NHS to the Rescue in Bale Hill Wood!
On 21 August the Woodland Trust volunteers looking after Castle Hill and the three Derwenthead Woods in North West Durham welcomed additional support from a team of volunteers from the NHS. Working with NHS Corporate Services, a volunteers day was organised at Bale Hill Wood which is located a few hundred meters South of the River Derwent at Allensford Country Park.
Following a safety briefing, description of the local facilities and plan for the day, the team headed up into these woods which were planted in winter 2016, to spend the day ‘rescuing’ the young trees in tubes which had been blown over on this exposed site.
After a brief demonstration of the sequence how to remove and re-stake the young trees we had a busy morning punctuated with finding a ‘ North East Look for a Book ‘which seems to be spreading in popularity this summer. This particular book was hidden near a footpath and returned back after we photographed it.
After lunch the team moved to the west of the site and following a brief talk through the impact of ash dieback and witnessing its effect on two of the fully grown ash trees there, it was back to work straightening the tubes.
Although we didn’t spend much time admiring the view, the first time visitors to this wood seemed impressed with the countryside and open views to the moors in the distance and North across the Derwent Valley into Northumberland, as well as the small flock or ‘flight’ of swallows which seemed to be following us around during the afternoon.
Overall, one to two hundred trees were probably worked on during the day and are now securely fixed before the winter, a job well done thanks to the volunteers.
Alan Wallace – Volunteer Leader.