Volunteer Day – Sunday 7th June 2015.

Today’s volunteer day was the first of 2 planned sessions for June, taking advantage of the warm weather and to build on by far the most important activity the organisation has seen for some time.  It has been our aim since we started to have improved access facilities to the woodland from the western side, and as a result of many hours of planning, today marked the first volunteer day where we can use our newly installed gate for access.

Volunteers going off to work!

Volunteers going off to work!

Our Sunday morning session started at the Lasseter Close side of the woodland.  On a hazy and humid morning we assessed that further weeding, path clearance and additional removal on non-native species would be today’s aims.

Part of this morning’s activity involved the further removal of non-native species.  As the woodland is surrounded on all sides by people’s gardens, it’s inevitable that plants sometimes find their way in to the woodland area.  Some may have arrived accidentally, others may have been deliberately planted for ornamental affect.

 

The photo shows a large non-native shrub on the footpath's edge

The photo shows a large non-native shrub on the footpath’s edge

Photo shows after the non-native shrub's been removed

Photo shows after the non-native shrub’s been removed

These 2 photos are a good example of the active management work we do in trying to manage the woodland in order to encourage native species.  Later on, we will plant native species in this newly cleared area and hopefully we will install a bench in order to admire the views.

 

 

In the last year at the Lasseter Place area we have planted many native shrubs which replaced the quick growing and invasive plants called snowberry.  The white flowers of the plant called hogweed can be seen below.  Hogweed is a very common plant growing in woodlands, meadows, hedges and alongside roads.

Native shrubs growing well planted in 2014

Native shrubs growing well planted in 2014

Several planted shrubs, all growing healthily

Several planted shrubs, all growing healthily

Hogweed growing in a small clearing

Hogweed growing in a small clearing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullace fruit tree in the Maze Hill side of the woodland

Bullace fruit tree in the Lasseter Place side of the woodland

In addition to the pear and apple trees we have planted in the last 2 years, committee member Nigel Duncan observed a stout “bullace” tree next to the path in Lasseter Place area of the woodland.  This photo shows several small fruit.  The bullace is a variety of plum with fruits that resemble damsons.  Bullaces generally ripen in October-November and can fruit heavily. They may sometimes be found growing wild in woods or hedgerows, particularly near old farmhouses, old gardens or orchards.

 

 

Morning coffee and biscuits in the fresh air!

Morning coffee and biscuits in the fresh air!

Of course our morning’s hard work always gets rewarded with coffee and biscuits.  This is a wonderful time to enjoy the woodlands and for all the volunteers to come together and discuss with the group items of interest in a peaceful setting.

 

 

 

Committee member Don Albrecht proudly showing our new entrance

Committee member Don Albrecht proudly showing our new entrance

Finally, as mentioned earlier, this morning’s activities had a special significance as we now have access in to the woodland by another entrance.  The gate was in the process of being established for quite some time, but in the last few days of May, one of our goal’s has been achieved and the photo shows Don Albrecht standing in front of the open gate at the very bottom of Seren Park Gardens’ car park.  This will be locked and used on volunteer days and any future planned open days to allow easier access in to The Glade area.

 

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