Hello Conservation Volunteers
Thank you to all the volunteers who turned out for our latest work morning around Forge Dam and Wire Mill Dam - quite an entertaining morning (more on that later!)
As we all met, the sound of chainsaws could be heard around Forge Dam as workmen were busily cutting down the dying trees previously marked for removal, plus the tree which had fallen into the dam was in the process of being removed which was proving an attraction to both our volunteers and visitors, especially when they launched a rowing boat onto the dam.
The main task of the morning was to find and dig up small, self set beech saplings in the surrounding woodland to plant in the gaps in the hedge which we had pruned on the previous work morning. Dave led a group to search, dig and re-plant and in total around 40 beech saplings were transplanted into the gaps. Our very own FoPV tree nursery! Hopefully the majority will survive and fill out in the forthcoming years.
Two groups, (a ladies and men's!) set off to Wire Mill Dam to give it a tidy up. It hadn't had much attention of late and needed a mass of debris removing which had accumulated at the far end of the dam. The groups removed all the debris, litter picked, swept the steps, cut overhanging foliage, and gave the area a good refresh and tidy up. A great job guys and gals!
At the far end of Forge Dam, a small group was tidying up the area used by the recent contractors (near the hibernaculum). The plan was to remove any left over foreign debris, large pieces of wood and concrete and stones, litter pick, and then flatten it before planting some wildflower seed. The first part went to plan and a substantial amount of debris and litter was collected and loaded in Ranger Matt's 4x4 truck. The second part started OK with Matt using his 4x4 to drive over the ground to flatten it down with any remaining bumps flattened by hand with a tamper, however as Matt drove lower down where it is soft mud his 4x4 became well and truly stuck up to its axle! No amount of digging and putting some of the collection of wood and stones underneath the wheels could budge it.
Fortunately, the workmen removing the tree from the dam had a tractor and were still around and thus became the 4th Rescue Service to spare Matt's blushes!
The remaining area was given a tickling over by hand and a wildflower seed mix scattered.
Thanks to Mandy for her banana and miso squares - very delicious!
The next work morning is on Thursday 9th March 2023. As it is only just over a week away there will not be the usual email of details, but we will meet at 9:45am at Forge Dam.
It wouldn't be fair to post pictures of Matt's predicament...or would it.....(!)
A Selection of photos from the work morning
Collecting self set beech saplings - Tony, Phil, Ted, Dave, Peter and Glyn
Chris planting some beech saplings
Debris at Wire Mill Dam before clearing
Ladies at work!
Mandy, Mel, Leonie, Rowena, Linda
Steps before and Rowena clearing them
Nick and Rowena
Linda, Mel, Leonie, Chris and Simon
It was all going so well....
"..this is going to be embarassing..."
Tractor to the rescue!
Cleared, flattened(ish) and seeded
Boating on Forge Dam!