Hello Conservation Volunteers
Thank you to all those who attended our latest work morning at two distinctly different locations.
Our Christmas wreath makers turned a little nesh having taken a look at the forecast and decided they would prefer the dry and warm comfortable surroundings of John's conservatory for their wreath making. With a total of 9 people turning up for the session they overflowed into John's dining room. In total 17 wreath were completed and ready for sale, and Ben's date cake was delicious by all accounts!
At Forge Dam, the volunteers were out working in the area used as a compound for machinery by recent contractors at the far end of the dam. One of the tasks was to sow some woodland mix and hedgerow wildflower seeds high upon the bank where it was drier, which involved clearing debris and giving the area a good raking over before scattering the seed with a final rake over to cover it up. In order to encourage people to stick to the path and not walk over the newly planted areas some old tree trunks have been repositioned to define the footpath crossing above the newly sowed area.
A little lower down the bank, (where it was ankle deep in claggy clay!) in a space where the winter sunshine will hit it and provide some warmth a hibernaculum, an underground chamber for amphibians and reptiles, was created. This involved digging out an area approximately 1.5m square and 50cm deep which was then filled with the brash left over from the trees which had been cleared. An old ceramic drainpipe and some tree guards were inserted to provide entrance holes. The mound of logs and sticks were then covered in soil to keep it dry and finally some of the wildflower seeds were sown on top. All it now needs is a sign on top saying "Vacancies" as we await our first residents to move in!
Les also went up Ivy Cottage Lane to clear out a blocked drain which was overlflowing onto the path and eroding it.
Thanks to Mandy again for providing the homemade brownies - delicious and most welcome.
The next work morning is on Thursday 8th December where we will be planting about 100m of hedge at Forge Dam. An email will be sent out nearer the time with details.
P.S. for those that are interested in how to make a hibernaculum there is a very good article here https://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/how-to-build-a-hibernaculum-for-amphibians-and-reptiles
A Selection of photos from the work morning
The wreath making team in action
One of the finished wreaths
Removing debris and preparing the ground for sowing wildflower seed
Sowing seed with the tree trunks laid to define the footpath
Ted, Claire Chris and Phil raking the seed in
Mel and Lyndon digging out the hibernaculum
Piling up the logs and sticks
Covering the mound with soil
Phil and Mel sowing some seed on top of the mound
The completed hibernaculum
Ted, Matt, Phil, Lyndon. Les, Mandy, Chris and Mel
.......not forgetting Mandy handing out the chocolate brownies!