Hello Conservation Volunteers
Another great turn out for our latest work morning at Forge Dam on a lovely sunny and frosty winter's day. A big thank you to all who attended.
The main task of the morning was to cut down the invasive rhododendron in Festival Woodland starting at the top near Quiet Lane. Over the last few years there have been sessions to remove it and there was not as much as we had expected as the group waded into the depths of the woodland looking for it. Some which had been previously cut had regrown, but wherever it was found it was cut off as low down as possible. Maybe it will get the message and not regrow next time!
A few cherry laurel trees were also found in this area, again an invasive species, and were therefore also removed.
Further down the path, more previously cut rhododendron which had regrown was cut down, although some which had decayed was found to have candle snuff fungi growing on it and was left in place.
After some rhododendron cutting, Leonie and Linda went off to do a spot of litter picking.
Just as we were about to pack-up for the day Ranger Matt spotted another cherry laurel at the top of the cobble path adjacent to a telegraph pole. Without having to ask twice the volunteers whipped out their bow saws once more and cut it down - fortunately the telegraph pole has survived!
Whilst one group was in Festival Woodland, another group went up to the far end of the bridle path (where in the last session we had been planting hawthorn whips) to gather up the sandbags and wooden pallets left over from the recent works to load into Matt's truck which were then taken back to Forge Dam to be stored for future use, as well as tidying up the area at the end of the bridle path.
A couple of disappointing points to note. The Festival Woodland plaque which has been on the entrance on Quiet Lane for almost 72 years has recently been stolen, and some of the hawthorn whips planted near the hibernaculum have been trampled on and broken by people taking a short cut under the blue rope we put in place to deter access.
The next work morning is on Thursday 9th February 2023. An email will be sent out nearer the time with details.
A Selection of photos from the work morning
The team at work cutting down rhododendron in Festival Woodland
Ted and Glyn cutting up cherry laurel branches
Tony cutting down a cherry laurel
Mel wading into the wilderness!
Tony cutting up a fallen tree
An old rhododendron stump resembling a meerkat
Mind that telegraph pole guys!
Candle snuff fungi growing in a decaying rhododendron stump