Welcome to our first newsletter for all things related to Speckled Wood. This edition will focus on the conservation works carried out in the woodland but hopefully, as it evolves, we could include newsworthy items from all aspects of related achievements.
Thanks to Volunteers
Firstly, it would seem appropriate to give thanks to the volunteers who have already done so many good works, over a long period of time, to make the woodland an enjoyable place to visit. These have included: path, stream and rubbish clearance, installation of steps and bridges, and knotweed treatment.
In the past few weeks we have concentrated our efforts on the Old London Rd side of the woodland. [Click on photos to enlarge.]
Photo 1 shows a trench dug alongside the path and filled with various hardcore found on site. We hope this channel will provide an alternative route for rainwater over the clay soil, so the steps remain dry.
Photo 2 shows some of the rubble we have cleared and sorted ready for removal at the appropriate time.
Photo 3 shows the results of the clearance.
Photo 4 shows the results of a Herculean task (ever tried to move huge slabs of concrete?) which we are rather proud of. In this place there is an enormous amount of debris from past uses of the land as allotments, keeping pigs etc; so we put some to good use and built a bench which overlooks the land falling away below. It might not win a design prize but in terms of planning, logistical and muscle collaboration; we would argue that it ranks up there with the best! For the present, it fulfills a good function as a place to stop and enjoy.
Photo 5 shows our latest achievement. We have constructed a wood pile fence to guide walkers in a certain direction and to leave the space beyond as a sanctuary for the foxes who have built their dens there.
Of course, we must mention our Flora and Fauna residents.
The moving of debris unveils many things and this common toad (Photo 6) was one of our surprises.
We also noticed the abundance of fungi popping up. These two photos (Photos 7 & 8) were taken on the steps leading down into the woodland. Can anyone identify them?
We are generally accompanied by a robin, an opportunist, keeping an eye on what we uncover. Hopefully, in the next issue we will be able to show you the photos of the baby common lizard we found and the Speckled Wood butterfly (complete with the tale of the encounter). Watch this space!