So its been a long time with no posting on my front but I thought Id put pen to paper (finger to key) to round up some things that have been going on throughout the Solent reserves.
Well its been a busy few weeks. Last week the Beechcroft team was busy clearing a view point at Swanwick lakes and carrying on some scrub clearance work at Hook Heath. The view point clearance was not just for aesthetics, although you now get a much better view of one of the lakes, it was for releasing some nature conservation potential. We removed a dense block of Bramble scrub and a large Silver Birch tree to make a fantastic bank for invertebrates and reptiles as it faces south east and should be a great sun trap.
The Farlington team have made a cracking start on this years main marsh fencing efforts. In the last two weeks we have managed to put in around 40 odd posts which is enough for over 100 meters of fencing. At this rate of pace I’m hoping we can get this line of fencing done relatively quickly and ideally before the wet weather of winter sets in and the birds return.
At the end of last week I was working with a group from the Southern Co-op on the grounds around their new crematorium in Havant. We were putting in a boardwalk/bridge and planting up the edge of a seasonal pond with woodland bulbs and Flag Iris. The guys did a fantastic job and should be looking great in the spring.
Today the Beechcroft team and I have been busy down at Swanwick once again. Our task was to coppice an old Sweet Chestnut stool, which looking at the distance between each of the stems must be a pretty respectful age. I could easily stand in the middle of the ring of stems, each being a pretty good size. We counted the growth rings and amazingly it was only 18 years since it had been last coppiced – it had put on a terrific amount of growth in this time. In harvesting this Sweet Chestnut it will lengthen its life as it will quickly send up more shoots next year. We are hoping to use the the timber we have taken today to try cleaving (splitting) some fencing stakes to use on the reserve. I know how to do this in theory. How it works in practice, I’m sure, will be a very different thing….