After the clearance of numerous trees and shrubs towards the end of last year, the next stage in the restoration plan was to bring another machine on to the site in order to strip off the existing layer of topsoil. This will lower the nutrient level of the area and thus make it more favourable for the new grasses and vegetation to get established.
Unfortunately, as everyone is only to well aware, we then had almost two months of exceptionally wet weather which made the ground conditions totally unsuitable for this stage to be undertaken. So unfortunately the work had to be postponed.
Meanwhile, in early February, The Friends group planted 120 hawthorn whips amongst the newly laid hedge to help this bulk up more quickly and also planted a mixture of primroses, oxlips and cowslips alongside the hedge on the path side.
By the beginning of March, the rain had finally stopped and the ground was dry enough to bring the heavy machinery back on site and start stripping off the top layer of soil.
The removed soil has only been transported a short distance and used to fill in a largish depression in the ground near to the Jasmine Close entrance. This soil will have a high fertility and should be ideal for planting new heather alongside those which have already established themselves.
The next stage will involve rotovating the newly stripped area and then a mixture of native grass seed will be sown by the Council.
The Friends have raked out a narrow strip alongside the hedge on the opposite side of the path and sown a mixture of woodland seeds which includes Red Campion, Sweet Violet, Wild Foxglove, Wild Strawberry, Wood Sage and Greater Cellandine.
There will be another update later as this year long scheme to restore acid grassland continues.
The Friends are always looking for extra pairs of hands to help out or to simply support their work, so...
- to find out when the next work session will take place, click here, or
- to find out about becoming a member please contact us here, or
- to discover what goes into managing the sites click here.