Multi tasking Volunteers in County Durham
Multi tasking Volunteer day at Castle Hill Wood in County Durham
18th September 2019 : Following a summer of tube straightening events at three of our recently planted woods, we had a team of seven volunteers keen to start work in the Castle Hill Wood in North West Durham.
As usual for our team, we had a safety briefing, first aid box check and a talk through the plans for the day before heading out to the woods.
Stopping first to check out our newly excavated shallow pond, the volunteers headed to an area of Hazel which, at about 20 years old was dense and about 3 to 4m tall, some of which as adjacent to a housing estate boundary fence. This area was very shaded and allowed no plant growth on the woodland floor, so coppicing the hazel will not only allow the hazel to grow straight – but also open up this area to plants and insects etc.
This work was appreciated by one of the adjacent property owners, such that he kindly provided a welcome cuppa by way of a ‘thank you’ !
Deer can be a problem to new Hazel growth so we covered the coppice stumps with a woven deer barrier topped off with light branches or ‘brash’.
After lunch and checking out our previous years coppice – which is doing well, the team split into two. One group completing the deer barriers and the other digging a short footpath drain to a short wet section of path. After tidying our work areas the team headed for some tube maintenance at the Four Lane Ends Wood, planted in 2016.
As this was the first practical volunteer day for some of the group members, we shared a good selection of woodland support tasks this session and hopefully some skills were transferred to our new team.
Report by: Alan Wallace, Volunteer Leader