A highlight of a recent work morning was a really enjoyable morning with the conservation volunteers and Ranger Matt, seeding the route used by the dredging equipment to access the pond with woodland wildflower seed and building a hibernaculum for amphibians and reptiles. The morning was made even more special by the kingfisher flitting up and down the Brook by the pedestrian bridge, catching a fish and then disappearing in the wet woodland.
We were also able to tidy some of the permeable membrane that had provided a base layer when this route was stoned up for use by the dumpers. Bits of it had migrated to the surface at the edges of the work area and were looking unsightly and a trip hazard. We’ll keep an eye on this and remove any more that surfaces. (This wasn’t anything done wrong by the contractor – the membrane was buried beneath tonnes of stone and wasn’t something we would have expected them to remove on leaving the site).
I’m also looking forward to joining the group for hedge planting next month when we will be planting around 300 new hawthorn whips to fill the gaps in the fencing along the bridleway.
Also funded by the same Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant which provided the match funding for the Friends fundraising, next month, we have published 2 brand new Education Packs aimed at Key Stages 1 & 2 – one is about industrial heritage at Forge Dam and the other about wildlife. These are free to down load from the FoPV website shop and we hope will be a useful support to school visits or visits by other groups in the Spring. The education packs were developed by Calsie Tyler, who worked with us as a trainee Activity and Engagement Officer earlier this year.
Less enjoyable, but very important is pulling together a final project snagging list – i.e. all the things that aren’t quite right, so that we can carry out improvements as soon as the weather is fit. A key addition to the list is to undertake some remedial work to the path through the woodland once the final tarmacking to the pond path has been completed. This month’s rains have shown how badly that is needed.
Project Officer, SCC Parks and Countryside Service