Apr 01 2022

Bishop’s Knoll Volunteer Newsletter March 2022

We cancelled the February 19th Working Party as the weather forecast was so bad but fortunately a month later the weather was perfect! In the meanwhile though the high winds meant a small amount of  emergency work was needed by your Chairman and Hon Sec.

Tree clearing in late February after the high winds

 

The main work on March 19th was directed at completing the improve-ments to the access path beyond the tunnel.  While we did not quite complete this due to running out of material, the access is much improved and now passible in all weathers without thigh waders!

   

Peter, Jay, Brian P, Chris S ,Chris & John H at work beyond the tunnel.

 

Other jobs on the day were further replacement of steps (Richard and David) and  ivy removal etc (Bev and Brian P)

           

 

Health and Safety

Your committee were concerned to learn that during the morning Jay had become ill. That later that day he was admitted to Southmead with Bronchitis and Pneumonia. We all wish him a full and speedy recovery.

This incident does raise a general point that if anyone feels unwell  during a working party please let colleagues and especially the designated First Aider know and make sure someone sees you safely out of the wood, and if necessary gets you home. I think everyone now has all our volunteer mobile phone numbers (mine is 07812 500 205) if not make sure you get them at the next workikng party.

 

Tree News

After many months delay due to Covid, Joe  Middleton and your Hon Sec finally collected specimens of  the Bristol Sorbus  (Whitebeams) from the University Botanic Gardens. As many of you will know, these hybridise easily and some species are found only in the  Avon Gorge, while other subgroups are found in Cheddar Gorge and  N Wales. Our specimens  (S. bristoliensis; S.emines; S. porrigentiformis; S. torminates; S.whiteana; S. wilmottiana) are all native to the Avon, some only recently discovered.  The locations of these are all recorded but I am not disclosing them  as they are still small and we have had rare instance of  such plants being removed in the past. Sadly more recently there have been instances of rare plants being removed elsewhere in the UK  as part of the present fad of “wild foraging”. So far we have been largely immune from this but last year  a group of Spring visitors to  BK  were found picking flowers, mainly dandelions, which though generally regarded as “weeds” in fact provide a valuable early source of nectar for bumblebees). Should members come across this please point out politely that our wild flowers are now protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 and this includes wildflowers growing in council parks and on protected land like ours, as well as verges and nature reserves.

 

The next working party should be 16th April but as this falls within the Easter Bank Holiday weekend this has been cancelled as many will have other commitments. There is (as yet) no urgent work which needs to be carried out so the next Working Party will be Saturday 21st May.

Other future working party dates for you diaries are 16th July , and 17th September,

 

 

Hon Sec

Thanks to Chris Stephens for the news letter

 

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