group has completed clearance work and during my visit the volunteers worked hard in the bitter cold to remove any small trees that were hanging over the pathways. Suitable branches were used to create a natural fence around a patch of wild garlic in the wood. There were a few areas where snow-melt had resulted in large puddles so the group worked to create areas for drainage, ensuring that the path edges didn’t become waterlogged.
Earlier in the season the group got together to tackle the pond area, clearing reed mace away from the pond edge to allow a pathway to run all the way around and to provide access to the bench.
Hillhouse wood is located near the village of West Bergholt. It is close to Colechester and not far from Fordham Hall Estate. It is made up of different woodland types and has two ponds and two streams. In the summertime the woodland floor is carpeted in bluebells. Well worth a visit!
Thanks to the volunteers of Hillhouse Wood for their hard work and dedication to the wood, even in the most chilly conditions!
Amanda Brookes – Volunteering Development Officer – Central Region