Spotlight on… Lake Wood
We are so fortunate to have such amazing volunteers across the charity and we love to hear about their journey. This month, we hear from Martyn Stenning, a wildlife monitor and volunteer warden at Lake Wood, East Sussex, who has been involved with the Trust for several decades. Thank you so much to him and the wider team for all that you do.
“I was already conducting a D.Phil. research project with the University of Sussex in Lake Wood when it was owned by the aristocratic Streatfeild family (correct spelling). The owner Commander Norman J. Streatfeild DSC RN asked for my advice on which trust he should donate Lake Wood to. I suggested the Woodland Trust and he readily agreed. I assisted with the details of the ownership transfer, and the Commander also donated some money for initial management. Once the transfer was complete 1992, the Woodland Trust agreed that I could continue researching in Lake Wood and be a Voluntary Warden there. My research also resulted in the publication of a book called ‘The Blue Tit’.
My role entails various tasks including completing regular visits of the wood, the control of the alien invader Rhododendron ponticum, litter picking, speaking to visitors about the history of Lake Wood and the flora and fauna that live there, and last but not least monitoring the occupants of 46 bird nest boxes and dormouse boxes (for the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme). Lake Wood has also been used for other University research projects. With all this in mind, it is currently under threat from an inappropriate building development proposal in the neighbouring field, which I am working on defending it from.
Thanks to Martyn for sharing his experiences. Lake Wood welcomes visitors as do all of our sites and you can also view a video of this stunning area and surroundings here: https://vimeo.com/104401635
Words: Martyn Stenning (Volunteer Warden and Wildlife Monitor) and Anna Claxton (Volunteer Development Officer, South East)
Photo: Martyn Stenning
Video: Sam Moore