Going where no chainsaw has gone before

Yesterday the Beechcroft team joined us over at Swanwick Lakes. Our plan was to head over to the lost world that is ‘South reserve’ to start cutting and clearing some of the highly invasive Rhododendron and thin some Birch along the way. This is an area which has no public access mainly due to the awful nature of the terrain – the area is very similar to a volcano caldera, steep sides all around, quickly dropping into a lake at the bottom. It has previously been said that South lake could well be one of the largest water bodies in hampshire without fish and as a result holds a great population of Great crested newts.

South lake

South lake

The area we were clearing is very interesting as it shows signs of being acidic with sandy type soils. A small patch of fragile lichen heath is forming with patches of heather. The birch and willow, however, was starting to shade this area so we made great progress in thinning it out. We started on the waters edge as this pond is one of the Great crested newts favourites and getting more light into the pond will encourage vegetation, important for egg laying. We also cleared areas of Rhododendron, but as you can see from the right hand of this photo there is still more to do.


It was great to finally get into South reserve and do some work. Particularly as our results are quickly seen and could certainly benefit a selection of very interesting species. Hopefully we’ll get another day or two in before winter is up.


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