The 3rd Volunteer Morning of the year had a definite feeling that Spring isn’t far away. The event was very well attended with both committee members and volunteers, with around 18 people onsite. Tasks this morning were the removal of a non-native horse-chestnut tree to make way for native woodland saplings including English Oaks. The photos below show committee member Andrew Slade with a mattock taking aim at the horse-chestnut, to remove it from the newly created woodland clearing on the way to The Glade area.
Further work was the addition to the stag beetle dead wood habitat. This will be mentioned in the Spring newsletter, but work was started last month on the creation of a fixed potential habitat for this greatly declining species. Fortunately one of the species’ strongholds is in south east London; we hope this effort will add to their numbers as shown in the photo below.
It was very encouraging to see the primroses we planted a few years ago in flower, as well as some of the snowdrops that were planted just several weeks ago. No doubt this time next year they will be even more established, providing a pleasant site to the footpaths with their early flowering season. In addition the several hundred bluebells that were also planted towards the end of last year are already starting to make an appearance. The below photo doesn’t look very significant, but the bulbs have been in the ground for just over 3 months, so clearly the habitat conditions are ideal. Hopefully by the end of April there should be a good display of flowers.
The pond is looking well, it’s full of water and although there doesn’t appear much activity, no doubt in the next few weeks it will be a place coming in to life. Finally, bright green leaves are already starting to open.
Finally, the last 2 photos show volunteers both at work in the new clearing removing ivy, bramble and adding to the log piles for insect habitats, as well as enjoying a well deserved coffee break!