Feb 16 2022

It has been brilliant to be out visiting Woodland working groups again

It has been so nice to be able to get back out into our woods and meet up with some of our woodland working groups.

In November I went to visit Fingle volunteers. The site is made up of eight different woods, which we jointly own and manage with the National Trust in the first venture of its kind between us. In one of our largest woodland restoration projects ever, we are nursing it back to health and reclaiming it for nature and people.

Owing to having to attend training in the afternoon I was only able to spend the morning at the wood, so I will have to go back to I get to meet more of you

               

Always great to meet friendly well behaved dogs

In December I visited Lineover wood. Lineover Wood’s patchwork of ancient woodland, more recent planting and limestone grassland creates a diverse habitat that’s a haven for wildlife and a place where rare plants and fungi flourish. The wood lies within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and offers breath-taking views across Cheltenham and the Malvern Hills.

I enjoyed working alongside the volunteers and learning some of their fantastic skills, from hedge laying , to using coppiced wood to create protection around the trees to stop the deer causing damage .

               

I visited Bishops Knoll wood in January. Bishops Knoll has a fairytale quality, its hidden world of crumbling walls and primrose paths cloaked in tendrils of resurgent greenery. It’s Bristol’s very own secret garden.

Close to the Avon Gorge, this once-grand Victorian garden is now being reclaimed by Woodland Trust volunteers. After spending years overgrown with ivy, bamboo and laurel, the woodland is slowly being uncovered as we discover the lost ornamental terraced gardens and arboretum.

The volunteer task for the day was clearing the steep steps of leaves so that they were no longer slippery to walk up and down. It was a beautiful sunny crisp cold morning and a perfect day to be out in the woods. The volunteers tell me that a robin always comes to visit them when they are in the woods, and I am pleased to say that one or two robins did come to investigate what we were all doing.

               

 

My February visit Culvery Wood was postponed owing to adverse weather. Thankfully in February there were more favourable conditions. Culvery Wood which is a mixture of new and mature broadleaf woodland with some large veteran oak and hornbeam trees.

Extensions to the woodland were planted in 1998, 2001 and more recently in 2016. Wood edge habitats and rides provide important habitat for nesting birds, invertebrates and plants including bluebell and wood anemone. Primrose also grows on the steep lower slopes.

It was so nice to see the woodland that was planted 5 years ago, owing to a local resident donating an acre of land was developing alongside the wood which was planted 20 years ago.

After a walk around the wood, I then helped other volunteers to clear the brambles and blackberry so that the bluebells would shine through. Hopefully I will get back again to see all the beautiful bluebells.

               

I am looking forward to getting out and visiting some more of our Woodland working groups during the course of 2022.

Amanda Bealing

Volunteer Development Officer South West Region

 

 

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